Financial Feminist has been sitting on my shelf since January, when I picked it up at the book tour. I read along as Tori Dunlap read this excerpt that had me near tears:
“The single mom who works two jobs but can't seem to make ends meet doesn't need to work harder—she needs financial/societal support and systemic change.”
No sentence I’ve ever read has made me feel more seen. In 2016, when I was recently divorced in one of the most expensive cities in the country—where I could only/barely afford a one-bedroom apartment for me and my kid—I took a college adjunct teaching job on top of my day job to try to get ahead. It's me, hi, I'm the single mom being told to work harder who needs systemic change, it's me.
Why then has it taken me so long to actually read the book? Well, for the same reason I haven't written any blog posts since March: that's when I started engaging with San Francisco's Department of Child Support Services to request updated child support. In fact, I spent today waiting for my case's turn in court, then listening to the commissioner and lawyers debate what salary the court could impute for me. Minimum wage, tech money, or something in the middle? It was brutal, and it's not even over. We have another court date for January, a full year after the job change that led to the request for recalculation. And there's absolutely no promise that the outcome will be worth it.
Talk about systems that need change.
So it wasn't until another member at Mothership Hackermoms organized an online book group to work through the exercises together that I finally downloaded the audiobook and started listening during my commute.
At the first meeting we shared memories from early childhood relating to money, and reflected on the imprints they made on us. It was so powerful putting those experiences from before I could write into words for the first time, and hearing everyone else process theirs. I loved it.
So I have a question for you: would you join an online book group about women & money? I own so many books that I can see benefit to discussing in community, like Women Talk Money, Opting Out?, The Pink Tax, and more. I obviously do not have the bandwidth to lead this now, but I just want to put a feeler out and gauge interest... it's something I could foresee creating in collaboration with Hackermoms or a favorite bookstore in the new year. If this idea excites you, reply and let me know!