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Chelsea answers your questions about women and money to support TFD's holiday drive #AHappierHoliday. This year, TFD is matching up to $10,000 in donations for the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

Share your donation with TFD on Instagram, or use the hashtag #AHappierHoliday on social media. Each use of the hashtag counts as a two dollar donation. Learn more and join in here:

Watch more of The Financial Diet hosted by Chelsea Fagan here:

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It's Chelsea from The Financial Diet. And I want to talk to you really quickly about our amazing, exciting, incredible, influential, iconic, unbeatable studio at TFD, AKA our events department.

Right now, they're all digital, although hopefully soon, they'll be coming back to a live space near you. But every month, the studio at TFD produces several amazing interactive live events. And we have all of our events and more at

Hey guys, and happy soon to be holidays. Me and my favorite, talk about money shirt, and my little tiny, baby, truffle, queen, angel, child, baby, Mona are here for a very, very special Q&A. Some of you guys who follow TFD on social media, and you should, may be aware that we are in the midst of a week long fundraiser, campaign, drive, to drive awareness and specifically, raise money, which TFD is matching, to support the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

Although things like domestic violence may not be the most sort of warm and fuzzy holiday topic, I think it's the most important time of the year to be aware that, for many people, more time spent at home with family, which right now, we've all been in a year that has been full of, doesn't automatically mean a happier time. Being with family can mean abuse. It can mean financial manipulation.

It can mean gaslighting. It can mean being in physical or sexual danger. And at The Financial Diet, we are incredibly interested in finding ways to help lift as many women as possible into a place where they can be in control of their own financial and personal destinies.

And anyone who is stuck in any kind of an abusive domestic situation simply does not have that freedom. Financial independence is a key tool for any woman. And part of the reason why we encourage all women to have their own separate emergency funds, even if they're married, is because you never know when you may need to rely on a private bank account that both parties don't have access to.

The hashtag for our holiday fundraiser is a #ahappierholiday. And uses of those hashtag will count as a donation to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, which TFD will be matching in dollars. You can also choose to donate some of your actual money, which TFD will also be matching, and join us here or on Instagram for any of our awesome little mini fundraisers, drives, live streams, et cetera.

So in support of this drive, I wanted to do a Q&A session that is just about the ladies. All questions to do with feminism, women's issues, women and money, et cetera. So I threw it out to you guys on Twitter and we also shared it on our TFD Instagram.

So let's get right into your questions about women. And do not forget to help us support an amazing cause and take care of the women who need it most this holiday season, with our hashtag, #ahappierholiday. The first question is, tips for forming meaningful female friendships as an adult that do not revolve around work, especially for a person who doesn't drink.

So bars, wine and design, et cetera, are out. So I will say that the way in which I have always approached making friends as an adult, especially when I moved, first to France, and didn't know many people, and then moved to New York and didn't know many people, has always been sort of taking it as seriously as I would a new job. Or, if we want to take it to the personal level, a new relationship.

I think the thing that a lot of people have a hard time with, when it comes to making friends as an adult, is that just like a date, the first few interactions with the person are going to feel pretty awkward. It's going to be kind of stilted. You're not going to really know where their limits are.

And obviously, for those people who do drink something like a glass of wine, similarly to on a date, can help sort of smooth that over. But for what it's worth, I don't actually think that going out for drinks is a necessary default to making these friendships, especially during COVID, when basically no one's doing that, anyway. I think the point is that you have to get a little bit more proactive about how you meet people.

That can be things like organizations, meet up groups, mastermind sessions, friends of friends, getting pretty proactive about how you're actually sourcing these people. And there are actually platonic dating sites for meeting friends. But then, actually being proactive about the process of becoming their friend.

So that means like, setting dates, like you would with an actual date. It means following up with them, making sure to keep in contact with them, having follow up dates. Basically taking it as seriously as you would someone that you were interested in being in a relationship with.

