How to Have Empowered Conversations Around Money
Why are people more likely to talk about being cheated on, crimes in their family, and their sex lives, than they are to talk about their finances? This “taboo” money conversation, according to Capital Group’s Senior VP of Global Brand, Dee Mc Laughlin, is a “killer at cocktail parties.” A Capital Group survey of over 1,200 American adults found that financial topics, including household earnings, retirement savings, debt and inheritance, are the most “taboo” topics of discussion. So what did #BlogHer do to put this silence to bed? We collaborated with our friends at Capital Group to put money front and center at #BlogHer19 Biz. There’s no hiding from our main stage!
Mc Laughlin had no problem previously discussing her work life over drinks with her friends. Her background in both entertainment and fashion from her positions at MTV and Forever 21 (respectively) opened up a floodgate of conversations when socializing. When she switched jobs and began working at Capital Group, one of the world’s largest investment management firms, Mc Laughlin was met with dead silence from her female confidants when the topic of finances came up. Why? We are brought up believing there are certain topics that should not be broached in mixed company. Religion, politics and money simply do not belong at the dinner table.
But what would happen if we weren’t afraid to talk about our finances? Mc Laughlin let us in on this little savings secret during her #BlogHer19 Biz spotlight talk. “People who envision how they want to live in their retirement years are motivated to save more – up to 31% per paycheck. That’s powerful.” Capital Group’s brand campaign, for example, inspires people to take control of their financial futures by turning “Can I?” into “I can.” The goal is to provide people the confidence to reach those life goals, whether paying off student debt, purchasing that first home, or taking that dream vacation.”
Speaking of parties, there was no shortage of fun financial fundamentals from Capital Group’s incredible panel of inspiring entrepreneurs during our morning programming at #BlogHer19 Biz. Mc Laughlin was joined by TV Personality and New York Times Best-Selling Author Nicole Lapin and creator of BusyWifeBusyLife.com Sherita Rankins for a female focused “money talk” moderated by SHE Media’s Editor in Chief Justine Goodman. These women are REALLY good about talking about money! “We don’t know how to do our taxes, but we know about mitochondria!” Lapin joked.
All jokes aside, our panelists were quick to admit the industry makes it super complicated to “speak finance.” Capital Group is on a mission to take the language of money and make it simpler. These successful businesswomen let us in on a few of their favorite financial freedom tips.
Tip #1: Talk to people. Talk to your friends. Partners. Spouses. Family. A financial advisor. “As a woman and an executive, these conversations about your salary or how much companies are paying you for the content you’re producing are important ones to have,” said McLaughlin. To better negotiate that pay or achieve better outcomes, it is important to break the money taboo and turn money, saving and investing into a more inclusive conversation about how we can all be more secure in our financial lives.
Tip #2: Know your worth. Rankin explained to our #BlogHer19 Biz audience that in the influencer space, when she asks for money and is told “yes” by brands right away, she actually gets upset because she feels like she’s left money on the table. She recommends asking for 25% more than what you think you should be getting. Why? “I know how much I’m worth, I know how much time it takes for me to do something, I know how much energy it takes to put in to it. I know my cost. And that is what it’s important. Being empowered to know this information. Now you can put a value on your time… our time is very valuable… we are worth more than what sometimes we’re actually ask for.”
Tip #3: Sometimes asking for help is the way to start the conversation, because #GOALS have price tags. Lapin encouraged the “I’ll show you mine if you show me yours” method. Next time you’re having brunch with your bestie and you split the bill, ask what kind of interest rate they’re paying on their credit card! You’ll be helping your friend’s piggy bank and your own. . Rankin explained to our #BlogHer19 Biz audience that in the influencer space, when she asks for money and is told “yes” by brands right away, she actually gets upset because she feels like she’s left money on the table. She recommends asking for 25% more than what you think you should be getting. Why? “I know how much I’m worth, I know how much time it takes for me to do something, I know how much energy it takes to put in to it. I know my cost. And that is what it’s important. Being empowered to know this information. Now you can put a value on your time… our time is very valuable… we are worth more than what sometimes we’re actually ask for.”
These conversations really brought to light that women are not having the same conversations as men when it comes to money. Women deserve financial empowerment, transparency, and a boost in salary too! One of the myths busted by Rankin included the crazy idea that there’s not enough money to go around for everyone. “There is plenty of money to go around for all of us. A rising tide lifts all boats.” No one should feel discouraged and not ask their boss for that raise that they deserve!
Since #BlogHer19 Biz was created to help those looking to take their businesses and careers to the next level, Goodman asked our speakers for their best financial advice for entrepreneurs. Their answers included:
“Pay yourself a salary. You can’t go to the supermarket and pay with your equity. You can’t be of service to anyone else, especially your company, if you’re crashing and burning yourself.” – Nicole Lapin
Cash flow struggles are REAL. “Plan for ebbs and flows.” Rankin suggested. “You need to make sure you have enough cash to follow you through every month.”
McLaughlin comforted us with these words: “Time is on your side.” Consistently put small amounts of money aside every month and start to invest. All investors, no matter how wealthy, wish they could have started earlier.
Capital Group’s Senior VP left us with this final note, “With knowledge comes power, with power comes confidence. There’s confidence in feeling financially secure.” And with that, we’re ready to have our money talks and take the steps to become strong, independent, financially secure women.