4 Money Lessons from HBO’s Insecure Anyone Can Use – Finance Friday

money lessons, finance fridays, hbo insecure, issa rae, issa dee, molly carter

Season 3 of HBO’s Insecure returns August 12th so I decided to rewatch all the foolishness that was season 2. While the season had more side-eye worthy moments than I could possibly write about, I did enjoy the ongoing money lessons that were dropped.  If you happen to watch but missed them due to all the messiness the characters have, I’m here 4 money lesson from Insecure anyone can use.

Know Your Worth and Demand It

In season 2 of Insecure, Molly discovered her firm has been paying a white male associate significantly more than her. (We are going to overlook the paper checks and other mess-ups to make the launch the storylines.) But it started a good conversation. Across the board, black women in American make 34% less than white men and 21% less than white women. Do your research. Make sure your salary and benefits align with the industry standard before accepting a job.

If you’re like Molly and find out later on down the line, you can play long ball and position yourself to ask for the raise/pay increase you deserve. Take that research you did and add yourself into the equation. Reflect on those small or big work wins and compile them. If that doesn’t sound appealing, you also have the option of entering the job market again. With offers from other companies, you can ask your current company to counter or take the new position which is what Molly did by the end of the season. You don’t have to be stuck earning less due to racism and/or sexism.

Invest in Your Health

From Kelli focusing on her physical health to Molly finally making her mental health a priority, there was an emphasis investing in yourself. With Kelli, it was mentions of running a 10K and using a Fitbit to preparing for the race and Molly started scheduling regular sessions with her therapist it highlights there are big and small steps to take when it comes to investing in your health. Things like tackling your mental health can be costly, but some therapists offer income-based session rates.

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If you aren’t rolling in dough because you’re one of the ones who are underpaid, there are still affordable ways to invest in your health. Buy a kettlebell, yoga mat, and some runners and watch Youtube videos to help you establish a routine. Shawn of It’s Shawn Fitness & Wellness has some excellent resources. If you do have more disposal income perhaps you can look into a pass for fitness classes if you require more of a structured setting or getting a personal trainer who will whip you into shape. Living your best life means making financial decisions that will benefit you long term and choosing to invest in your health is one way to do that.

Live Within Your Means

I know this seems logical and a very common sense statement, but both of those things seem to be missing in society. Throughout season 2 we saw Issa struggle to stay in her apartment post-breakup as the neighbourhood became gentrified and the cost of living rose.  During all of this, she still wanted to go out with her friends and travel. As the season progressed, we saw Issa come to the realisation she couldn’t do everything she wanted to. That meant no trip to Morocco with her best friend, giving up the option to live alone, turning down nights out at the club, selling items to have extra money, and living with a family member to save up.

Hopefully, you don’t have to make such drastic decisions, but it is a good reminder to at a look at your financial situation. Could you possibly move to a cheaper place or get a roommate to help you save. When Issa got into a car accident she didn’t have the savings to get it fixed and had to rely on public transportation, friends, and ridesharing to get around LA. Had she been living within her means or tried to find a cheaper place with a roommate, she potentially could have had an emergency fund. Ask yourself: Are you paying for a cable package but only watch shows once or twice a month? Do you really need to live downtown? Is that weekend trip to Miami worth it? Is it necessary to get a bottle of wine each time I go to the grocery store? It may not seem like much, but those dollars add up and could be funding other aspects of your life. Adulting means making the hard decisions.

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Learn to Discuss Finances with Friends

One thing I loved about season 2 was the ongoing discussion about finances. Even when it was clear characters were uncomfortable or upset they still happened. From Kelli telling Issa she was being delusional for thinking she could afford to live alone, to the crew still extending invitations to Issa even after she mentioned her financial woes.  When you’re in a financial rut or even on a financial uptick, good friends will be there to support you. They will hold you accountable when you need to hear those hard truths, they won’t take offense to you not being able to attend certain events, they will remember you have agency to decide what you can or can’t do, they will help you strategise your next career move if that’s what you need to do.

The important part is to use your words. I know not talking about money is the American thing to do, but we need to cut that out. The whole world doesn’t need to know your business, but those that matter should. You’re an adult. If people don’t know your situation they can’t be there to help you. Molly received tips on dealing with being underpaid. When it was time to move, the crew was there to help Issa pack. Molly and Issa had a Morocco night as Molly’s place to still have a mini staycation and have a break from reality. No matter where you are on your financial journey, having a community is important. That is the message Insecure harkened back to during the season.

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If you’re a fan of Insecure, are there any money lessons you gained from season 2? Are you looking forward to watching season 3? What shows have taught you valuable money lessons over the years? Drop me a line below

Until Next Time,

Aitza B