In her most recent interview on the podcast Bad With Money, host Gaby Dunn talked to Vicki Robin about her book Your Money Or Your Life and the ways that Robin’s 1970s-inspired attitudes towards money are still relevant today. One thing in particular that stood out to me was what Robin had to say about community. She talked about how little has changed over the decades when it comes to the financial benefits of having folx around to share resources with.
This is something I am only learning now, in my 30s, and only because leaning on community became a necessity. Up until the beginning of last year, financial independence was my biggest source of pride. I went to great lengths to avoid asking for any kind of help, financial or otherwise. I assumed that everyone around me harboured the same stresses about money so I did what I had to do to avoid burdening them further.
It wasn’t until I moved back to my hometown to focus on creating financial wellbeing in my life that I realized just how wrong my assumptions were. While the people around me were all navigating their complex relationships with money, sharing resources with their community was not just possible but was also a source of joy. Instead of the judgement I thought I’d be met with, folx enthusiastically offered a helping hand.
Now, almost a year and a half later, I accept support from the people in my circles without hesitation. More often than not, there’s very little to do with money in those exchanges, even though the financial benefits can be sizeable. Things like sharing meals, sharing ideas, and sharing professional contacts. I have also borrowed money at times but even that isn’t as stressful as it used to be.
After over a decade of avoiding having to rely on community support, I am now accepting all the help I can get. It’s allowing me to build out my professional practice in ways I couldn’t do on my own. Being a part of my community’s resource-sharing network is also allowing me to show up more fully for other folx. I’m no longer caught up in the urgency of my own survival. I am able to give back and be generous. Which has become a new and welcome source of pride for me.
So, how does community affect your financial wellbeing?