Because I think we often tend to forget, because so many of our friendships get formed in our youth when we don't really pick the people we're around and we don't have to go out of our way to be around them, that making friendships is a very difficult process. And it takes a lot of prolonged contact and you have to sort of develop a shared language and a history and all these things that do not happen organically, if you don't actually take the time to make them happen and set up the conditions for them to happen. Which, as an adult, is kind of difficult to do unless you try.

So being the sort of crazy person I am, I would actually set up sort of a goal sheet with regards to making an adult friend. How many people are you sourcing to meet up with? How many first friend dates are you going out on?

How many second friend dates are you getting? Start to try and seed out your opportunities and cultivate them individually so that you optimize your chances for success. So Savannah asks, what are the impacts of a young woman's salary at the start of her career?

A recruiter undervalued me and I know I'm underpaid, so now I fear that this will follow me. I assume that you would say to not disclose my salary to future employers, and I wouldn't. But if you could talk about the pay gap out of college, I'd love to hear it.

The recruiter was also a young female. So yes, part of my advice to that would be to not disclose salary because I don't think it would be, obviously, in your favor to do so. And you don't have to.

But beyond that, I think it's important to remember that a lot of people lie in their salary negotiations. Men are statistically shown to do so, much, much more than women. So not saying you necessarily need to lie, but like, hiring and negotiating your salary is a game of cat and mouse.

Aim high. Pretend you've earned more than you have. There's no reason not to go for the moon because ultimately, they can't find out what you made, legally, at your old job.

They can't call your boss and be like, what was this person paid? That's illegal. And if you're filling out an application online, you can fill in the market rate for a job to put yourself more on par with where you should have been.

I think, ultimately, the thing that's most insidious about having been undervalued earlier in your career, which, party of one, is that you tend to perceive yourself in that way as you move throughout your career, even though you should have never been at that rate in the first place. When I left my old media job, I had capped out at $42,000 a year, after starting just a little over $35,000. And for a long time, that was sort of my norm.

That was my sense of what I deserved. Now of course, anyone that works for TFD is not being paid anything like that, because I recognize it's just not an ethical or competitive way to pay people in the space. But it was something I had to actively unlearn.

And although your recruiter out of college did undervalue you and the fact that she was also a woman is a big bummer, it's important to remember that many people are undervalued, regardless of gender. But that those who tend to move ahead are the people who really understand the nuances of the salary negotiation game. And again, I hate to harp on it, but statistically, men are much more comfortable with playing that game by its own rules.

Because trust me, your future employers, they'll be playing cat and mouse with you. They'll have a range that they could pay you. They'll have an idea of what you might be worth.

And they're going to do what they can to get you to go low so you've got to go high. We have Riley, who's asking, I guess this is a sort of ladies question. What is your favorite cheap wine, mid-range wine, and splurge wine?

I'm going out myself, even though I am someone who is in possession of a wine refrigerator. I do not have a specific wine that I love to go to in terms of the price point. I feel like I just sort of go based on what I'm going to be eating or if I find a really great deal and I want to stock up and keep something for a long time.

But to be fair, most of the wine that I drink is not very expensive. I'm not like, opening a special bottle every night or anything like that. I would say, in terms of wine, one thing that I always try to do when I'm getting my sort of, whatever wine, like wine that I'll have-- I might have a glass of it, then I'll maybe cook with it a little bit if I need to.

Because I'm living alone, I'm not going through that much wine. I like to get wine from lesser known producers, lesser known regions within a specific country. Countries that tend to be less expensive, overall.

A lot of South American wines are truly amazing. Spanish wines tend to be a bit undervalued. You know, Australian wines.

A lot of these wines can be very interesting. But because they don't have the name reputation of like a France or an Italy, they can easily be overlooked. And I will say, my husband is actually from a wine producing family in France.

So I would say, I'm pretty familiar, through him, with a lot of the French wine producing nuances, have done a fair amount of tastings in France. And one thing that will never steer you wrong is to get a wine from a specific region. Like, let's say, you want to get a beautiful pinot noir from Burgundy, which is, they're a big to do over there.

