Why You Should Talk to Friends About Money

By: Keith Wagstaff · April 11, 2024 · Reading Time: 3 minutes

Don’t Be Shy

Elaine Welteroth’s advice for building personal wealth is simple: “Talk about money.”

“So many of us were so discouraged from talking about money,” Welteroth said on SoFi’s YouTube series Richer Lives to talk with Brian Walsh, SoFi’s Head of Advice and Planning, and financial literacy advocate Vivian Tu, aka Your Rich BFF.

“Pay transparency, even among your peers, is so powerful. It puts you in a more empowered position when you are negotiating, knowing what other people make for similar work.”

At 29, Welteroth took the helm at Teen Vogue, becoming the youngest editor-in-chief in Condé Nast’s history. Later, she was a regular on Project Runway and The Talk. Needless to say, she may know a thing or two about getting to where you want to be. Her latest book is More Than Enough: Claiming Space for Who You Are (No Matter What They Say).

Set Yourself Up For Success

Doing your research is a vital part of negotiating a salary. The less shy people are talking about money, Welteroth said, the less likely they are to get a “bum deal.”

“You need to go into any negotiation with what I call your ceiling and your floor,” she said. That includes “the top of the pay range that you’re aiming for and then the very bottom that you won’t go below. I think that helps you stand strong and a little bit firmer.”

When asked about her definition of “rich,” Welteroth said it was about having a “mindset of abundance,” and “moving through the world with a sense of freedom, and liberation, and agency.” Essentially, “it’s about living on your own terms.”

Walsh suggested that financial planners can help clients feel that way. If people can “secure a financial foundation, with enough cash and no credit card debt, things like that,” he said, they’ll have the flexibility and independence to make career decisions based on “what you want to do, not what you have to do.”

Making it, however, comes with “the responsibility that […] is making sure that you are using it to create more equity in the world,” said Welteroth. “What are you doing to make the world a better place with those resources that you have?”

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