What Would Frida Do (About Finances)?

what would Frida do

This week I’m reading a book called What Would Frida Do?. Subtitled “A Guide to Living Boldly,” Arianna Davis’s book isn’t specifically about finances. Instead, it’s a book about the life and inspiration of artist Frida Kahlo. However, I’ve found over the years that you can get financial insight from almost any genre or medium. Therefore, as I read this book, I thought about how it applies to personal finance.

What Would Frida Do?

What Would Frida Do? is a really interesting book. It’s a biography of the artist. However, it’s also a self-help book of sorts. Each chapter covers a specific topic – creativity, confidence, love. It shares Frida Kahlo’s story as is relevant to that chapter. Then at the end it includes three action tips for applying tips from Frida’s way of living to improving your own life. Unfortunately, there’s not a chapter about finances. Nevertheless, some of the tips certainly apply.

Frida Kahlo and Money

Although there isn’t a chapter on money in the book, there is mention of Frida Kahlo’s finances during her lifetime. Her work fetches significantly higher prices today than she ever could have imagined in her lifetime. Nevertheless, she did sell some pieces while she was alive. And what she found was that doing so gave her a lot of freedom. Although husband Diego Rivera could easily support them both, she liked having her own money because then she wasn’t tied to him if she didn’t want to be.

At the same time, she didn’t let money motivate her work. Although, particularly in later years, she did emphasize selling her work in order to have financial independence from her husband, she never let money dictate what she would create. Her creativity and craft came first, according to What Would Frida Do?.

The takeaway here:

  • Make money doing something that you love.
  • Let the passion for the work come first, the money only as a secondary motivator.
  • However, do get serious about earning an income because it will give you freedom.
  • Even if you’re deeply in love, it feels good to have your own separate income in a relationship.

Other Money Tips Inspired by What Would Frida Do?

Here are some of the other suggestions in What Would Frida Do that we might apply to money:

  • Find a creative outlet and make it a big part of your life. Of course, Frida did this to escape pain and because she loved to paint. But the point here is that you won’t spend a lot of money on mindless entertainment if you have a creative passion to keep your attention.
  • Give handmade gifts. Frida often painted portraits to gift to people. Handmade gifts are personal. They’re also often affordable. I know that I love to make photo scrapbooks for my friends.
  • Surround yourself with simple things that you love. Moreover, give attention to the little details. Frida’s home had plants and fruits on display. She would go pick flowers from the garden to braid into her hair. When you give attention to the details of what gives you simple pleasures, you waste less money on unnecessary trappings.
  • Find your own fashion style. Frida had a very signature style rooted in her culture as well as her creativity. Whatever your style is, find it. Then commit to it. By having just a few pieces that you build around, you forego the expense of fast fashion and consumer clothes shopping.
  • Don’t worry about what other people think. This meant many things in Frida’s life, particularly in how she chose to live her relationships. In money, it might mean that you don’t worry about “keeping up with the Joneses”. Pick your own financial goals and stick to them. Do what’s right for you. For example, if dining out isn’t in your budget, then don’t worry what friends will say when you turn down their invites.

Are you inspired in money or any other area of life by what Frida might do?

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