You want to go with a lesser known producer who's not like a big flashy name, but you can look up on the cellar tracker, any of those websites, to see that the actual quality of the stuff is great. Similarly, everyone wants champagne from the Champagne region, even though five minutes down the road, just outside of that border, you have wine that is just equally good, a great blanc de blanc, that you're not going to have to pay that Champagne price for. I mean, there's a reason it's called Champagne prices.

So I think when it comes to wine, aside from the obvious things about avoiding the Two Buck Chuck that's going to give you a raging headache and not spending an insane amount on the stuff that you don't even really understand or enjoy, you want to look for the things that are undervalued and underrated, but provide you exactly what you're looking for, in terms of the body and the profile of that wine. Go with the underdogs. So Ray says, as someone who is male, single, and childless-- well, you're canceled, first of all.

How apparent is it that companies will prefer someone like me instead of a woman with way more qualifications? Have you experienced something like this yourself? So I haven't actually had a ton of experience in the professional world that isn't with my own company where we are all female, so that's just not even a question.

But I will say, the thing that did strike me the most in terms of the dynamics of the workplace when I was working with a lot of males was not necessarily that the hiring process was so biased, because you obviously don't have a ton of insight into that process. You're not there, so you don't know what's going on behind the scenes. But it was very noticeable that often, especially as you rose up the ladder, that you really are the only woman in a lot of these rooms.

You're the only woman in a lot of these conversations. So you have that feeling of everything you say being a reflection of like, women in general, rather than just your own point of view. And when you speak it's noticeable because the woman is speaking, so you are perceived to be speaking more.

And there are plenty of studies that show that men find that when women speak an equal amount to men, they think the women are speaking more. And I'm sure the same dynamic plays out for people of color, for LGBT people, for anyone who is underrepresented in the workplace. And ultimately, I think that the combination of that factor, the fact that you're often outnumbered in any of these power dynamics, but also the fact that much of the networking and socialization tends to be very male centered.

It's mostly men on these social activities. They're often going out and drinking, which is often kind of unpleasant for the women on the team. These factors sort of collude to make it so that women have a hard time rising up the ladder internally.

And that's even before they have children and are often punished by their workplace for becoming mothers, where fathers are actually statistically demonstrated to earn more over their lifetime for becoming dads. So I'm sure that there has been hiring discrimination in my past or not being weighted the same that a man with lesser qualifications might be, but I think often, the most insidious elements of it happen once you're already in the workplace. What are your thoughts on how to address the impact of unemployment due to the pandemic, which is disproportionately impacting immigrant women?

So obviously, at its core, this is a policy question, right? Like, this is a question of how we're going to address these inequalities, that on an individual level, making modifications in our behavior simply isn't going to solve. I think one of the most interesting things about this pandemic is how early on we learned that just because people are able to do things like go shop, go to restaurants, et cetera, if a virus is spreading uncontrolled, people are not going to do that in the same way that they did pre-pandemic.

So it just goes to show that no matter how much we're preparing ourselves and optimizing ourselves for what might happen, a lot of times, things happen that is just totally out of our control. And we shouldn't be pressuring ourselves to find individual solutions to these problems. But one thing that I will say, though, aside from putting immense pressure on your elected officials, who deserve to suffer for how much they've let people suffer themselves, is that if you are in a position to help others, if you are in a position to participate in mutual aid groups, or to help personally support someone in your immediate circles who might be struggling, or in any way help and contribute to the problems that you see around you.

If you can afford to do that on a community oriented level, on a small level, or even doing something like the drive, participating in the drive that we're doing, with this domestic violence coalition, which again, that sort of thing really shoots up in bad economic times and around the holidays, do it. I think it's time to stop wringing our hands if we have privilege and if we have stability and if we've kept our jobs and we have our finances together. It's time to stop wringing our hands about how overwhelming everything is and start actually doing something.

If you have financial stability, there are immense things that you can do in your individual life right now to help the people around you and to help your community. And although obviously, at the macro level, the solution to these problems are going to be, first and foremost, policy oriented, now is the time to stop talking and start helping. The next question is how to approach sexist dress codes in the workplace.

