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In this episode, we talk about one of the most dangerous pieces of money advice to avoid.

Through weekly video essays, "Making It Work" showcases how *real* people have upgraded their personal or financial lives in some meaningful way. Making your life work for you doesn't mean getting rich just for the sake of it. It means making the most of what you have to build a life you love, both in your present and in your future. And while managing money is a crucial life skill for everyone, there's no one "right way" to go about it — you have to figure out what works best for *you,* full stop.

Based on an article by Dora Bralo:

Video by Grace Lee

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Manifesting money is all about the energy that you bring to the experience, Sarah Prout writes on her blog, Six Secrets to Manifest Money Fast.

The notion of manifesting, especially in regards to money, has gained huge popularity since the beginning of the pandemic. And it's easy to see why.

The idea that you simply have to think good thoughts and money will come to you is what these new law of attraction financial teachers claim. And considering that around an estimated 10 million Americans were said to be unemployed and were claiming unemployment benefits as of February of this year, this way of thinking is both attractive and enticing. But these often unlicensed teachers preaching money manifestation are not only giving out unqualified financial advice, they're being predatory to the point where it almost seems a scammy.

So why exactly is this version of money manifestation problematic? First, the most cited and well-known gurus are usually white wealthy men or women. They also usually fail to acknowledge their privileges and biases while doling out their advice.

Money is not just energy, it's a necessary tool for survival. Poverty and/or depression are not caused by your loss of connection to spirit, despite what Gaby Bernstein claims to be the case in her book, Spirit Junkie. According to self professed money queen Amanda Frances, we can create luxury in our lives by spending our money with love.

Many money manifesting gurus will claim that a scarcity mentality is blocking your abundance of money. This in particular comes across as tone deaf. For instance, it fully ignores the existence of the racial wealth gap and no amount of tapping into an abundance mindset or an attitude of gratitude while paying our bills is going to eradicate the structures that many of these influencers benefit from.

Money manifesting claims that you can create your reality. However, this completely disregards the social, racial, and economic factors that play a huge part in an individual's life and their ability to make money. It is also very much a victim blaming way of thinking.

If you're living below the poverty line, and literally can't pay your bills, don't have access to credit, and have several other factors working against you, how are you possibly supposed to manifest the lucrative entrepreneurial lifestyle these gurus are preaching? The advice to keep your vibration high is not only encouraging people to numb themselves emotionally, but also a perfect example of toxic positivity. An outlook that encourages blind optimism, that ignores reality, and underplays life's many hardships.

To which these gurus only offer a half hearted, "sending love and light," further distancing themselves from the problem. The practice of money manifesting is also very reminiscent of the prosperity gospel. Prosperity gospel preaches that if you're religiously faithful and donate to religious causes, you will be blessed financially.

It is rooted in the Christian evangelical tradition, but has arguably taken a new life as the concept of manifesting. Even when not tied to a specific religion Lastly, I'm disturbed to see multilevel marketing, MLM, praised and suggested as a potential source of income by these influencers. In 2015, Gaby Bernstein wrote a piece in the Huffington post praising multilevel marketing companies as potential profit centers.

She even had doTERRA, on essential oils MLM, as a sponsor for her spirit junkie master class in 2019. A study for the consumer awareness Institute on multilevel marketing companies found that loss rates are extraordinary, over 99% for all of the MLMs. This in itself would not be so bad, except that it is promoted as an income opportunity or even as a business opportunity, a misrepresentation in itself.

What makes it worse is that many of these MLM companies have self-improvement ingrained in their training. So there's a symbiotic relationship between self-help, the law of attraction, and MLMs. If a distributor fails or quits, it's because they didn't have the right mindset for it, Not the structure in place causing it in the first place.

While I'm all for improving your mindset and increasing your finances, we do need to step back and be critical of the content we're consuming and the products were buying. If nothing else, here are a few takeaways and rules of thumb when it comes to money manifesting. Number one, be wary of taking advice from unqualified financial coaches.

Number two, most of the advice cited comes from privileged individuals who fail to acknowledge their own advantages and the bias that comes with said advice. Number three, while the power of manifesting and the law of attraction do have some proven benefits, money itself is not just energy, it is a necessary tool for survival. Number four, a good portion of money manifesting embodies toxic positivity.

Such examples include keep your vibrations high, sending love and light, if you think it, you can make it, and so forth. Number five, a ton of new money manifesting professionals and practices encourage, if not openly praise, multilevel marketing and MLMs. Participating in which can be extremely dangerous financially.

Number six, the practice of money manifesting is very much reminiscent of the prosperity gospel. Number seven, money manifesting often victim blames or victim shames individuals for failing to manifest their ideal funds and lifestyle, while completely ignoring such disadvantages of race, social class, gender, and so on.