Illustration sourced from https://www.ellevest.com/magazine/personal-finance/financial-self-care.
If you haven’t thought about what financial wellness or financial self-care is, now is the time to plant the seeds of financial independence and a beautiful abundant life as a young First Nations woman!
Remember, simply existing, thriving, healing and breaking generational curses to become independent will ALWAYS carry more value than any dollar amount ever could. Healing yourself is generational wealth. Generational wealth increases when generational curses are broken, so let’s pass on this knowledge and heal together.
Photo by Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance (WAR Collective), https://www.facebook.com/WARcollective/.
Unfortunately, many of us do not have culturally relevant or culturally safe financial literacy education available to us when we’re growing up. As a young Indigenous woman, I wasn’t taught financial literacy in high school, and unfortunately I didn’t have that knowledge passed onto me from my parents—planning for our financial futures was just never a thing in our family.
As a 2019 report explains, there are significant economic disparities between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, which has resulted from histories of land dispossession, stolen wages and the late entry of Indigenous Australians into free participation in the economy. Indigenous women in particular can experience discrimination in professional environments, as well as barriers to education, training and employment, as a 2020 Australian Human Rights Commission report discusses. These attitudes only obstruct our emancipation from entrenched cycles of economic injustice.
To work towards addressing this gap, I’ve compiled some useful resources just for you!
Things you can do to practise financial self-care:
- Self-Development and Self Help: educate yourself—knowledge is power! There are resources out there that can help you gain job skills and plan your finances, such as Tomorrow Money.
- Financial Literacy Education: You can also participate in programs like My Money Dream that are dedicated to boosting financial literacy for First Nations women.
- Community empowerment: Support networks allow us to empower one another and share advice about gaining financial independence and prosperity. For instance, the First Nations Foundation’s private FB Group is a space where you can share your experiences, connect with other sisters so you can take accountability, and grow your financial capability.
It was through real, lived experiences that I learnt about financial literacy. While working my first job at a young age, living independently and learning to budget, I had many victories and losses. I would definitely do some things differently now, but it is through trying and failing that I learnt what works best for me.
Photo by micheile dot com on Unsplash.
I remember moving into my first apartment and being completely overwhelmed by bills, groceries and utilities, and getting all my furniture for free from a local op shop. Now I own a home and am in the financially secure and privileged position to live an abundant life—and you, my sister, you deserve this too!
Remember that financial wellness refers to your holistic financial health. Considering the economic injustices that we already face as Indigenous people—and especially as Indigenous women—it is vital to bring it back to a holistic approach. True healing comes from within; we have the power to make anything that we desire into our reality, period.
This holistic approach involves considering our mental, spiritual, and physical health:
- Mentally, you want the mindset that you are abundant, capable, and educated to achieve financial wellness.
- Spiritually, you want to feel comfortable and free of money shame. Overall financial contentment empowers us to let go of stresses such as worrying about whether you can pay your bills or if your family is okay.
- Physically, financial freedom gives us the freedom to be able to provide, share and have enough to support yourself and those close to you with nothing stopping you so you can live your dream life.
I have worked in areas such as banking, financial hardship, debt collection, financial capability and financial abuse prevention, which I am passionate about as I have experienced such hardships myself. I am now leading the Indigenous Women’s Financial Wellness Project, which is a role that is dear to my heart, as I want to share this platform and make financial literacy education easily accessible for every single Blak Sister across the country.
Photo from Indigenous Women’s Financial Wellness Project.
I know money shame can sometimes overwhelm us—I’ve been through it. I’ve been through days where I feel sick to my stomach from not knowing what my finances are looking like. However, by showing up every day, learning and being accountable for some of my very own financial losses, I have finally found the confidence in myself to be in control. I promise that after the first step of overcoming money shame, the opportunities are endless!
The next step is acknowledging and letting go of self-limiting beliefs. We have existed for over 60,000 years. We are the oldest continuing culture in the whole entire planet. If you ever feel like you are alone, you are not. You always have your ancestors with you, guiding you, and you have made it through every single day that you didn’t think you could. So thank you for being here—you are worthy and you deserve a beautiful abundant life, and so do your families and your communities. My sister, you are our ancestors’ wildest dreams.
I know you give the world everything. You show up, you give so much love and you take care of everybody around you. Now is the time to put it all back into yourself and make financial wellness and financial self-care a self-development commitment.
It’s 2022 and I am rooting for every single Blak woman building generational wealth, whether that be through business, investing, saving or building the foundations to financial security and economic independence.
Jarowair, Wakka Wakka & Wulli Wulli woman in Meanjin (Brisbane)
Project Lead at First Nations Foundation for the Indigenous Women’s Financial Wellness Project.
Larisha is a Jarowair, Wakka Wakka & Wulli Wulli woman with strong family ties to South East Queensland who grew up on Dharug Country in Western Sydney. Larisha currently works at First Nations Foundation as the project lead for the Indigenous Women’s Financial Wellness Project. Her aim is to redress the economic injustice that First Nations people face and to empower women to achieve financial wellness and economic independence. Larisha also has an extensive background working in banking, health and government (Indigenous Affairs) and the not-for-profit sector (Women’s Health & Women’s Community Legal Service in the Financial Abuse Prevention Unit).