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How to be thrifty like a rap mogul Add to ...

Living like a rap star isn’t all about lavish yacht parties, flashy cars, champagne and bling. As Houston, Tex.-based rapper Slim Thug can attest, a savvy hustler knows how to “stack” (that is, accumulate funds).

In a new e-book, titled How to Survive in a Recession, Mr. Thug (née Stayve Jerome Thomas) doles out forthright financial advice, using language ribald enough to make your grandmother’s hair curl. He likens himself to a “black Suze Orman,” putting his own spin on basic, run-of-the-mill money-saving principles. For instance, while personal finance gurus like Ms. Orman preach against living beyond one’s means, Mr. Thug puts it this way: “Why would you buy expensive cars and chains if you still live with your momma? Get outta yo momma’s house!”

As the youngest of seven children raised by a single, working mother, Mr. Thug says he learned to be thrifty at a young age, and he never wants to find himself broke again. He carefully counts his Benjamins, in spite of the success of his 2005 debut album Already Platinum and despite collaborating with the likes of Beyoncé and Gwen Stefani.

“Going into the strip club to make it rain 5Gs ain’t ever profited my pockets,” he writes. Nope. This guy would rather make $5,000 trickle.

“I want to teach my people how to be more financially aware,” he says in the foreword of the book, noting that wasting money “is dumb. I want us to stop mismanaging and start stacking.... Oh, and I just wanted a book.”

According to his publisher, Di Angelo Publications, he has sold thousands of copies of How to Survive in a Recession within the first two weeks of its launch. Ms. Orman he is not – or at least, not yet. But there’s no denying Mr. Thug’s money tips are sound and make for entertaining reading.

Suze Orman vs. Slim Thug? We compare their advice:

On home ownership


“I want you to be comfortable, I want you to enjoy your house. But a smaller home that fits your needs means a more manageable mortgage, a lower property tax bill, lower utility costs, and likely less time and effort to maintain.”


“The bigger the house, the more expensive your life is. You have water, electric, grass, pool – all that [excrement]* adds up.... Get what you need, nothing extra.”

On dining out


“If you go out to eat every week, go out to eat every other week. Just cut back a little bit, and you will save money.”


“Those $200 meals add up.... Five days of dinner can turn into $4,000 a month. You end up with $4,000 worth of I’m-hungry-time – not a good look.”

On turning a profit


“If you have made a tidy profit and you believe the stock still may rise, you can sell 25 per cent of what you own.”


“Never spend all your money to get high or drunk.... It ain’t worth it, unless you’re trying to spend your money to flip that [excrement] and get it back plus some.”

On sharing finances


“Just because one of you earns the paycheque doesn’t mean that person should lord over how the money is handled. Use your portion to fund a high-yield savings account.”


“If your girl is saying ‘for us to be together you have to pay this, and pay that,’ then you’re paying for the relationship. You might as well get a prostitute, and then at least you can pick which [lady] you like.”

On prioritizing


“Pull out your three most recent bank and credit card statements, circle every charge or debit that is not a necessity, and ask yourself, ‘Can I eliminate this cost entirely?’ ”


“Why would you buy some expensive-[rear end] rims and your car ain’t even worth that much? It doesn’t make sense. Rims don’t have a warranty on them.”

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