Getting my financial house in order is one of the top three things I’m working on in 2022. You’d think as a 56, almost 57 year old woman I’d have my financial house 100% in order. Turns out, as I’ve mentioned, I never learned how to manage my money. There have been many repercussions for that hole in my knowledge. I have a Master’s Degree, which included a few classes in understanding school finance. That said, never in high school, college or graduate school did I ever learn about managing my own finances.
Thankfully I’ve discovered Prepare+Prosper and the Money Mentor program. I am appreciative of being able to meet every month with my Money Mentor, Youa Lee. Youa talks with me about my finances in a way that doesn’t bring up shame and embarrassment for my lack of knowledge and expertise. As you know, I love setting goals with action steps every month, so I don’t have trouble creating finance goals and action steps. My struggle is in making sure I follow through in this arena. I get overwhelmed, embarrassed and ashamed about my financial knowledge and giving up and ignoring my goals feels easier. Meeting every month with Youa keeps me focused on the follow through.
Youa is younger than me and she’s recommended a few different financial podcasts, as often younger generations are more podcast savvy. I checked a few of them out and I stumbled across Tori Dunlap, the founder of the podcast Financial Feminist, available on Spotify, Apple and on her website. The name of this podcast grabbed my attention. I started listening.
Tori says this on her website:
I watched female friends get paid less than they were worth. I read stories about women being denied career opportunities because they were seen as “less.” Male colleagues said sexist, negative comments to me at work. I learned that women hold the majority of debt in America, and that they invest less of their money than men, yet live for seven years longer. So I knew that I had to fight back.
The very act of a woman getting her financial shit together is feminist.
That made me smile and throw up my arms in enthusiasm.
It also got me excited to listen to what Tori had to say. I started with Episode 1: What is financial feminism? I like starting at the beginning. This episode is 12 minutes long and I appreciate that Tori is willing to talk about what she’s all about.
She started her podcast because her work on Tik Tok and Instagram made her realize that wasn’t enough time to share her knowledge. In this episode she describes how women getting our financial life together is an act of knocking down the patriarchy. YES.
I then went on to listen to three more episodes. I walk Sam twice a day and I’ve been listening to Tori nearly every walk. A few of them I’ve listened to two or three times, because Tori asks us, the listeners, to take notes and really consider what she’s advising me and us to do.
I have money in retirement accounts, but I didn’t really get it that this money is invested. I know very little about investing. I for sure took in the messages that many women of my generation got. “Let the men take care of it.” “It’s much too complicated, don’t worry about investing.” And so forth. I’m slowly changing that internal narrative. I won’t have 80+ years of time to reap the rewards of investing, as did Warren Buffet, but heck, it’s at least 10+ years until I plan to retire and compound interest will work in my favor for those 10+ years.
The majority of our money relationship was formed by age seven. Tori has us journal through our first financial memory and work through the stories we tell ourselves about our finances. I’ve been working on this in my therapy sessions for the past few years. Slowly I’m making progress. I’m smart and I can apply my brains to my financial wellness. That is a new, and very empowering message.
This episode is outstanding! Tori encourages and explains how to set a Money Date with yourself or if you have a partner, do it with that person. The idea is to go on a date with your money. She also makes excellent suggestions about what to actually do at this self-care Money Date. Since I meet with my Money Mentor once a month, I schedule a one hour session in advance of my Money Mentor meeting. Turns out I can count this as a Money Date. I love double dipping!
Money Date Activities
Step 1: Review accounts
What I do every month is review all my accounts. I very rarely use my credit cards, nonetheless I take a few minutes and make sure any and all charges on them are charges I made. I review my debit card charges, taking a look at how money came in and out. I also analyze my spending app, where I record every penny I spend every month. I then put everything in my spreadsheet, which allows me to see how I’m doing with saving, paying down the debt I have, and staying within my budget that month.
Step 2: Review my goals and action steps
The next thing I do on my Money Date is review my monthly goals and the action steps I took that month. Then I set new goals and make action steps for the coming month. One of the things I’m working on is having a solid and deep understanding of my retirement accounts. For the first time in my life, I’ve met a few times with the financial planner who comes with the retirement accounts I have at my University of Minnesota job. Additionally, I’ve attended a number of free webinars about financial wellness and retirement. I figure learning and repetition will help me gain confidence and knowledge. So far it is working.
Step 3: Celebrate my accomplishments
The last thing I do is celebrate the accomplishments and progress I’ve made. Often the celebration is as simple as playing a song I love, smiling and telling myself that the effort I’m making is paying off. Taking a few minutes to celebrate the progress I’m making is helping me re-frame my relationship with money and finances. It’s rather exciting to notice how much my feelings and my relationship with money has changed in the past six months. The bit of celebration is an important part of this new relationship.
There you have it. I hope you take a look at Tori Dunlap’s podcast. If you do, let me know what you think. If you know of any additional financial podcasts that you recommend, please drop me a note here in the comments. I’m looking forward to Season 2 of Tori’s Financial Feminist podcast.
If you know any younger women, please share Financial Feminist with them. I wish we had podcasts when I was in my twenties and had a Financial Feminist podcast to guide me way back then. Thankfully we have them now and we can make progress now. If you’re older than in your 20’s, go ahead and have a listen. I’ve suggested that my friends listen to it and at least one of them has started it and she too loves it. I tell you, it’s worth the time to have a listen.
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