On a surprisingly warm New York City winter night in 2020, Peach and I were exiting a recording studio when he said, “I think it’s important to make sure people know we don’t always reach a clean, easy solution to our money disagreements.”
The two of us had just completed a rare media interview together. Over the course of my then- seven years being “Broke Millennial,” Peach— my pseudonym for my husband— had been a character in my work. He had the authority to decide if and how he wanted his image and information shared, but he usually wasn’t the one being interviewed.
We’d been asked to do an interview for a podcast about the experience of getting a prenuptial agreement— a highly taboo subject that almost always elicits an immediate reaction from people. (You probably just had one yourself.)
Before the interview, we’d had several conversations about our own boundaries and what we were and weren’t comfortable letting the world know. I share a lot with you in my books and on social media, but, perhaps surprisingly, there are morsels I keep for myself.
Because we’d gone into the interview knowing where we drew the line— and we were more than a year removed from our prenup process— it had started to come off like we’d just flawlessly navigated the experience with nary a speed bump. That was, of course, not the case.
We had disagreements that sometimes escalated to fights with hurt feelings. We learned things about each other and our relationships to money, possessions, and perceived ownership and entitlement. We still have one reoccurring debate that has yet to be settled. (Don’t worry, we’re going to talk a lot more about prenups in part 4!)
Even though Peach and I don’t always see eye to eye on finances, we do one thing a lot: talk.
Talking about money is critical.
Why I Wanted To Write This Book
A few years ago, I noticed a trend in what people were asking me to speak about at events and in the media. They really wanted to learn how to talk about money. Okay, no one phrased it that way. They’d ask specific questions about awkward interactions that were seemingly only made uncomfortable because of money. For example, getting a Venmo request from a friend asking you to split the cost of the wine she purchased for the movie night she invited you to. Or how to travel with friends when everyone is on a different budget. Or whether you should help pay off your boyfriend’s student loans. Or whether you really need to [you can fill in the blank with anything about wedding season here].
This got me thinking about the fact that there really wasn’t a definitive guide out there on how to navigate these conversations. There was a smattering of information here and there in other books, but none of them offered scripts and stories and advice on how to actually talk about money.
It took a long time to figure out how to explain this book to people (honestly, I’m still trying to be more succinct). When you say, “It’s a book about relationships and money,” people immediately translate that to romantic relationships.
So I pivoted to saying, “It’s a book about how to talk about money with all the important people in your life.” The response? Blank stares.
Then I tried: “It’s a book that helps you talk about money at work, with family, with friends, and with your romantic partner.”
“Oh, I need that book!” was the general response.