I think personal finance influencers are wrong to avoid race in money conversations — here's why

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I've lost track of the number of times I've heard the following phrase from personal finance influencers: "Personal finance is personal." Meaning, there's no place for race or politics in conversations about money.

They're totally correct in stating that a person's experiences, knowledge, and habits affect what they do with their money. But I disagree with the "no race or politics" school of thought and think there is a nuance to this conversation that everyone is missing. 

Your personal financial habits are defined by your access

Ultimately, I think that many influencers who push back on the inclusion of race, politics, and policy in financial conversations may be focusing solely on what individuals are in control of as it relates to their money. 

Things like your savings decisions, spending choices related to your daily life — are you a shopaholic or a penny pincher? — big-ticket purchases and money decisions, such as the car you purchase or the college you decide to attend, and small incidental purchases, such as the avocado toast or daily latte decisions that build up as an expense over time.

If our personal finances were only affected by our personal decisions and free will, then I would 100% agree that there is no place in personal finance to discuss race or politics. But, it's my view that race and politics directly affect many Americans' access to the tools that would allow them to build wealth and create generational financial change. Their access is blocked by bias related to gender and/or race.


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