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Just about everyone struggles with money. For example, you are likely well-acquainted, with the sinking feeling you feel when you see how much money is left in your bank account after you pay your phone bill, rent, and buy some groceries.

That’s tough for everybody. But if you’re a member of the LGBTQ community, it can be exponentially more difficult.

On this episode of Teach Me How to Money, David and John—The Debt Free Guys™—tell us about the numerous financial barriers and obstacles members of the LGBTQ community encounter.

Listen to the discussion above, and keep reading for some of the key takeaways from the conversation.

1. Money really is different for members of the LGBTQ community.

“There are some unique risks and concerns for the LGBTQ community. Study after study shows that there’s a pay gap—a gender and a sexual orientation pay gap. When you’re a cis, white, gay man…typically you’re a higher earner. But…trans women of color, they make on average $12,000 a year.

“Traditionally, everyone across our spectrum earns less than our straight peers, especially when compared to straight white men.”

2. Discrimination is real.

“Many people don’t know is that in 30 [U.S.] states, it is still okay to deny somebody housing, services or employment based on the fact that they may be LGBTQ. And that means that there are 30 states where people there may live in fear—they may not want to climb this corporate ladder because the more they climb the more they get exposed, the more they have to share who they are, or may have to tell the boss that their partner is of the same sex.

3. Many LGBTQ people start off at a financial disadvantage, too.

“One of the other things is that homeless youth—40% of them are LGBTQ. So, there’s a lot of people in our community who are entering life at a disadvantage when it comes to homelessness because many of them may have been kicked out of their houses.”

4. Opportunity—and acceptance—can be hard to find.

“A lot of us gravitate to what we consider the safe cities, [such as] San Francisco, LA, New York, Chicago—and they just so happen to be very expensive cities.”

5. When it comes to relationships, talking about money earlier is probably for the best.

“When we find a partner that we maybe want to have a long term relationship with, [try to] get on the same page with them about money. Use that as a catalyst to focus on our finances, especially since many of us LGBTQ couples don’t typically get married as early as our straight peers.”

6. As a couple, set financial goals. And don’t be afraid to take baby steps.

“Be okay with tackling one [financial] goal at a time. And then, plan the sequence of events of how you’re going to tackle your goals.

Beyond that don’t, commingle your funds. We (The Debt Free Guys) have numerous accounts, and each [one of us] has their own responsibility. That helps us make sure that…we don’t get frivolous with how we spend our money. It keeps us in line.

You’ve got to have your goals aligned. You and your partner or spouse don’t need to have the same exact goals, but you can’t have goals that oppose each other when it comes to your finances.”

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