MONEY TOUCHES EVERY ASPECT OF OUR LIVES – marriage, work, health, relations with family and friends – and we know there’s no precise formula when it comes to how much we want, need, spend and expect. Recently a diverse group of 12 women from all over Los Angeles, including professionals, business owners, homemakers, retirees and creatives, started to gather at Silver Oak for lively conversations about money.
Synergy is what connects us all together at the Silver Oak Women’s Circle. Beyond money, we shared stories that highlighted the many resources we have available to help us thrive, overcome challenges, find joy and influence others. Each woman in attendance learned more about what matters most.
In a safe and comfortable circle, we find our voices and confidence to talk about experiences and choices that have helped us lead our lives and realize the potential for ourselves, our families and those around us.
Critical money and finance questions emerged from our conversations:
- What have I learned about money from female role models in my life?
- What resources have I used to get through a difficult time?
- What information do I owe my children about our financial situation?
- How do my husband and I deal with our differences of money values?
- Our money communication?
- How do I set some boundaries in giving to my family?
- Is there some “story” or belief about money and wealth that keeps me from being as successful as I could be?
- What does a healthy relationship with money look or feel like to me?
- How do I judge my impulsive purchases?
- Why am I hesitant to manage the money I just received?
- Why do I get so uptight about money?
- What money values and lessons do I want to pass down to my children?
- What do we need as women to gain more confidence with money?
Some common themes and issues were prevalent as our conversation brought new realizations to light:
- Major milestones women have achieved over generations to claim more financial freedom and success;
- Tension that can rise between relationships and money;
- Confusion, misunderstanding or worry we had as children when money was a taboo subject at home;
- Learning what we value and to stand up for it;
- Money can be seen as a tool to make our life easier and better;
- Money isn’t everything and once we aren’t truly poor, it isn’t the only answer;
- We have many resources and types of assets (such as human capital and social capital) available beyond money to meet our needs and to help us get through difficult times;
- Our childhood experiences around money still influence us today;
- And we aren’t alone in our feelings and stories about money.
In the women’s circle, we gain strength and empowerment through our conversations and shared stories.
Together we can move toward more financial well-being – both in terms of dollars and our overall quality of life. We can certainly become more intentional, whether it is communicating with children about money or our own behaviors of spending, saving, receiving and giving money. We believe we can have such an influence on our families, communities and beyond, if we gather our financial wisdom and confidence. With purpose, depth and mutual appreciation towards each other, the women’s circle is enriching and reaffirming. It allows us to communicate, ask questions, listen and support one another with compassion in a way that is equal, respectful and genuinely connected.
Many of you have expressed interest in joining these conversations or learning more about the benefits of these gatherings. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll explore this together. Silver Oak is committed to all of our women clients and their families and friends to become more empowered around money. Hope to see you at the next Silver Oak Women’s Circle!
Linda Cao, CFP®, is Wealth Advisor at Silver Oak. She specializes in working with women-in-transition and retirement planning.
More from Linda Cao
- Reluctant to take charge of personal finance? You are not alone. – An overview of the unique challenges and advantages that women have that will effect their ability plan and realize their financial goals. Written by Linda Cao
- Bag Lady Fears: What’s Really Going On Here? There is one persistent mindset about money that is far more common among women than men. It applies to even affluent and high-earning women. That is, the fear of becoming a ‘bag lady.