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In an image-driven world of flashy social media posts and celebrity lifestyle, it's easy to associate financial success with the most luxurious pictures of self-care. An abundance of high-end beauty products and designer home goods are nice, but for most of the world’s population, the idea of self-care is often a lot simpler. For the members of the Black British community who face discrimination because of their gender or sexual orientation, reframing self-care as financial wellbeing is a welcome change for our community of Black women, Black non-binary and Black LGBTQ+ people at My Moon Landing.
Poverty’s pervasive impact on mental health
The stresses caused by poverty can have a detrimental impact on mental health. Worry about the most fundamental needs like shelter and food can put added pressure on individuals who are simply trying to get through the day. The systemic social exclusion and inequality that so often shapes the experiences of the Black community is magnified when finances are limited. Less than 1 in 5 people from Black Caribbean and Black African backgrounds have enough savings to cover one month of living expenses. On top of that, the economic pressures of the Covid-19 pandemic and lack of job security – especially for Black youths in the workforce – can heighten feelings of helplessness and despair, especially when it comes to financial matters.
We’ve sought to demystify finances for the most underserved groups within the Black community through our financial coaching sessions and financial workshops. Through these financial resources, the My Moon Landing community has expressed optimism about growing their finances, even in the face of economic uncertainty and unequal economic outcomes for Black people.
Social pressures versus financial goals
Like the big-spender imagery on social media, young Black people looking for financial advice can be exposed to financial misinformation on digital platforms. Profiles suggesting quick fixes to wealth creation without showing the complete picture can cause feelings of confusion and comparison, which can slow down progress towards improved money management. Through our feedback and conversations with our community, we’re glad that those who have attended our financial sessions have a growing recognition that they are on their path. If they can plan and outline their steps in detail, they are closer to making their financial goals a reality.
Rather than playing the comparison game, our community members have taken the opportunity to take hold of their unique situations and navigate onward to financial growth, however that looks in their context. For some, it might be changing to another job that takes them on that next step, while for others, it could be paying off their credit card or different saving pots. There’s no ‘one-size-fits-all’ process to improving finances, and part of calming worries about comparisons is knowing your financial journey.
Black wealth, Black community and personal prosperity
In a year since the murder of George Floyd, much has been said about building Black wealth. What about building community through financial wellbeing? Movements like Black Pound Day seized on the moment to promote wealth generation within the Black community. These are essential movements and they are prompting necessary discussions, but we also feel that the financial wellbeing of individuals can contribute to the overall abundance and flourishing of their communities. At My Moon Landing, our vision is to see Black women, Black non-binary and Black LGBTQ+ people thrive in their communities and take up space as leaders. We must have representation in all areas of society, from Downing Street, the High Street and your street.
When the most underserved in our community have the tools to manage their finances, it has a knock-on effect on all who surround them and can truly transform their sphere of influence for the better. That’s the change we want to see.
If you are a Black woman, Black non-binary and Black LGBTQ+ interested in our free financial coaching sessions, join here.
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