Yellow flower

This Valentine’s Day, go on a Money Date

With your friends, lover(s), or random strangers

“I want to say that this is probably the scariest thing I’ve ever done…Being honest [about money] with a bunch of strangers is weird, but cool at the same time.”

Carlie, a full time nonprofit employee with 4 side hustles, shared this realization during a recent Community Session. Carlie joined seeking social support and advice for how to tackle her debt while maintaining her savings. After being vulnerable and laying out her financial landscape she realized, through the support of a financial advisor and the community, that she would save thousands by paying off her debt. Her mom, “has been saying this” but it was too hard to imagine parting with her hard earned savings to really consider it until now. 

Carlie shocked us all by admitting to working 4 side hustles in addition to her full time job. After a member of the community shared a personal story about the value of time with loved ones, she realized it may be worth balancing the hustle so she has more time with a dearly loved family member. We didn’t just talk about money, but the tradeoffs that money, time, and family present.  

Having an open and honest conversation about our finances can be tough. For many of us, we were brought up to believe talking about money is taboo. Do you have two to three people you can talk to about money?

Social Support & Your Wellness

Talking about money with others is a form of social support. Social support plays a key role in your health and wellness. Social support looks like those two to three people you can comfortably talk with about money. This can take many forms such as a family member, friend, neighbor, mentor, or community member.

Social support is critical because it enhances our resilience to stress. Studies show the negative effects of financial hardship can actually be reduced by increasing social support and the benefits of social support cross generations and socioeconomic status. In fact when we don’t share and communicate our situation with others we run the risk of falling into financial isolation and our troubles compound. Social support is shown to better equip us to handle issues when they arise and we make more confident decisions.

Building Your Squad

So you’re ready to take the next step and start sharing and receiving social support, but you don’t exactly have people you can comfortably talk with about money. Thankfully, The Beans has done the research for you. Here are a few options to help you build your support squad.

Join an Existing Network

The Beans Community Sessions is an example of an existing network just for this purpose. Community Sessions are offered monthly for Beans premium members and each session is co- hosted by a financial planner and behavioral researcher along with other Beans members seeking and offering social support. Community Sessions are virtual, other virtual options include Reddit, Instagram, and Facebook,  but there are also local in-person networks you can join including those within your church or community.

As you build your squad remember social support is just as much about giving as it is about receiving. Keep the lines of communication open and reach out even if you don’t have a financial challenge weighing on you. You will grow and learn together while normalizing money talk.