Welcome to another week of the Women’s Personal Finance Wednesdays roundup. I started this series after months of debate because I wasn’t certain I wanted to up the ante and commit to publishing three posts a week. However, now that I’ve started sharing these posts, I’m so glad I started.

There are so many fabulous women writing about personal finance online, and yet there is still a perception that women aren’t good with money, don’t care about money, or don’t understand it on a granular level beyond perhaps knowing how to coupon and score a good shopping deal. These roundups are my way of doing a small part to change that perception. There are no shortage of women online doing their part to make it clear that they DO understand money, and these posts are meant to amplify that fact.

The hardest part of this post every week always is narrowing it down to my favorites, because there is just so much good content out there. If you’re ever interested in what else I’m reading, I share quite a few other posts on Twitter (and that’s also where I read most of the content to begin with these days).

Our Women’s Personal Finance Facebook group also has a sharing thread on Fridays, and that’s the place to read all the blog posts written by members over the previous week. If you’re looking for more articles written by women, that’s a great place to continue reading (plus we have plenty of great discussions on finances the rest of the week as well!).

If you don’t have the time or inclination to go searching down myriad posts, though, I will be continuing this series every week to showcase some of the best of the new content I read. If you ever read a post you thing I absolutely need to consider for this roundup, please let me know! I am always open to reading new blogs (and posts of blogs I do know, because I miss some).

Women’s Personal Finance Wednesdays – Week 37

1. That One Time When My Students Thought Everyone Got Food Stamps Money Smart Latina

This is a jarring post. Period. Unless you’ve experienced something similar yourself, it’s easy to rationalize that simply creating personal finance education will make all the difference in terms of financial literacy rates. But when you’re working from a completely different place – one where everyone you know receives food stamps, where no one is financially secure – the conversation looks very different.

Too often the discussion is about trying harder and doing better, but we have to realize that we are not working from an equal playing field. The first time I had any kind of experience with food stamps was in college, because they are available to students who receive need based financial aid, so I saw second hand how much of a difference they can make. The students in Athena’s class, on the other hand, had not ever experienced someone NOT using food stamps, until she gave her example. The starting line is not the same.

Do I have any real answers or insights here in particular? No, but this story has certainly been bouncing around in my head since I first read it, so thank you Athena for sharing it with all of us. We need to hear more of these kinds of stories.

2. The Time Will Pass Anyway Millionaire On The Prairie

The thing that struck me about this post in particular is the positive nature of how this advice is given. After reading this one, I’m not sure how you aren’t inspired to go find something to set your sights on. And if you don’t have anything in particular that you’re focused on, she gives you a reason to move forward with savings anyway.

This is the advice I particularly could have used early on in my career, especially after I’d paid off my student loans. It’s easy to get bogged down in the day to day and distracted by the here and now. While there won’t always be an urgent new financial goal ahead, getting into the habit of saving regularly is a big deal for once a goal looms on the horizon and when you have more money to put away.

3. Lessons From Eating On $2 A Day: Live Below The Line Challenge Frugality and Freedom

I have such conflicted feelings when it comes to poverty type challenges. So often, it can be dismissive of the hardships that exist when this is your life and not a week long experiment. That said, I feel that Michelle did a very thoughtful analysis of her experience from this challenge, and I think the replication of it annual must have some cumulative effects as well.

Poverty, and the need to live on so little, is clearly much more all encompassing than simply how much you have to spend on food, but we can all use some more empathy in our lives and a better understand of how hard it is to live with so little money. And then, like Michelle, hopefully we can reset some of our thinking around food and abundance as well.

I hope you enjoy the posts this week as much as I did. I read a ton of content and it was hard to narrow down my favorites. I’m looking forward to sharing some new ones with you again next week!

As always, if you’re looking for a categorized list of self identified women writing and speaking about personal finance, here is my comprehensive guide to the Women of the Financial Independence Community.

9 thoughts on “Women’s Personal Finance Wednesdays: Week 37 Roundup

  1. i wrote about my “poverty on paper” about a year ago. i was technically poor in my early 20’s for a couple of years, but that stat doesn’t nearly tell the mindset story. i had a fallback of support if i needed it (i didn’t in the end) and always a feeling it was temporary…and i was never hungry.

    so far as time passing i’ve been ruminating on that one too. i got bored enough to turn our finances from weakness to strength. then, with that in place i got bored enough to get myself fit. it really only works if you’ve set up your life with not too many obligations on your plate. it was almost like: i’ve got all this free time that i might as well do something constructive.

    1. Poverty on paper is so so different than someone who doesn’t have the safety net to fall back on.

  2. I heard recently that my hometown schools have 90% of the students on Free/Reduced lunch. It’s a rural area in Indiana that often experiences 2x the unemployment rate of the state, but that’s so jarring! These old rustbelt factory towns with no foreseeable way out of their current malaize and suffering from brain drain of nearly everyone who could help turn things around. The only upside is LCOL. It’s quite sad

    1. 90%… it’s so hard to fathom that so many parts of the country are like this.

  3. In 2015 A cookbook was published, “Good and Cheap” Eat Well on $4/day. Leanne Browne. She used $4 figure as it was roughly the equivalent of SNAP/Food stamps. It’s free on her website. Her kickstarter campaign also helped her get the book into the hands of those that could use it. It’s now free (and in Spanish) here. https://www.leannebrown.com/ Her main point is that with a little bit of skill, you can stretch…the grocery budget.

  4. Thank you for sharing these posts!! Thank you also for acknowledging that it can be easier to work on reducing your food budget when you are not under financial or other pressure to do so because of your circumstances. Thought I might add that people with dietary restrictions also face challenges with food spending being expensive. Many inexpensive food staples do not work for those living with food allergies. You can’t eat ramen noodles, peanut butter or some other inexpensive food staples if you have food allergies and can’t eat soy or nuts, etc. There are many circumstances that can make it tricky to keep food shopping and spending low and food consumption healthy and safe.

    1. I’m glad you enjoy them! And yeah. The grocery budget is such a wildcard with so much nuance. Doesn’t mean we shouldn’t all work on it, but it’s definitely not a black and white kind of thing.

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