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  • We Need to Talk About Money

  • By: Otegha Uwagba
  • Narrated by: Otegha Uwagba
  • Length: 9 hrs and 13 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (66 ratings)

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We Need to Talk About Money cover art

We Need to Talk About Money

By: Otegha Uwagba
Narrated by: Otegha Uwagba
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Summary

An extraordinarily candid personal account of the ups and downs wrought by money, We Need to Talk About Money is a vital exploration of stories and issues that will be familiar to most. This is a book about toxic workplaces and misogynist men, about getting pay rises and getting evicted. About class and privilege and racism and beauty. About shame and pride, compulsion and fear.

In unpicking the shroud of secrecy surrounding money—who has it, how they got it and how it shapes our lives—this boldly honest account of one woman’s journey upturns countless social conventions and uncovers some startling truths about our complex relationships with money in the process.

©2021 Otegha Uwagba (P)2021 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic reviews

"In this compelling book, Otegha confronts the British aversion to discussing money and in doing so reveals she is one of the most original and talented young writers we have." (Sathnam Sanghera, author of Empireland)

"A brilliant book that moved, amused, challenged and made me re-evaluate my own relationship with money. Otegha Uwagba writes with real intelligence and insight about the things many of us suspect but leave unsaid. A must-read." (Elizabeth Day, author of How to Fail)

"One of the most original and talented young writers we have." (Sathnam Sanghera)

"A must-read." (Elizabeth Day)

"A beautiful, searingly personal account of a world defined by money, full of courage and truth telling." (Owen Jones)

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An honest account…

This book is just beautiful and inspiring. And so honest about quite basic fundamental experiences that I feel most of us just don’t talk about enough!

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The most reliable book

This book was essentially reciting my life story back to me - not exactly but most mile stones were very similar especially as a young adult graduating university into a recession. To this day it seems like a constant battle, just waiting for the glory days the generations before me enjoyed. This book was recommended to me, I will be doing the same.

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beautiful, painful reminder of why this matters

I saw myself in this book. Specifically having grown up frightened of poverty, I shook at how similar this story is to me and so many women of colour I know. I started the book looking for financial advice and ended it understanding myself so much more. Thank you for this.

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It's 5 stars for me

5/5 for me. Very insightful how money can change a lot, especially in friendship circles. There is so much to say but would prefer you listened. It's also always such a treat to hear an author read their own work

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Relate so much!

My family moved to the UK from South Africa when I was 5, so I can completely relate to everything Otegha says about being a child in that situation and feeling like your family have a back foot financially from the get go. I constantly spent my childhood and teens looking at people with family wealth and feeling frustrated by this as it seemed so many people had such a leg up when it came to adulthood and house ownership etc. I completely identify with ‘money vigilance’ and never really thought how much that affects my relationship with money. I too became a single female home owner without any family financial support and realise how much harder that was to do than a lot of my peers who were in a relationship and lived at home whilst also buying with a partner. I found her exploration of how race played its role in her journey completely fascinating as well. The only thing that would’ve added to this story is if Otegha went into the details around getting her mortgage. How much was it? What was the income ratio? What is the advice she would give to other freelancers? It seemed she was happy to tell us about her past financial status but not delve completely into her current one. That being said, this was a great book that I will be recommending to all my friends!

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The conversation starter we needed

I can’t rate this audiobook highly enough. It’s come at a crunch time, with so many money-related life choices made harder by a succession of societal issues. While I know that I’m not the only one worrying about buying my first home and building a business in the midst of a pandemic, it’s so rarely openly discussed, either with friends or in wider spaces. In this book, Otegha takes that first brave step to lay her cards on the table, inviting us all to do the same, in the hope that transparency will highlight the way for everyone to earn what they deserve and buy their own home in the not too distant future. Read it and share it.

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Excellent!!!

This is a must read, so interesting and factually and delivered in such a relatable way!

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Brilliant listen

Otegha has a lovely voice and being read to using her words and sharing her experience was a treat. I was moved in parts, relating to her parents and their defence of a bright lovely girl, the results of the 11+ and scholarship, the summary of lockdown - feeling all too close to home and the dedication. Otegha is a beautiful writer, I was moved, I smiled, I rolled my eyes. Great piece of work and amazing writing. Loved

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I really wanted to like this book, but....

I really wanted to like this book...but I just didn't. I bought it after hearing the author interviewed on 'The Guilty Feminist' and liked the interview and the premise of the book.

Early on, the book makes some good points and has some interesting observations. But, the author is just soooo whiny. Her self-entitlement reaches a crescendo around chapter 10. I think my biggest problem with the book is that despite clearly defining the difference between social capital, cultural capital and actual capital (money) early in the book, she remains mystified and aggrieved that "education, education, education" (good grades and virtue) doesn't equal money and property. It's like some sort of weird form of a social/cultural purity test, where she thinks that being bright and hard-working and 'doing all the right things' make you 'worthy' of home-ownership. When instead, what you need to purchase a house is cash (earned, inherited, borrowed). It's not a moral test.

It also doesn't appear to have occurred to her that the people who gave her this unfounded financial advice were both degree-educated, working full-time, living in a council flat and poor. She has confused smarts and a work ethic with cold, hard cash. Completely bizarre, given she attended a private school in the City of London and then Oxbridge. It really feels like the anger of someone who has built their life on the received wisdom of a particular narrative they were fed as a child, and then discovered, as an adult, that it is not true and the world does not, in fact, work that way.

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Written by a privileged person...

who writes with the narrative that she is not. I feel like it comes from a "woe is me" perspective and lacks authenticity to what it really means to be under privileged

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