We have seen the radical growth of anti-immigrant policies from the Trump Administration in recent months. Almost every day, the news comes down with some of the most dehumanizing and disgraceful policies this country has ever seen. But there\’s something radical you can do to fight back: personal finance is a powerful tool to resist.
There is no question immigrants are under attack left and right. It’s not easy to wake up any more, for fear of what’s to come. We all feel thrown off center, rejected, and scared. It’s hard to feel welcomed. And it’s never been easier to feel powerless.
But there are steps you can take right now to resist. There’s something you can be focusing on that will give you stability, influence, and power. Something that almost everyone else ignores. At first glance, it sounds nerdy and boring and not necessarily urgent or relevant to our daily life.
But let us tell you, personal finance – yup, that’s what we’re talking about, believe it or not – is one of the biggest kept secrets of rebellion. Personal finance is a paradigm-shifting, powerful form of resistance.
1.Personal finance is about creating a new, proactive mindset
Investing in your personal finance education leads to results. It expands your money mindset to allow you to envision a life with more abundance, and the tools how to get there.
The skills you learn in personal finance, like budgeting, setting aside an emergency fund, and paying down debt, can change your life. The more you exercise your personal finance lesson muscles, the more you can build a new mindset of wealth and confidence. And that means the more you can grow and evolve.
That’s exactly what this Administration and its supporters fear. They are threatened by equal access to opportunity and equal rights. They don’t want you to imagine all that is possible. But mastering even the most basic personal finance skills can open the door to a life you never imagined.
2. More stability means having room to fight back
Another way personal finance can give you wings is by simply giving you the stability, time, and space to be able to actively resist. This is yet another think that anti-immigrant fearmongerers don’t want you to have. Why else do you think they are jamming up your twitter and news feed?
When you’re living paycheck to paycheck barely getting by or going into spiraling debt, you don’t have time to worry about the bigger picture. When you’re in that situation, you have to focus on survival.
Personal finance is about getting in touch with your money habits and spending. Doing so helps you get in touch with yourself and how you experience and relate to the world.
Leaning in to understanding your relationship with money allows you to ask the hard questions. If you track your spending, for example on a free budgeting site or app like mint, you can then learn about what you’re spending on what. That allows you to ask yourself, am I spending my money on what I value? Do I want to be spending 40% of my salary on eating out at lunch, starbucks, and buying fast food when I’m drunk? Or is there a better way that same money can serve me and my financial goals? You can only change your habits if you know what your habits are.
Once you get a handle on your basic finances, you will have so much more freedom to spend your money on things that matter to you. And with that comes less spending on things that don’t contribute to your life.
Then, you will be able to learn how to live a really good life even while spending less, and live paycheck to paycheck a little less. This gives you the freedom to have a basic level of stability, which will free up your money brain space. It also gives you a profound level of control of your life, that even non-stop fake news can’t compete with. And that, my friends, is profound resistance.
When you can worry less about being able to pay the rent, you have more brain space to focus on other ways to resists. You can educate yourself on the issues happening in the news, help others get woke, engage in the political process, organize your community in a protest, and inspire others to vote.
Although it sounds simple, stability through personal finance is a powerful tool to resist because it allows you to have choices.
3. More money means more influence to advocate for the rights of your community
Unfortunately, we live in a system that often values people based on how much money they have. The wealth of ourselves and our neighbors can determine the tax base of our communities, what kinds of schools our children have, how much our local, state, and national governments value us, and the weight of our vote.
Growing wealth through time-tested personal finance practices gives you the opportunity to have more of a voice. Money can provide the time, resources, and connections to effectively and strategically organize with others to challenge the system and stand up for your community.
Many immigrants have had an impact on lifting up their communities through building access to wealth. Almost half of the Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants or their children. Just look at all these immigrants who have made the world a better place. There are also inspiring immigrants who are helping other immigrants access the financial market and grow wealth. For example, José Quiñonez, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Mission Asset Fund, was named a 2016 Macarthur Fellow, often referred to as a “genius grant” for his work expanding access to financial services and non-predatory credit for Latino immigrants.
By learning about personal finance, you can have a greater influence to challenge the status quo and call for change. You can start a business that lifts up other immigrants, despite the efforts of the current government to bring them down. You can fund non-profit organizations defending immigrants’ rights. And you can develop innovative, creative ways to build a more inclusive, welcoming society where we are all respected and free.
One of the most radical things you can do today is to educate yourself about personal finance. Personal finance lessons and skills provide the keys to a new, proactive money mindset, can offer the needed to stability to organize and fight back, and give you more influence to advocate for your community. Personal finance is a powerful tool of resistance.
If you like what we’re trying to do and want to hear more, we want to hear from you too. Shoot us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and share with us your ideas how we can best fight back together.