Money. We all have it, we all deal with it, and let’s face it, we all need it. With that being said, why is it so hard to talk about money? I know for me, money was always a topic I kept to a minimum. I have bills, I pay them, I move on. I’ve noticed that a lot of my girlfriends share that same feeling, but at some point or another, we have all found ourselves in a financial situation that we were unprepared for. Now, I realize that my perception of money was askew. With the cost of living on the rise, it’s more important now than ever for me to change the way I view money and open myself up to learn more about it.
I thought it would be useful to share the tools that are helping me to learn how to have power over my finances with other young women. I’m not sure how many parts the For the Love of Money blog series will have, but I hope to be able to share as much as possible and start a discussion among other young women which I can take from as well.
Love & Money
Often, when you think of money, love isn’t the first thing that comes into mind. “More money, more problems,” some say or “money can’t buy you happiness.” While these sayings have proven themselves to be true at times, it has also put money in a negative light. If someone says that they love money, they’re looked at as a shallow and materialistic person. However, that’s not always the cast. In fact, sometimes it can be good to love money. Yes, you read that right; sometimes it can be good to love money.
This ideology wasn’t always one that I align myself with. In fact, I was raised to believe that money was evil, a necessary evil that was only supposed to help support my basic needs. Because of this, I never bothered to learn about money, what it can do, how to save it, or how I can make my money work for me. It wasn’t up until recently that I was introduced to the teachings of Suze Orman, a highly successful author and financial guru who helps women learn to have power over their money and to love their money. I first heard Ms. Orman speak, it was a recording on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday podcast of a special she did at the Apollo, called “Women and Money.” Within the first five minutes- not even- I was captivated by Ms. Orman’s no-nonsense attitude and the confidence she exuded when she spoke about money. She understands that women up until recently, the role that women are expected to play doesn’t usually involve them handling their money past household expenses. These roles don’t place women in positions of power; power over our bodies, power in our careers, and power over our money.
At first, the thought of “loving” money seemed very shallow to me, and I considered stopping the podcast right then and there. But after listening for a few more minutes to the reasons why women should love money, I was convinced that I needed a shift in my perspective, especially if I want to acquire, keep, and protect my money. Ms. Orman made a very valid point when she explained why women typically don’t love money and just view it as an object. Money is just something we use to provide for the ones we love on a day-to-day basis – our children, significant others, and others who may be financially dependent on us. I’m sure many of us are familiar with the ideology that there’s no output without input. Suze helped me appreciate while yes, I can financially provide for my family by paying our bills, but at the same time, I’m not being financially responsible because things like life insurance, a saving or retirement account are considered to be extra expenses which in the long run may affect my loved ones.
All About Perspective
The concept of loving money comes into play because let’s be honest- it’s hard to want to do anything that we don’t love. Saving money is a great idea, but if we don’t love saving money or love how it feels when we’ve saved up money, then it’ll be more difficult to commit to it. Learning to love money has changed my perspective on how I feel when I put money to the side for saving. In the past, saving money has been a struggle for me, as I often saw transferring money to my savings account or contributing to my company’s 401k as an expense I didn’t want to have. After listening to “Women and Money,” my view on saving money was changed completely. Considering saving for retirement or even an emergency fund as an expense was immature and even a bit selfish on my behalf. Yes, it’s nice to have “extra” (there’s no such thing as extra money) money in the account for my morning coffee but when it’s time for me to retire, and I still have the same (if not more) bills that I have now, how will my family, and I be affected when there was no money saved up? Or what if a family emergency occurs and we end up in a financial bind?
Many also have a hard time-saving money because they find themselves dipping into their account when their main accounts run low. Again, this is where loving your money works. The things we love in our lives, we want them to be the best they can be – up to their full potential. We should feel the same way about our savings; it doesn’t feel good when there’s $2.38 in your savings, right? Learning to love your money makes it exciting to save your money and allows you a feeling of happiness and pride when your savings is where it needs to be.
Money Attracts Power & Power Attracts Money
Another concept many women shy away from is power. It’s inarguable that women are powerful beyond measure. However, unfortunately, due to society’s conditioning, power has been taken away from women, including power over their money. Let’s be real for a minute – while we would all like to believe that the world doesn’t revolve around money, it does. Although typically when you think of power and money in relation to each other, what often comes to mind is a skeevy dishonest businessman or politician, but that’s not always the case. Think about how you feel when you’re broke. I know how I feel. I feel powerless. When I’m financially struggling, I feel unprepared for unforeseen occurrences, always worried about the next bill and the next paycheck. When you have power over money, you’re able to relax a little more and focus on other more important things and ultimately have power over your life.
Power Over Your Life
When you have power over your life, you’ll know it. While life’s circumstances can sometimes leave us feeling powerless, taking control of our financial, emotional, and spiritual lives can help us feel powerful. Feeling powerful not only allow us to pursue our dreams, but it can help us empower others too.
For those who are looking to change their perspective on money and who want to gain power over their money, I suggest starting with listening to Suze Orman’s podcast. She covers a wide variety of topics and has helped me ask questions about money that I never thought to ask. Asking these questions has caused me to research and seek out resources that will help me. Throughout this series, I’ll make sure to share whatever I find with you all so that you can have power over your finances and love your money!
For the ultimate money themed anthem, listen to Cardi B’s new song, “Money”!