Why do we believe what we do about money? And when is it appropriate – or important – to revise those beliefs?
That was the topic when Perigon hosted its first Women’s Conversation Circle this month. We’ve created these circles to give women a safe place to come together and discuss thoughts and feelings around money.
For the inaugural Perigon event, hosted by advisors Mary Ballin, Rachel Elson and Andrea Hamilton, we discussed our “money stories” – the narratives and beliefs that shape our way of dealing with finances. How was the topic of money treated in our families when we were in our homes growing up? Was it discussed or was it a taboo topic? As we became adults, did we keep the lessons that we were taught, or did we change the narratives? And finally, what lessons would we want to leave with our friends and family to help shape their future?
What we found:
Despite a wide range of ages and backgrounds, our various stories were more alike than different. Many of us said that money was not a topic of discussion when we were growing up – if not exactly taboo, then not a topic of conversation. Some knew only that the family had “enough,” even if we didn’t know what “enough” meant. A couple of us got a clear message that we needed to be responsible and able to manage on our own. Some remembered being teenagers, wanting to buy designer clothes and brands, and being told by our parents that certain items were too frivolous – or simply being told “no,” or to “buy it yourself.”
We heard messages of empowerment and the importance of asking for what you want and are worth. Some learned that lesson earlier than others. We agreed that money was a tool that could provide freedom and choice, but that it shouldn’t define us. We agreed that there is always room to be better with our money and resources.
The conversation was rich and enjoyable, and we welcome other women to join us. Our next circle will be on June 10 and will cover topics related to aging alone.
If interested, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.