Money is a topic that, historically, women have shied away from. Although I wish it weren’t so, I see many women who leave the finances to their fathers and husbands—but too often that just doesn’t cut it.
To Deal With This Hesitance, It’s Key To Have A Safe, Intimate Environment
In order to deal with money problems like credit card debt or anything else, women need to feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and emotions. My solution for providing women with a safe, intimate environment: Money groups.
Money Groups Are Safe Places To Share Financial Thoughts
A money group consists of a couple of women who get together to meet and discuss—you guessed it—money. In this small, discrete group of friends, they can air out their issues, which helps them understand the problems beneath the surface and overcome their money fears. More important than any particular group activity is the freedom from feeling stupid or judged, and the ability to speak freely.
First Anecdote: How She Conquered Her Real Money Fear
One of my clients had plenty of money, but she was afraid to spend it, even on necessary items: She was driving an old car and really needed a new one, but she was somewhat of a hoarder who was afraid to use her money. She wasn’t sure she would know how to negotiate with the car salesman or how to go about spending that big chunk of money. As a result, she joined a money group, where she was able to open up about her fear of spending. She explored her family history, which clarified why she hung on so tightly to her cash. After opening up, she felt better about buying herself a car, which she sorely needed.
Second Anecdote: How She Gained Control Of Her Spending
Another client desperately needed to work on her spending: She was an emotional buyer who had secret credit card debt that she hid from her husband. There were underlying marital reasons for wracking up this debt, so opening up about them in an intimate group setting helped her understand why she chose to spend.
Even if you don’t feel like you have major “issues” to work on, it’s valuable to have a group to talk to about your money and your feelings about money. More than anything else, the goal is to have a supportive group of friends, family, and peers who will listen to you and truly understand what you’re saying.