For example, required pantyhose, yes, I'm serious. And closed toed shoes, shoes under 3 inches, and a clearly listed hair and make-up policy that says properly done up, are all things that I've seen in the last six years. So unfortunately, like with many things in this world, we are in a constant state of negotiation between what we know or feel to be right and want to do for our sense of internal principles, and what is expedient for us.

Violating your company's dress codes, especially early on in your tenure with that company, is likely to hurt you substantially and to not really help the situation. And I think that is often one of the most difficult things to navigate because ultimately, how does any of this change without people changing it? But I do think that it is one of the areas where, at minimum, you would be better off organizing with some of your fellow employees to see how you can navigate pushing back against that together, rather than just trying to strike it out on your own.

Because I do think, unfortunately, that is just one of the areas where the balance between doing what is right and doing what you must to get along is probably going to be a little bit out of kilter. What are some things that you find good about girl boss or lean in feminism? Nothing.

No. I think that, like any social movement, things have to come in stages, right? It is rare that you will get a social movement that comes out of the ether in a fully formed most realized way.

I mean obviously, when we look at, for example, the struggles of the LGBT community to become accepted, to become part of mainstream life, you will see, and this repeats across many, many different social movements, there is an initial movement that prizes or prioritizes the most already acceptable of that subgroup. So in the case of LGBT people, you have cis white gay men who become faces and primary benefactors of this type of movement. And then often, there is a sort of another wave of these movements that will say, well hey, well that's not truly liberation because we're just now adding a few of our social upper crust into mainstream society.

But we're not helping all of the people who fit into our umbrella. We're not helping people in poverty. We're not helping the people, arguably, who need it most.

And you start to have a reckoning with a very, very narrow definition of a social movement. Women's movements are no different. Women's movements are a unique social movement because we are the majority of the population.

So it is very, very difficult for us to organize along traditional lines that other oppressed groups might organize along. That being said though, women as we've seen with feminism, even just in the past 50 years, we've gone through many different waves. We look back at second wave feminism that was very trans exclusionary, that was often very militantly against certain choices that women might make, and you say, well hey, OK, clearly we weren't firing on all cylinders then.

And then you get different iterations as you go. And lean in and girl boss feminism is just one iteration of that worldview, which is that women should be equal to men. I think the feminism-- I think the girl boss/lean in read on that was that women should be more like men.

They should emulate men in the workplace. They should talk louder. They should be more aggressive.

They should advocate for themselves in a cutthroat capitalist way to earn more money, get a corner office. And I think we've learned pretty quickly that ultimately, the success of a few women by those very narrow metrics doesn't do a whole hell of a lot for the rest of the women in society, or even at those individual companies where the women are rising to the top. Like, Sheryl Sandberg was on the board of Facebook, and Facebook is like, literally destroying democracy.

So I don't know if that was a girl boss win. Got to check the score on that one. Point being, ultimately, we have to take each of these social movements and iterations of a social cause with some grain of salt and with some empathy to the time in which it existed.

You know, it's easy, again going back to the LGBT case, to look at something like at a Will and Grace and be like, wow, that's so retrograde in a lot of ways. But when you consider how revolutionary a show like that was in its time, you start to get a more nuanced appreciation for it. Similarly, when a lot of this girl boss stuff was happening, the lean in stuff was happening, even in the under a decade span of time that has passed, we did not have nearly as much of a nuanced understanding of what feminism really meant, of what women's goals should be, of how to truly make a more equitable society.

And I think, hopefully, in the next predominant iteration of women's social justice movements, we will come away with that knowledge. That just getting a few of us to the very tippy top and emulating men in the process, not a long term solution. So hopefully, the next generation will be better and maybe in 20 or so years, we'll look back at all the girl boss crap and be like, that was sweet.

What a moment for us. So our last question comes from an anonymous reader who has a question along the topic of our holiday drive. And she asks, what actually constitutes financial abuse?

