A few months ago, I started reading books about money and money mindset like The Art of Money by Bari Tessler and Overcoming Underearning by Barbara Stanny.
Most recently, I read Prince Charming Isn’t Come by Barbara Stanny (and you can read my book review here).
This is a bit embarrassing to admit, but at 24, I don’t really know much about money, which is why this blog post is so needed. Because we need to talk about money. We need to be courageous enough to talk about our money issues and blocks, so we can work through them.
After all, awareness is the first step.
Here are my 5 reasons why women need to start talking about money:
1. A lot of us are afraid to talk about our money problems or even about money in general.
Yes, I’m talking about me.
When we feel like we’re alone in the darkness and have no idea what’s going on, it’s scary. But letting your fear linger only creates more fear.
So when we need to start turning the light on. Educate yourself, read books, listen to podcasts, watch videos, go to a financial support group, etc. The resources are out there, but we need to start something.
Because until we decide to do something, the fear is just going to build up and up and quite possibly explode someday. But we don’t have to wait until a crisis happens for us to get our act together.
I love how Barbara Stanny explains the learning curve in her book, Prince Charming Isn't Coming. At first, we may not even be aware that we’re not aware. But once we become aware and we keep working and learning, one day we’ll start to see how much we’ve actually learned.
Confront your fears by turning on the light.
2. Our money issues aren’t going to magically disappear just because we ignore them.
Maybe you’re in debt or maybe you’re living paycheck to paycheck.
Maybe you’re late on your credit card payments or maybe you have no idea how to live within your means.
Maybe you’re still carrying around someone else’s beliefs around money or maybe you’re afraid to even think about money.
Maybe you have no idea how a loan works or how to buy a house someday. I sure don’t.
I didn’t even know what an investment group was up until a few weeks ago, or that they even existed.
We’re taught by everyone around us to not talk about money. To keep it hush hush.
It’s like a taboo to ask others how much they’re making a year or how much they’re paying on their rent. It’s like this big secret we’re all trying to keep. Maybe it’s out of shame, guilt, fear, embarrassment, etc. It could be anything.
Well just because you ignore something …doesn’t mean it’s going to go away.
…and until we learn to deal with our money issues whether it’s psychological or practical, they’re still going to be there, so wouldn’t it be better if we just dealt with them sooner rather than later?
And wouldn’t it be even better if we stopped feeling so ashamed or embarrassed about our money problems? It’s a bit like mental health in my opinion - if we question or make people feel bad or ashamed about their depression and anxiety, then who’s going to want to admit they need help?
We need to create space for money talks. For these conversations to happen. For us to stop judging each other and judging ourselves.
(Related: 5 Reasons Why We Continue To Doubt Ourselves)
3. When you share your story, you let go of what’s holding you back and take back your power.
Whether you know it or not, you have power and control over your life and decisions. And if you feel like you don’t, maybe you need to stop giving it away like it’s a free for all. (And I say that with love and empathy. As a recovering people pleaser, I never learned how to set healthy boundaries and I would let people walk right all over me. If someone said something mean to me, I would take their word for it and think of as the truth.)
But there is so much power in sharing your story.
When we share our stories, we don’t only help ourselves, but we help everyone around us, because we create a safe space for people to share their stories with us as well. And if that doesn’t sound healing and empowering, then I’m not really sure what would.
Because when we let go of the judgment, of the fear, of the mentality that we have to keep it all to ourselves, we can start the conversation of “How do we move forward?”
So you want to pay off your student debt quicker, how are other people doing it and what can you learn from them?
Or maybe you want to buy your first house, what should you know and who can you ask for referrals that you trust?
Or maybe you want to feel less alone and like you’re not the biggest idiot in the world for not knowing this stuff. (I’m talking about myself.)
We all have struggles, but why do so many of us feel like we have to go through it alone?
4. A community, tribe, sisterhood, or whatever you want to call it is created.
And so we let other women into our lives. We open our hearts and create space for the people around us. We exchange ideas and suggestions for how to move forward, and we realize we don’t have to do this all along.
When no one can actually go through your journey for you or do the inner work for you, it doesn’t mean you have to be alone when you do it.
You can surround yourself with other women who are also looking for guidance, friendship, support, and encouragement.
Isn’t that what we all want? To feel like we belong somewhere? To feel like we’re heard and loved by those around us? To grow and create the life we truly desire? To be around people who also listen to their intuition and heart?
And maybe you’re the one that needs to take that first step. The one who starts the conversation. The one who says hi. The one who gets out of her comfort zone.
The one who starts talking about the big elephant in the room. Money.
(Related: Money with Molly #1: Getting Real Vulnerable)
5. There are a lot of women in the world that need our help.
…and maybe it’s up to us to help them. (You can decide this for yourself. It’s not up to me to decide for you.)
Women who don’t have a voice, access to education, or even access to clean water.
When we educate and empower ourselves, we have the power to impact other people’s lives. Because how are we able to help others if we can’t even help ourselves?
Here’s the thing: Money is important.
The stories we’ve all heard about money like … “having money is greedy”, “money can’t buy you happiness”, “money is bad”, etc., you’ve got to let those go and create new money stories that align with you and your message.
Money by itself is just that - money.
It’s what you do with it that counts.
With money, you can help build homes and schools in parts of the world that don’t have them. You can donate to charity so that they can access to clean water and basic necessities. You can quite literally change someone’s life.
But if we continue to treat it like a monster or like the elephant in the room, we aren’t going to have a good relationship with our money. We might be clingy or have a scarcity mindset or spend all of our time worrying and judging ourselves.
Empowered women empower other women, and I don’t know about you, but I’d like to be a woman who empowers others because I know what it’s like to feel disempowered and I don’t want anyone to feel that way about themselves or their lives.
While I can’t give you financial advice, I can tell you that you’re not alone. You’re not behind, you’re not dumb, and there’s nothing wrong with you.
Today is a new day.
Listen to a podcast. Pick up a book. Ask a question. Go to a meeting. Do a Google search.
Resources are all around us, and it’s up to us to actually use them.
Don’t be afraid to talk about money. To ask your bank any questions you may have. To tell your friend you have no idea what you’re doing and need somewhere to start, because you never know what could happen.
We need to start talking about money and being okay with the idea of being up the money conversation, because wanting to be more abundant isn’t a bad thing. It isn’t something that we should be ashamed of.
We need to stop attaching shame, guilt, judgment, etc. with money, and maybe this is how we start.