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Money Talk: Know Yourself, Know Your Money

Things no one tells Black women about money

BY Joan Thatiah

Apr 20, 2022, 04:41 AM

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We are a generation of women who did not grow up having candid conversations about money. Girls were supposed to be demure and money conversations were had behind closed doors.

All we were told was to go to college and get a degree which would get you a job from which you could pay your bills. Those that had religious parents would be reminded that the love of money is the root of all evil. The wealthy in our communities were followed by pointed fingers and whispers that they were devil-worshipping or were unscrupulous businessmen and if they were women, then they had a dirty old man tucked away somewhere to finance their lifestyles.

So money became something that we all wanted more of but something we were ashamed to want openly or flaunt. It’s no wonder the Black adult woman has such a complicated relationship with money today. 

Here are things that Black women should know about money.

Buying Things Vs. Investing In Yourself

I know, I know. It’s the era of flaunting what you have. Retail therapy, buying things does bring joy. Short-lived joy. Investing in yourself on the other hand will cost the same but will bring long-lasting joy.

Buying that killer dress will give you a memorable night out but taking that trip to the Maldives or that photography class will leave you with memories and valuable skills. Think.

Invest With Confidence

For the Black woman, money represents security. Having money in the bank is the difference between being able to walk away from a toxic partner and being trapped.

So she becomes a miser. Stashing all her money away for the rainy day when she will need to use it. What she needs to know is that the difference between living from check to check her whole life to a good life in that flashy flat-roofed mansion is easing up her grip and putting her money where it can grow.

Don’t Be Naïve

I know a woman who was left stranded when her husband died because she didn’t know the first thing about their financial situation. Not even how to pay their bills. She was a stay-at-home mum and had shifted all her focus to the home leaving the money issues for him.

Whether you stay home with the children or work outside the home, a woman can’t afford to be ignorant about money in 2021. Seek to be involved in the finances. If married, know your partner’s investment and retirement plans. Don’t be caught flat-footed.

Hide Your Money From Yourself

We’ve all heard that joke that a Black woman never has money, not when the question is coming from a man. Even on payday, if her man asks, she will say “I’m broke”.

It’s different when it comes to yourself. Every time you get a windfall or a salary raise, you will upgrade your lifestyle. You know, move to a bigger house, and buy another car. Don’t. Try putting your savings in fixed accounts. Invest it so you can have an even bigger and more permanent upgrade in the future.

Get To Know The Experts

Just because you haven’t had any formal training on money doesn’t mean you should be investing or spending blindly. For every honest businessman on these streets, someone is looking to swindle you. If it is not people telling you that you will become a millionaire from selling quail eggs, it's people selling you off-plan houses that they have no intention of building. These are tough times.

The best part is financial literacy experts are out there in plenty. All you need to do to get the best value for your money is ask.

Have A Plan

You can have all the money in the world but without a plan, all that will be wasted. Having a plan and knowing what to do and when to do it will help you with managing every aspect in your life including money. So when you have a chat with that finance advisor or seek help from a money expert, make sure they help you make a plan or go through the plan you have just to make sure it is fool proof.