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Comedian Cal Wilson and journalist Santilla Chingaipe are joining forces as co-hosts of new Victorian Women’s Trust podcast Money Power Freedom, created with the support of Bank Australia. Launching on all good podcast platforms 21 Nov 2019, Money Power Freedom is a six part series decoding money and power, and what it means for our freedom.
Cal and Santilla talk honestly about money with feminists leaders of all kinds such as media personality Jamila Rizvi; writer and unionist Van Badham; community advocate and restaurateur Hana Assafiri; surfing legend Layne Beachley; drag persona Karen From Finance, and many more. The series also covers financial tips from experts and first person stories that illustrate the Australian political context and social barriers yet to be overcome. Our team spoke to Cal and Santilla about their experience of making the podcast and what money really means to them.
VWT: When you think of women and money, what comes to mind?
Santilla: “When I think about women and money, I think about power. I think about all the opportunities that women can be afforded if they have access to money, and not just wealth, but also access to employment and how that can have a flow-on effect to their families and their children. I feel like if women are empowered in that way, then they are much more powerful as beings, and that’s a wonderful thing. So, for me, women and money equals power.”
What does economic security mean to you?
Cal: “It means I’ve got somewhere to live. I’ve got enough money to look after my family and if something big happened next week, I wouldn’t be out on the street. That wasn’t a funny answer, but it’s what I really feel.”
Santilla: “I would agree with what Cal said. I think – and it’s funny because my definition of financial security has changed from when I used to work – I had a stable job and I had a career and everything and now that I’m freelancing and working for myself, that means a very different thing. I think it’s just the ability to look after yourself if anything goes wrong.’
What’s the best financial advice you’ve received?
Cal: “We got advice to get a financial planner, which we did, and the best thing that she did for me was put me on a budget, because if I’ve got money, I will go, “Oh, I need that shiny thing,” or, “Mmm, I could buy that lovely book.” So, now she’s put me on a budget and it’s really made me aware of how much I spend on sh*t…!”
Santilla: “I have two. So, one that grew up with; my mum told me to always have my own bank account and if I ever got into a relationship, to always make sure that I had my own money. One that I’ve learnt in the last couple of years was about saving 10%— if you can —of whatever your income is, as a good way to get into that saving as a habit. That was something that I wasn’t aware of, but I found to be quite liberating.”
How has Money Power Freedom podcast impacted the way you think about money?
Santilla: “I think one of the wonderful things about speaking with all the women that we’ve had in this podcast is recognising that for the longest time, we haven’t had conversations about money, but it’s the most unavoidable thing because it infiltrates every part of our lives. It infiltrates relationships and friendships, and we shouldn’t shy away from having those conversations and it’s a very empowering thing to know that it’s never too late to take control of your finances, if you’re in the position to.
As a woman, I think that’s the most important thing, to have the ability to decide what I want to do with my life and with my time, but that freedom only comes from having that economic security.”
Cal: “That’s exactly what I was going to say. This podcast has affirmed that it’s always been really important to me that I earn money. I’ve never wanted to be the person that was taken care of. I’ve always wanted to earn my own money and be in control of that. I think that money is about independence and the ability to do what you want to do, because it’s available to you. Since making the podcast, I’m not frightened of money, I’m a fan of it.”
Santilla: “Yeah, it’s not a dirty word! I feel like when – and I don’t want to speak on behalf of Cal here, but I feel when we started this podcast it was like, “Okay, we’ll have a conversation about money and learn tips about how to save,” and all this sort of stuff. But the more we have these conversations, the more I’ve thought, “Wow, why haven’t we been having these conversations??” It’s been such a liberating experience.
We’ve also heard some extreme ends where money has had consequential impacts on people’s lives and some are still recovering from that, but then you hear these wonderful stories where as a result of being aware of these sorts of issues, people have been able to turn their lives around. It’s very empowering.
I feel that having been engaged in this conversation, it will have long-lasting impacts on my life. It doesn’t stop with this podcast.”
Money Power Freedom podcast launches November 2019. To be the first to know, sign up to our mailing list and follow @VicWomensTrust on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.