At Starling, I have the great privilege of working with an incredibly intelligent and capable team.
Over the past few years, I’ve noticed that all of them are fairly comfortable talking about money. From investing and pensions to bargains and rainy-day funds, they have passions and personal projects that they like to spend their money on – fashion, tech, travel – and they all have their own techniques for saving, cutting back and finding deals.
But although we’re all happy to talk about money at Starling, I also know that the subject can be fraught with emotion for a lot of people. It’s something that time and time again seems to have the ability to trigger our most instinctual emotions – fear, shame, joy, pride. But why?
At Starling, we’re interested in the psychological influences that inform our financial behaviours, which is why we’ve recently been investigating the way we talk about our finances – in particular, the stereotypes and tropes that exist in the media around money.
We were expecting to find the usual sweeping statements about baby boomers; perhaps a few dubious stereotypes about millennials and avocado toast. What we weren’t expecting to discover is that women and men are actually being split definitively by language into spenders and earners, the frivolous and the empowered.