Let’s get one thing straight right away:
Money = FREEDOM.
There is nothing wrong with money. It’s simply a tool, a resource, a gift that allows you to open doors to more opportunities.
Maybe this is the first time you’re hearing money explained this way, or maybe it feels like the hundredth time.
Either way, drill this into your head:
Money is a gift.
Have you ever had a moment where you invested in something or someone (maybe yourself, perhaps?) and in the moment (and after), you felt so FREE because of it?
One of those moments happened for me last October.
I was in Kansas City for a brandoir session, a few days after I’d been tipped $80 from a recent boudoir sesh. I had plans to get my own photos done on this particular trip, and was also meeting with a gal I respected and admired.
Getting my nails done has become more and more enjoyable for me over the years. It began to increase in importance once I realized that anytime I’d get my nails done, my confidence would soar through the roof.
But, there was always a twinge of guilt for the money being spent. $40/mo, every month? On nails? A lil’ excessive, don’t you think? Is that really necessary?
On this particular trip, however, I had $80 of bonus income to spend completely guilt-free.
I booked an appointment at a salon my friend recommended, brought my laptop with me, and on a whim decided to add in a pedicure last-minute.
It would take the entire $80.
I didn’t care.
I will NEVER forget that sense of freedom. Sitting in the salon, getting my feet massaged and painted, typing away at my laptop on new blog posts. Adding in a tip at the end of my appointment without any stress or worry about doing so.
On the car ride to my next appointment, I was absolutely giddy.
“This is a moment I will never forget”, I told myself, “Don’t you ever forget how amazing this feels”.
As women, even our generation, we’ve been engrained with beliefs about money that inhibit us to experience the above-explained freedom in our lives.
Studies show that women, while we’re more likely to spend emotionally, need to feel more confident in doing so. We need permission to spend freely on things. Otherwise, we feel guilty and overthink buying decisions.
This is something I’ve personally struggled with for YEARS and (newsflash!) I’ll continue learning and growing on this topic. This isn’t a topic where you suddenly become an expert in overnight (which I’m not claiming to be, btw; I do, however, have enough lessons under my belt that I can’t keep them to myself any longer) or find yourself suddenly confident in your money after one mess-up.
It takes time. It takes practice. And yes, it takes a heck of a lot of mistakes before you begin to understand how you manage your money best.
It also takes guts to speak up about it. I didn’t grow up talking about money, and I’m guessing a lot of you are in the same boat. But y’all, this is a BIG DEAL.
You deserve to feel good about your money.
The way you spend it, save it, steward it.
There’s nothing inherently bad or wrong with money itself. It all matters in how we decide to use it. To perceive it.
You deserve to understand it.
So, I’m pulling back to curtain and speaking up. Even if it means some feathers might get ruffled along the way (read: my own).
The first thing we need to tackle is this shame that surrounds money.
Why is that?
Honestly, why do we feel so much shame and awkwardness talking about money?
I think some of it stems from generations before us (no shame!) who come from a set belief that certain topics are “none of your business.” Those topics that included anything that felt too personal (money, sex, marriage, your menstrual cycle, etc.)
For generations before us, it was deemed acceptable to keep money matters to yourself because it was the societal norm. A way of life so many households subscribed to. Again, nothing to be ashamed of. Everyone has their own personal boundaries, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
The danger comes when we talk about money so little, that we don’t see or understand its importance until much later.
There’s a lot of pride that tends to surround money. If you’re not doing so well with your finances, ego is what stops you from asking for help. Your pride is what gets in the way, not your mistakes.
Listen, talking about money is weird. I get it (hellooooooo, first blog post on the topic ever & I’m *this close* to overthinking and saving it as a draft forever – if you’re reading this, that means I’ve officially hit publish, which means that if I can do it, so can you).
Just like anything else, learning to manage or understand money is a skill. And skills aren’t developed overnight. They take practice. A LOT OF IT.
Fun fact: Feb of 2019 was one of the highest-earning months of my career. In March of 2019 I spent all but $300 of it.
YOU’LL MAKE MISTAKES.
THAT’S HOW YOU LEARN.
Some of the most refreshing conversations I’ve had, have been talking openly about money with people I trust. There’s something powerful about transparency.
Let me pause real quick to clarify something.
You can be transparent about money without sharing exact numbers.
Baby steps, okay?
If you’re not comfortable sharing your monthly income, costs, and savings, you don’t have to.
I’m not even to that point yet.
However, DO get more comfortable talking about milestones or achievements. You paid off your student loans? CELEBRATE THAT. Saved up to invest in a gym membership? It’s okay if that comes up in conversation.
Here’s the thing I want to drill into your head: you have the opportunity to shift the perspective, approach, and mindset towards money for those around you. Simply by setting an example for them.
Will it be tough? No doubt about it.
Will it be worth it? That’s for you to decide.
What are the risks? Go ahead, write them down.
Now, what are the rewards? Write those down, too.
I’m guessing that in the long run, the rewards will far outweigh the risks you’re afraid of.
And, love. Playing the long-game will have so much more lasting impact than any short-term win.
This is the start of a new blog series, Money Moves. It’s taken a lot of time, effort, and prayer to put this series in motion.
Money is a hot topic. It’s an area where you’ll never stop growing. But if you don’t understand it? You’ll never be able to experience the freedom that comes with it.
And, girl, there is so much freedom waiting for you on the other side.