Within a swarm of finance books like Rich Dad Poor Dad and How to Get Rich, it’s been difficult to find beginner-friendly finance non-fiction that speaks directly to me. As a 23-year-old woman from a black single-parent household, Black Girl Finance finally made me feel seen.

It is no secret that BAME women are uniquely impacted by both gender and ethnicity pay gaps. Cited by Selina Flavius, Runnymede Trust shows that, “Black African and Bangladeshi households in the U.K. have only 10p of savings and assets for every £1 of white British wealth.” In addition, “Black female graduates are paid on average 9% less than white female graduates.”

Flavius argues that we cannot wait for companies to continue making their slow progress in tackling this. We need to take matters into our own hands and address how we speak about money, how we think about money, and how we manage money. Narrated in a comforting and friendly tone, Black Girl Finance is an extremely accessible guide that offers practical tips and advice like the ’50/30/20′ budgeting technique and the ‘snowball’ method to tackle debt. This book encourages all black women to talk about money, providing us with the tools to do so and achieve our financial goals.

“We need to take matters into our own hands and address how we speak about money, how we think about money, and how we manage money.”

Complete with thought-provoking writing exercises and anecdotes from the author’s own clients, Black Girl Finance consists of 10 chapters. These include:

Chapter 1Money mindset

Chapter 2 Budgeting

Chapter 3Your net worth 

Chapter 4Your credit score

Chapter 5Tackling debt

Chapter 6Financial goals 

Chapter 7Saving

Chapter 8Building an emergency fund

Chapter 9Investing 

Chapter 10Assets

As a master’s graduate about to enter the job market, I read this book at the right time. I went into Black Girl Finance with extremely limited knowledge about money. I only had a cursory awareness of budgeting and saving, though I did this haphazardly rather than strategically. Like Flavius—who shares my St. Lucian background—I grew up in a household where money was not spoken about. I was only told to avoid credit cards due to the potential insurmountable debt that can result from the overuse of these. This teaching instilled in me a fear of debt. I learned that debt that is shameful and should be avoided at all costs. That is why the ‘Money mindset’ and the ‘Your credit score’ chapters resonated with me the most. Both pushed me to face my fears, learn what credit really is, and the healthy ways in which it can be used to better my financial situation. 

Before reading Black Girl Finance, I also had a very limited knowledge of how investing works. I had always imagined investing to be inaccessible and reserved for wealthier people. This chapter challenged my preconception: I am now aware of the importance of investing in allowing us to stretch our money further. While I learned a great deal from that chapter—including the definitions of compounding and fractional shares—I felt that the explanation of index funds needed to be expanded on.

“As a 23-year-old woman from a black single-parent household, Black Girl Finance finally made me feel seen.”

Reading Black Girl Finance felt like the helping hand I needed. Though not for anyone who already possesses good financial literacy, for beginners, this book is a crucial introduction. Black Girl Finance provided me with the tools necessary to think about and approach money in an entirely different and better way than I had previously.

By Chloe Ablett

CHLOE is an MA Publishing graduate from East London looking to carve out a career in publishing. In her spare time, she is also a book blogger and uses her platform to showcase a range of books by black female authors. You can find her at @thefemmelibrary on Instagram and @chloeablett_ on Twitter.

SELINA FLAVIUS is a London-based Senior Account Executive who created and runs the coaching platform Black Girl Finance. A conversation with a colleague about investing and financial goals prompted Selina to research how women of colour fare when it comes to their money and finances—and, after reading the ethnicity pay gap statistics, was determined to help women start thriving financially. After carrying out a mini-survey about how best women respond to information about finances and doing a web-design course, she put her thoughts into action and launched her website and Instagram account in April 2019 to create a safe space for women to talk all things money. Black Girl Finance is Selina’s first book. You can also find her on Twitter.

Black Girl Finance: Let’s Talk Money offers us the vital tools we need for better financial well-beingBlack Girl Finance: Let's Talk Money by Selina Flavius
Published by Quercus on 21 January 2021
Genres: Debut, Finance, Non-fiction, Self-help, Black British
Pages: 176
Format: Hardcover
Buy on Waterstones
Goodreads
four-half-stars

We don't like getting real about money, do we? We think maths, we think spreadsheets, we think boring. But Selina Flavius, founder of Black Girl Finance, wants to show that there can be another, better way. A way to start making our hard-earned money work even harder for us. Selina Flavius created Black Girl Finance to address the unique difficulties Black women face due to the gender and ethnicity pay gaps. Since we literally can't afford to wait for change, we need to start changing things up for ourselves. From challenging money mindsets to teaching key skills, such as how to set up an emergency fund and where to start with budgeting, investing and saving, Black Girl Finance provides a safe space for a community of unapologetic, ambitious, money-minded women to get real about their finances. Kick-start your financial journey with Black Girl Finance—the first financial guide of its kind. Packed with tips, tricks and tools, as well as statistics, personal stories, goal-setting exercises and straight-talking advice, this will be your go-to helping hand when it comes to making your financial goals a reality.