Last week, thanks to Prudential, I had the opportunity to attend the Texas Conference for Women for the very first time. And, ahem… *clears throat to maximize tone of voice* it was incredible. I am not going add any exclamation marks for excitement. Instead, I’ll repeat it for the people in the back, it was incredible. Yes, yes and yes.
I have heard of this conference for several years now, but had never been able to attend in the past – even though the Texas Conference for Women has made its way through Houston before. It’s one of those events that everyone who has been to it talks about forever and tells you that you are missing out if you haven’t been. Kind of like when people tell you about Game of Thrones. By the way, I’ve yet to watch a single episode of this television show, but I promise it’s on my cue.
The Texas Conference for Women is one of “those” conferences that I can still tell you a week later after the event that I still feel the same energy that I felt when I was there in person at the Austin Convention Center. It was that powerful.
There’s so much more that I want to say and that I will be sharing in future blog posts. For now, let me just share a little bit about what the conversation was like about the subject of money. Something as women we all know too well, even though we’re not always very comfortable talking about it with each other. That was a big takeaway for me – especially from the financial conversations Prudential facilitated for many of us to have with one another.
We should all be talking about money openly. Here are just three reasons why:
Reason number one: money talk isn’t just for the rich.
I’ve held this misconception for a very long time myself: that money gains and real money issues were only meant to be discussed by those who had an abundance of money at their disposal. How wrong was I to think such a thing? So wrong. Basically, if you live on planet earth and make money, talking about money should be a part of the conversation more often than not. The sooner you start taking about it, the better. Not for the sake of just talking about money, but because once you start expressing your financial needs and wants you can start making better sense of them – and plan. At the very least, start talking about your budget.
Reason number two: having hard conversations now reduces anxiety over money talk later.
Practice makes perfect. Having financial conversations with family can be very uncomfortable. Yes, but the more you do it the more natural it will become. We all have budgets to balance and bills to pay, so keep that in mind. This is real life and if we don’t address small issues when they arise they can easily turn into major problems that can feel like they are dominating our lives. The last thing you want is to have a small tiff about money issues come between you and your family. Most of the time you will find the people you are talking to will completely understand where you are coming from. If they don’t, that’s okay too, but at least you are being open and honest with them.
Reason number three: financial conversations are about more than money. They are about habits, goals and the future.
What are your goals? Are you planning on returning to school to pursue your graduate degree? What are your spending habits? Do you sometimes tell yourself that spending that extra $100 at Target is okay only to remember later that you could have used it for something else? What about travel? Do you want to travel more than once a year? All of these questions have answers that require planning, and yes, even more talk about money. But that’s a good thing, because you will start to recognize your behavior patterns when it comes to money and you can also start thinking about what if any changes you should start planning to make. Whatever you do, be specific and realistic with yourself. For example, traveling internationally in the next three months might not be possible with your current income, but maybe planning a domestic trip is and you can start working towards that goal today. Only you can make those decisions once you really start to understand your finances.
These conversations are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to all we talked about and heard conversations about at the Texas Conference for Women. I’m telling you, if you have a chance to attend this event definitely jump on it.
Let’s continue the conversation over at CraftyThrifter.com where I’ll be telling you all about the stellar speakers we heard from at the Texas Conference for Women this year.