There are struggles just as much as they’re successes in any relationship – be it with significant others, family, friends, co-workers, or business partners. One of the greatest orators of all time, Frederick Douglas said it best, “without struggle, there is no progress.”
According to Webster-Merriam, the term struggle means “to make strenuous or violent efforts in the face of difficulties.” And now more than ever, it is time to choose violence and fight for the freedom we long for in spite of the lack of financial literacy growing up.
Let me be clear, our beliefs are not a monolith; however, just because we don’t think and behave the same, does not erase the fact we don’t share a collective struggle. A recent survey reported that Black wealth can reach zero by 2053. That may seem like a long time to a short term minded individual, but it’s only 32 years away. That is not an individual issue; it’s a communal issue.
So, how can we move the goalposts as a community to build an intentional relationship with money?
“Without struggle, there is no progress.”
Read the quote above again and replace the word struggle with the following words: Communication. Goals. Teamwork. We as a people understand what the lack of those things feels like; now it’s time to make conscious decisions that’ll be conducive to communal progress.
Here are three approaches you can implement to build a newfound relationship with money.
Start talking about money, not around it.
“Do you have McDonald’s Money?”
“Cut those lights off if you’re not using it.”
“When you pay bills, then you can have a say.”
We’ve all heard those comments at some phase in our lives or we may have been the ones to say them.Building upon any relationship requires direct communication about the issues at hand, especially when it comes to money. Rather than deflect and dodge the real and honest money conversations, we should consistently discuss our financial goals, spending plan and opportunities for growth with our significant other, family, and close friends.
Create goals disconnected from the ‘gram.
Social media can consume our daily lives; more specifically, the content that keeps us coming back. We tend to be more concerned with what our favorite influencers and celebrities are doing more than what we can do. We hashtag goals under more posts than we write down on post-it notes for ourselves. I am a huge advocate of households making a section in the home dedicated to their goals. You can call this your “goals wall,” where you demonstrate your personal and/or family goals, breaking them down annually, monthly, and weekly.
Focus on collaboration over competition.
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
We live in a culture where most people see the value of being an all-star before seeing the value of being a team player. Building wealth is indeed a team sport. If you reside with your significant other, the focus shouldn’t be who makes the most but rather how well you can maximize the households’ income while minimizing the expenses. One way to optimize your households is by living on one income and investing the rest.
We cannot afford to compete in our communities when the real wealth resides in working together to reach our collective vision: financial freedom.