I think my friend's boyfriend is way too controlling about her relationship with money, but I'm not sure that it qualifies as abusive. So one of the most difficult things about financial manipulation, coercion, abuse, et cetera, similar to verbal and emotional, is that it is very, very difficult to help someone. There are very, very few structural resources out there that specifically address these issues.

When someone is in the position of being physically at risk, when they're being hit, when they're being threatened physically, when they're being violated sexually, when things are happening to them that cross over into the realm of criminal activity, there are more steps in place. There are more things you can do. There are also, I think for most people, support networks, a much more clear cut sort of line in the sand.

That being said, for things like emotional abuse, for things like gaslighting, for things like manipulation and coercion, and for things like being extremely controlling about finances, there are many functional relationships where one person has total control over all of the finances and both parties are happy with it. I wouldn't advise living that way. But many people do.

So on its face, unless someone is embezzling money from someone, unless they're stealing, unless they're lying to them, misrepresenting themselves, doing something that would cause concern on a criminal or civil suit basis, there's not a ton that you can do. That being said, you are this person's friend. So if you do feel that you are watching a situation that you feel crosses over the line into abusive behavior, you need to take that up with your friend in a way that she will likely be responsive to.

So there are a few key strategies here. And I myself am, I wouldn't say actively, but in a situation that has similar undertones to what you're talking. I'm being intentionally vague here.

And I feel, at this point, that I have reached the limit with that person as to what I can do as a friend. If that person does not also feel that they are in an abusive situation, because ultimately, as a friend, all you can control is yourself. So what I would encourage you to do is to note a few of the specific behaviors that you feel might cross the line into abusive.

Obviously, without the specific behaviors, I couldn't add my speculation to whether or not they are, but I do have a feeling that if you're writing about this, they probably already have crossed that line. Write down the specific behaviors. Be very precise in your language, with both yourself and eventually, this other person.

And then find a very neutral, approachable, non-confrontational time and place to speak with your friend and you can be very kind and loving and come from the place that you likely are, which is that I really care about you. I want you to be happy. And these things that I've noticed make me worry about you, make me worry about your ability to be happy in this relationship, about your safety in this relationship, about your long term security.

Whatever the words might be. Always framing it from a place of love, a place of compassion. And just letting it be known to her that you are always there to help her in any way she might need.

I think it's even better if you can give a few specific ways in which you could help her. To say, hey, if you ever need somewhere to stay for a few weeks, don't even have to ask. Just come by.

Mi casa, su casa, et cetera. You could also offer specific financial help if you sense that might be an issue. You can offer to help her with her financial literacy, if she might be needing to borrow to bolster some of that in order to help protect herself.

Give her specific ways in which you are available to her and make her understand that you are a place without judgment, that you are here to support her, that you can be a safe space. In my particular situation, those conversations have been had and it's just not being well received. Because I don't think, ultimately, that this person agrees that they are in a situation that is causing concern.

And you have to be aware, that may happen. And if it does, ultimately, you have to be interested in protecting yourself. You have to draw clear boundaries, perhaps with this, because you don't feel comfortable participating in this relationship in any way.

Maybe you don't feel comfortable talking about it or being around this person, this significant other. Whatever the boundaries are for you, I would recommend, whether now or, at minimum, later, if these things continue to develop, speaking to a therapist, just for yourself, to see how you can best navigate the situation and how you can protect yourself. Because one of the most difficult things is seeing a friend in a terrible situation from which they are not willing or able to extricate themselves.

It's not dissimilar from something like watching a friend who's suffering from an addiction. So all I will say is, take care of yourself. Put your own gas mask on.

It's not a gas mask. Apply your own mask before helping those around you and take care of yourselves. And if you would like to join us in our, in my opinion, great cause with the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, please participate with the hashtag #ahappierholiday.

Or donate, chip in, join the conversation and be a part of this amazing drive to help women who may be in a terrible situation this holiday season have a slightly happier one. As always, guys, take care of yourselves. And I will see you next week.

So do not forget, in the meantime, to hit the subscribe and join button and to come back every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday for new and awesome videos. Ciao.