In a recent IG poll, we asked those of you in the Ellevest community if you feel comfortable talking about money with your friends, and 53% of you shared a *full menu* of reasons holding you back. One of the biggies we heard from you was, "I'm worried about making my friends feel bad if we talk about our salaries when we're not earning the same income."
We hear you. If divulging your salary makes you uneasy, it’s OK to start with something else. We’re big on taking small steps that add up. And talking about money with other women+, especially our friends who know us best, helps us all do better.
Here are five ways you can kick-start the money convo with your group chat that are meant to feel totally doable.
1. Celebrate their new candle, those fancy sheets, that gold foil mani …
Women are often told that we’re bad with money. But even if we know that systemic issues are what keep us from closing the wealth gap, and not our new sneakers, our friends may still feel guilty about spending on everyday luxuries they work hard to buy.
Here’s an easy way to combat that: Celebrate your “joy budget” purchases together. Or start a convo about what you budget for that makes you happy. Maybe a dinner out (like the one where you bought the table-side guac without remorse) is a gateway to comparing and contrasting budgeting strategies, too.
2. Ask for relationship advice — but the money kind
How to split expenses with your partner is one of the most common questions we get at Ellevest. So why not learn from your friends' experiences? Do they split proportionally or 50/50? Did one way work better than the other for them and if so, how?
By sharing tips on personal finance strategies, we can help each other through big life moments where lived wisdom might be the most valuable resource of all.
3. Be your friends’ career superpower
Fun fact: 85% of jobs are built through networking and referrals. And yet, the idea of networking can make us cringe.
Your friends are the tightest networking circle you have. And even if they don’t work in the same field, they’ll likely have connections outside their industry (and those connections have connections). Once you tap into that, just imagine the ripple effect. If you have a friend who’s job searching or you’re currently looking too, ask yourself who you might be able to introduce them to and vice versa. Keep your eyes peeled for dream job opportunities that are perfect for your friends or offer to be a second set of eyes on their resume.
4. Share your favorite money resources
Podcasts, book recs, and IG accounts (we know a good one) that cover money topics are an easy way to say, “Hey, I found this interesting — maybe you will, too. Want to discuss it over coffee?” Just sharing your favorite money content helps normalize money convos, too.
5. Let someone else do the talking. You bring the cheese board!
Learning about money and personal finance topics together can actually be like a whole night out (but like, in). And if you think your friends are open to talking about salary, we have a great script that can help take the pressure off trying to say all the right things — and a Q&A on approaching salary transparency with your friends.
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