Elevate Difference

Chiconomics 101: The Fun, Fabulous Girls’ Guide to Making Smart Money Moves

Chiconomics 101 is a pink-themed, Cosmo-drinking ladies-geared blog about basic money management seemingly written by and for the twenty-something set of singles with less money to burn now that they have “real world” bills to pay. The blog bubbles with ideas perhaps not so novel or inventive for folks remotely experienced in the pinching of pennies—brown bagging lunch instead of eating out, visiting the local library instead of the local Barnes & Noble, making coffee instead of dropping dollars on store-bought lattes—but ultimately, from this feminist’s perspective, fizzles and falls flat.

Alongside standard tips for everyday things a “fun, fabulous girl” can do to save a few bucks, the blog also offers more substantial advice The tips are mostly geared toward someone thinking about these things for the first time; she could find some good starting pointers and helpful links to get started towards a financial goal. These posts were genuinely interesting, informative, and pertinent to some aspect of my current financial life. I learned what FICO stands for, what I could do to improve my credit score, and some solid alternatives to a basic savings account. I read comments from other women in my age group who also do their own taxes, along with some straightforward and helpful tips for how to be successful in, what most of us agree, is an overwhelming process.

It wasn’t the information I objected to—the information was great, if basic or limited at times—it was the delivery that was hard to stomach. There are dozens of other “Finance for Women” blogs out there, even of the “101” Introductory variety, that do it better—more sound advice, tips for saving, investment strategies—without the cloyingly fabulous “chiconomic” lingo exclusively employed on this blog.

Money-talk doesn’t have to sound like a Cosmo article to become magically appealing to women. Each concept need not be accompanied by a grating metaphor meant to bring it down to “our” level—(hetero)sex, high school cliques, cocktails, pop music, dieting, more sex. Here’s a fabulous thought: A women’s finance blog with straightforward advice, no gimmicks, no “girl talk,” no gratuitous comparisons, acknowledging the fact that many women do not get the financial education they need and deserve to make the most of what they earn. Chiconomics doesn’t stack up.

Written by: Kelly Moritz, June 19th 2009