Whether you were raised by someone who totally left you in the dark in regard to handling money or by someone who put the fear of God in you for spending a single dollar, it’s time to break the stigma of talking about money.

Money affects every aspect of our lives, even if we wish it didn’t, so learning how to discuss money can be crucial to living the life you want. 

It’s no secret that a wage gap exists among men and women.

In 2018, full-time, year-round working women in the United States earned 81% of what their male counterparts earned, according to the most recent data from the Census Bureau.

This gap is largely explained by measurable factors such as educational attainment, occupational segregation and work experience. 

Other factors that are difficult to measure, including gender discrimination, may also contribute to the ongoing wage discrepancy, according to an article from the Pew Research Center.

While these systematic issues take time and consistent effort to fix, there are few ways we can make the move towards total equality.

For starters, releasing the proposition that money is a taboo subject can bring about a world of possibilities.

When women begin to discuss how much money they are making, where they’re spending it and how they are saving it, they open up a conversation about how much they should be making, spending and saving in comparison to other women and men.

For example, if you are new to the world being an online digital creator, you might be questioning how much you should charge brands for your work.

Unfortunately, most contracts forbid publicly discussing exact numbers, but conversing with your colleagues about what they typically charge for a similar type of work can give you an idea of what to ask for.

The same should go for any field of work because, at the end of the day, you are providing a service to your company and expect to be compensated fairly.

By simply discussing the management of money (i.e. spending and saving), women could see vast improvements in individual debt.

Before I moved out on my own, I was always fascinated with the idea of becoming an adult and buying whatever I wanted. 

I was excited about being independent and buying all kinds of things for myself.

I remember shortly after starting my first “real” full-time job, I asked my boss, “How do people afford houses and children and cars, when I can barely afford to eat and pay rent this month?”

She replied, “Everyone’s in debt.”

While that may seem like nothing new to some, I’d been privileged enough to grow up in a home where money was talked about, rationalized, and we were always okay.

If I hadn’t had that upbringing, I could have easily ended up drowning in debt, trying to be what I deemed as “normal.”

My best advice would be to discuss money management with your coworkers, friends, mentors, etc. and analyze their practices to find ways that work best for your individual needs.

Overall, discussing money is the best way to manage money.

Even a conversation with your friends about how they spend their money can give you ideas on how to spend your own.

While systematically women are put at a disadvantage in the workplace, that doesn’t mean we can’t take accountability in ensuring our personal finances are the best they can be.