Money is one of those subjects most people prefer not to talk about it. Money, like sex, politics and religions falls into the list of taboo subjects. Even though it impacts us, let's just pretend it doesn't, okay? NO! It's not okay. Money isn't the most important thing but it impacts everything that is important. Money determines where you live, what (or if) you feed you family and whether you have life insurance and health insurance. That's just the basics. Money determines if your kids can take lessons to develop their gifts in art or music. Money determines whether you can afford to drive them to the lessons or not. Money determines if you can go on vacation. Money determines if you can afford to retire. The truth is the money matters a lot.
Research says the media net worth of the Black women ages 36-49 is $5.00. Yes, you read the right. FIVE DOLLARS. Reading that along with the other disturbing stats about the state of Black women's wealth motivated me to do something. It's the reason I started "Black Women Build Wealth." The goal of Black Women Build Wealth is create a revolution by transforming our mindset about money because changing our minds is the first step to changing our money.
Here are a few mindsets, we as Black women must develop to properly deal with our money:
- We have the POWER - too often we under estimate our power to learn about wealth and use that knowledge to transform our money. We have accepted the false narrative that money and wealth building are too complex. It's simply not true. While the language and strategies of money may be unfamiliar, that's because we haven't made studying it a priority, However, we are smart, capable and able to learn what we need to know to put ourselves in the best financial situation. The power is ours for the taking!
- We have the right to BUILD wealth for OURSELVES - we are so good at taking care of everyone else. We can move mountains and part the Red Sea to get the money to help our kids, family or friends. We will make it happen. But...when it comes to us...we find a million excuses. We allow others to guilt us into to giving up our savings. We are constantly rescuing others to the detriment of ourselves. My sister, if no one else has told you, let me be the first - YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO BUILD WEALTH FOR YOU! You don't have to give it al away. You don't owe anyone your financial security - ANYONE.
- We DESERVE wealth - this is a big one! I meet so many Black women who believe that they have to put themselves last on the list. Are you one of those? If I look through your bank statements would I see how you've helped everyone but didn't add to your savings or invest in the book or class that would help you handle your money better? Often when I'm coaching my clients, the issue of worthiness comes up. Do I really deserve this? Is it really okay to say "No" to others to say "Yes" to what's best for me? Yes, you deserve it. Yes, it's okay to say, "No" to them and "Yes" to yourself.
I believe understanding when we understand our power, rights and worthiness we will will shift how we handle our money. There are already many valuable resources out there about money. We can read books, take classes and work with professionals. However, until we decide that we have to the power and right to create wealth and that we deserve it, we will continue to repeat the cycles that allow poverty and struggle to keep their grip in our lives.
I challenge you to get comfortable thinking and talking about money. Make it point to read articles and books. Make it a point to save and have insurance. Make it a point to learn about investing. Most of all make it point to remember that money matters because it impacts everything that matters to YOU!