This post on how to talk about money is sponsored. All opinions are my own.
Do you talk about money with your family and friends? I bet you don’t, or if you do, you feel uncomfortable about it. Why is money such a taboo topic? Why does it create so much anxiety to mention it?
Money is the downfall of a lot of relationships. I know you’ve heard stories (or maybe experienced it yourself) that significant rifts with family or friends were created because of money. I think that’s a big reason people do shy away from it. They don’t want to do or say the wrong thing, so they avoid it altogether.
We are all missing out by not having more frank conversations about money, especially us business women.
On November 9th, I attended a session at the BlogHer Business conference entitled: How to Have the Money Talk. It was a session sponsored by Capital Group and the focus was around helping women have tough conversations about money.
This talk resonated with me a lot because I led a discussion at a conference last spring about tips for helping bloggers “negotiate like a boss.” I know how important money is and that women, especially entrepreneurs, need to talk more about money.
Since I’m an educator myself, I wanted to pass on what I learned at the conference and share
some of the things I’ve learned along the way. So here are my 5 reasons you need to get more comfortable with your finances and talk about money more often.
1. Have Those Tough Conversations Early
For my business as a blogger, I get paid to work with brands to promote their products. I first realized that I wasn’t asking enough for my blogging business when I saw the quality of my content compared to another person who had the same sponsorship. I knew she made the same amount as me because it was a flat rate for the work through a contractor we both used. At that moment, I realized the worth and value of my content and from then on, started asking more.
However, even though I do feel confident enough to ask for more, what I’ve realized is that in the world of blogging and influencers, there is no standard rate. I realized this quite recently when a brand accidentally included a spreadsheet that listed other influencers’ rates. I’m not going to tell you what they charged, but what I will say is that bloggers much bigger than me charged less, and bloggers much smaller than me charged more or sometimes nothing at all. It was crazy and enlightening to see that people value their work very differently.
I know it’s hard and awkward, and it sometimes makes you feel bad about yourself if you’re not asking enough. But we need to have these conversations so that you can start asking for what you’re worth! Knowledge is power, and you won’t know if you don’t ask. It’s time we all talk about money more often.
2. You’re Worth More
If you work for someone or have your own business, I’m almost positive you’re worth more than you’re getting. I learned early on in my career as an educational administrator that the men I worked with made more, for no other reason, than they asked for more.
Throughout my 15 years in my industry, I’ve gotten a lot braver when it comes to negotiating my salary. I spend a lot of time researching the industry, talking to other people with similar roles, comparing salaries and finding any data I can to use to make a case for the pay I think I deserve. Although you might not get exactly what you want, most places have at least 10 – 20% more available to give you. In my recent job, I got them up almost 50% from the original offer.
You need to know your bottom line and what you are willing to take. In my current job, I couldn’t take the original offer, even if I wanted it. I had to talk about money because I wouldn’t be able to live on that salary, taking into consideration the cost of living.
3. Its OK to Say No
I know a lot of other bloggers that never say no to paid opportunities. I get it. We are in the business of making money, and it sometimes feels superfluous that we get paid to do things like taking pictures drinking a cup of coffee. Because it does almost seem silly sometimes, it can be hard to say no. But you should. If a brand doesn’t align with your values, or they are not willing to meet you at your rate or negotiate in other ways to align with your rates, then you should say no. I promise, more business is coming. Don’t work for less than you deserve, especially if it’s not for a company, brand, or product that you value.
4. Investing is Key to Your Future
Do you have a savings account? Do you have stocks or a retirement account or invest in real estate or other assets? I know a lot of women don’t even think about these things. I am lucky that my dad was an economics teacher, so he’s been talking to me about investing for decades. Honestly, I haven’t done a great job at taking his advice – I’m more of a live for the day girl when it comes to my paychecks. But, I’m lucky to work for universities that have retirement accounts set up for me, so they pull from checks before I even see them. Thus, I do have substantial retirement accounts ready for me when I do get to that age.
However, there is always more we could be doing to save and think about our future. If you don’t know much about investing or starting college funds for your kids, I’d highly encourage you to meet with a financial advisor. For more than 87 years, Capital Group, home of American Funds has focused on its mission to improve people’s lives through successful investing. Capital Group’s long-term investing approach helps people prepare for their most important life goals from buying a house or putting a child through college to saving for a secure retirement. Through its American Funds brand, Capital Group offers a large variety of equity and fixed income mutual funds, target-date funds, and 529 college saving funds. The company is recognized in the industry for its low fees and superior results for long-term investors.
5. Share Your Knowledge to Others
To reiterate, it’s not just about talking with your colleagues to get the best salary or rate. It’s about communicating with everyone in your circle about money. A lot of relationships fail because there are not enough frank conversations about money. It is super important to have the same goals as your spouse or life partner when it comes to money so you can make those important financial decisions together. It’s also important to have conversations with your kids, so they understand the value of money.
Recently, my son told me he wants to have a beach house someday. So you know what I told him? I told him he needs to do well in school, work very hard, get a good job, save his money, and someday, he’ll be able to get his beach out. He’s only 7. He’s very young to think about how to save and invest to buy a beach house, BUT it’s never too early.
I’m instilling in him a few things – work ethic, the value of education, delayed gratification, and the importance of saving. He also loves sports cars, so I tell him the same thing. You want that fancy car? Well, you’re going to need to make a lot of money to get that car someday. He’s reiterated the conversation to me other times, so I know he’s listening. Any little nuggets of financial knowledge we can share now will pile up down the road; I’m sure of that.
I hope I’ve empowered you to think differently about money, to take the time to talk about money with your friends and family. It’s never too early or late to talk about money with the people you love. If you’re not sure where to start, then I’d suggest you speak to a financial advisor. They will provide you with a lot of tips and also discussions you’ve probably never considered. I do know that money can feel like a tough conversation, but let’s start. Let’s stop being afraid and take control of our financial futures.
To learn more about Capital Group and its mutual funds visit capitalgroup.com
Photo Credit: courtesy of #BlogHer
Looking for more financial stories or ideas for how to talk about money? Here’s one about whether kids should get an allowance.