I recently had an awesome cross-class real talk conversation about money: one person raised poor, one person raised working class, one person raised middle class.
We all had insights to bring to the table: about having money or not, or just not thinking that you do. About “enough” and what to do about having or not having enough. The processes each of us had gone through to get to where we were emotionally about money – let alone financially.
It can be hard to talk about money with those closest to us, with people we hope will share or mirror our experiences. Because “money” actually means both specific things like family, culture, gender, interest, ability and location as well as global things like intersectional oppression and privilege, political beliefs, and the fact that a dollar is a dollar whether it’s in my hand or yours — it’s hard to find a “match,” frankly.
It can be more challenging to talk to people we perceive as differently related to money than we are, because money isn’t a neutral topic. It’s loaded with assumptions, with opportunities, with experiences. It can bring up fear, sadness, shame, pride, excitement.
Furthermore, in many communities I’m part of, talking about money means having to do a careful dance around the elephants of capitalism, globalization, gentrification and greed. Money has become equivalent with systemic decimation.
It’s not neutral is, perhaps, an understatement.
However, not talking about money – and not dealing with our money [or money problems] doesn’t halt systemic decimation. It just leaves a the middle-class value of silence in place of useful information which might help make our lives less stressful, more sustainable, and put us in a drivers’ seat.
I hope folks comment, and that the tips and thoughts are truly useful.
…let’s Real Talk About Money.