The Intersection of Politics, Privilege and Personal Finance / by Jennifer Chan

 

The main objective of this blog is to share tips and strategies that I have found helpful in managing my money as a twenty-something who is gainfully employed. However, this alone is a position of privilege, and something I wish to address.


Privilege

During the day, I work at a legal aid clinic that assists low-income workers who have been fired for asserting their health & safety rights at work. I also help some workers who have been injured at work and were denied benefits for various reasons. Often, I speak with workers who are employed by temp. agencies, students in placements and workers in various blue-collar jobs at small businesses. The very workers I assist and advocate alongside would not be able to relate to 99% of my posts. Many of them aren’t thinking about buying new cars, contributing to their kid’s RESP, or retiring holding a pina colada under a palm tree. Many of them are just trying to survive the next month.  I think many personal finance bloggers take their privilege for granted.

 

Politics

While the personal finance community has helped me so much with respect to motivating me while I’m repaying my student loans, helping me create a realistic budget, avoiding a scarcity mindset etc., I find that some of the personal finance community shies away from allowing politics to infiltrate their writings, simply because it’s not “on brand.”

Yes, you don’t need to talk about President Trump or Prime Minister Trudeau when you’re writing about the benefits of index funds over mutual funds, but your views on some issues will inevitably seep into your writing eventually. I don’t feel that is something you should shy away from.  Maybe I am just naïve because I’m a new blogger, but being “on brand” doesn’t necessarily mean being an apolitical robot.

Unless you are strictly ranting about a random politician that has nothing to do with money management, I don’t understand why you need to intentionally hide an important piece of your identity. Being into personal finance and having political views are not mutually exclusive.

It’s not rocket science that women get the short end of the stick when it comes to sexism in the workplace, moving up the corporate ladder and getting equal pay for equal work. It’s also not rocket science that women of colour get the smallest portion of the end of the stick, with many working in precarious employment that offers zero health benefits, zero RRSP-matching plans or even a living wage. You may not want to talk about it, but you can’t deny that.

I am a feminist. And for the purposes of this blog, that shouldn’t matter. I’m still good with my money. You don’t need to be a feminist to read my blog. You don’t have to agree with me on my political views. I frankly don’t care who you vote for because my tips about budgeting, how to invest and save for retirement, span all political leanings.

Keepin' It Real

My intention with this blog is that I can offer some money tips that help a diverse range of women, including those who earn minimum wage. If we want to be real with ourselves, we have to admit that earning an annual salary of $40,000+ is a luxury. Not having to worry about affording rent is a luxury. Not having to worry about whether you'll run out of money for food is a luxury. Yes, it's important to know that you need to start saving for retirement as early as possible, but for some, there's way more immediate issues than that. I don't see a lot of personal finance bloggers writing for some of these women.

And if you are someone who dislikes that I am progressive and refuse to read my blog solely because of that, that’s fine. There are so many other personal finance blogs out there.

If you do want to receive killer money management tips and don’t care about my political leanings, then read on. I’ve got some great content coming up. My blog isn’t meant to be political, but, again, I’m not going to intentionally bury my values for the sake of readership.

And with that being said, I’m excited to see how this blog progresses. I appreciate you taking the time to read this. See you soon!