Frequently Thought Questions

Who will I have to share my financial information with?

You are only required to share your financial information, like amount of debt, money in the bank, how much you earn, etc., with your financial planner. You are welcome to also share with your cohort, especially if you feel like people will benefit from your experience.

What will I have to share with the group?

We will ask that you share things like the monthly habit you’re working on and the monthly action you’re working on. You can be as vague or specific as you’re comfortable with.

Why are you doing this in a group setting? Isn’t it rude or impolite to talk about money?

Money is the last big taboo and it’s especially a taboo in immigrant communities and communities of Color. We are taught that we shouldn’t talk about money, but where did that come from? Who taught us that? Who actually benefits from us not speaking to each other and not sharing ideas, resources, and solutions? The people who preyed on us in the first place.

Talking about money releases you from feeling like you’re all alone and there’s no way out. You’ll find people who have been through your situation and who can help you out of your situation

We've found that when people start talking about money and start saying financial things out loud for the first time, it actually takes away the shame and embarrassment. Your brain switches into a solution and action oriented mode and you are able to face financial challenges head on with the support of a community.

Why are you focusing on People of Color?

When I started doing Brunch & Budget full time, I noticed that I had to plan differently for my clients of Color vs. my White clients and we were having different conversations about how to implement a financial plan.

One thing I've learned is if you want People of Color to feel comfortable talking about their finances, you have to provide a space to do it and be deliberate about the space being for us. It's why we need affirmative action, diversity programs at workplaces, etc. because diversity won't just happen. People of Color have been told in so many different ways that we don't belong. When it comes to finances, we need to feel like we belong before we can talk about it.

Of course you can go to any financial planner and get great advice, but can you relate to this person? Will they understand what you're going through? Will their advice come with the empathy and understanding of where you're coming from?

As a Person of Color, you are often first generation college graduates, the highest earning members of your family, and the main financial support for your family. You make a decent income, but have had a hard time building wealth because of your financial obligations.

You’ve had to deal with fighting for raises amidst workplace discrimination and smile through micro aggressions. You’ve fantasized about quitting your job, but can’t fathom explaining it to your parents or saving up enough money to do it. You’re more likely to be saddled with student loan debt and less likely to be expecting an inheritance.

 The financial services industry has either ignored you or taken advantage of you and your family. There is a lot we are going to need to process, sort through, and unpack together. By focusing on your needs as a Person of Color, we can all start on some common ground and have a shared understanding of the work that needs to be done.
If I’m White, can I join?

Tentative yes. While I believe that everyone needs financial planning, I also believe that the way financial planning is delivered and implemented needs to be tailored to the needs of the community being served.

If you are White and choose to enter a space created for People of Color, you will need to enter it with a willingness to do more listening than talking. You must be willing to cede to the voices of Color in the space, and be okay with feeling uncomfortable when certain conversations take place or when we discuss our experiences with White privilege, White fragility, and White supremacy.

With that being said, if you are open to joining a space that is not designed for you as a White person, you can learn a lot about how systemic racism works, the types of issues People of Color deal with economically and socially, and how to be an ally. Plus you can get your financial shit together at the same time.

Isn’t this reverse racism?

There is no such thing as reverse racism.

I have tons of debt, is this something I should even be paying for?

Often, financial planners say they feel “guilty” taking money from people when they are in debt. I understand the sentiment, I used to feel that way too. But then I realized that turning away clients who had debt was the equivalent of a doctor saying, “Come back to me when you’ve lost 20 pounds and then I can be your doctor.”

If you haven’t been able to figure out how to get out of debt, what got you into debt, and how to stay out of debt on your own, you may need some guidance and accountability from a financial planning professional on how to get it done.

Actually, what is financial planning?

I’m glad you asked! With comprehensive financial planning, we look at your entire financial picture and create a plan based that addresses every aspect of your financial life. This may mean that we don’t tackle debt first, but instead build up your savings. Or we need to prioritize insurance and legal documents because you’re starting a family. Or we cut back on contributions to your 401k because you want to start saving aggressively to buy a home.

Financial planning is a delicate balance of making sure you are handling your short term priorities, working towards your long term goals, helping you avoid big financial mistakes, and making adjustments along the way as new life changes get thrown into the mix.