(recent read) Money, A Memoir: Women, Emotions, and Cash

Money, A Memoir : Women, Emotions, and Cash by Liz Perle

Even with (Especially with?) my name, I have a very hard time talk about money. I have a very hard time asking to be paid (properly) for my services. I am known to give an incredible range of discounts for my work. I have no idea if I’m underpaid or not. I think I am, but have no idea by how much. I know men who bill over double what I do, and require a minimum. I have some clients where I can’t comprehend (given their lifestyles) that they require any discounts, and because I would rather some than none, I take whatever they give me. I have some clients, unfortunately not enough, who pay me a minimum and think nothing of it.

I picked up this book (in galley form) at strand a week ago. I saw it all over Barnes and Noble later that week. Its green cover taunted me and Thursday I tucked it in my bag, a nice small book as I wandered around the city enjoying amazing weather (where did it go?).

Why am I recommending this quick read to everyone? While I’m much younger than Ms Perle, I do recognize already I have a difficult time seperating me from money. It’s caused some pretty big family fights (both as a child and with my husband). I am upset that advertising agencies have done so well with me and I want to buy buy buy (thankfully, not as much as my mother). I contribute to my 401k, but have no idea if it’s enough. I don’t think it is, but I think I have to make more so it can go into said account. When I married I gained the ability to help with stocks. I’m absolutely clueless (marrying into a family of economists hasn’t helped.. I feel overwhelmed and stupid)

This book just made me feel better that I’m not the only one who has a really hard time talking about money nor that I was the only one raised not to talk about it or ask for it — but appear as if I had more than I did (labels are *very* important to my mom. Shh, don’t tell her that the gorgeous sweater I bought her for the holidays came from Target. She’ll be very upset — I was sad they didn’t have my size, Target has some very nice clothing). In Jr High and High school, I babysat and was told “how good I was with kids”. well, d’uh, my mom taught nursery school, I helped her develop her lesson plans, I knew how to keep kids entertained. even though I only raised my hourly rate $1 (to $3.50) the 5 years I babysat. Even though I cleaned up way more child-body-liquids (both ends) than I should have. Even though I ended up helping some of the older ones with their music lessons or homework. I knew boys who mowed lawns or caddied .. they were called “entrepreneurial” (and made a lot more money than I did).

The best part of this book is she has a list of great books in the back that she had mentioned in passing in the book. I wish everyone included a bibliography. Now I’ve expanded my reading list way too much…

Overall, I don’t really think what she wrote will change me and money any time soon, but it did assist in opening a dialogue (and a friendly thought out one) with my husband about it. And for the 97¢ I paid for the galley, that makes it all worth it.