Women and money. Why is the relationship between the two so often complicated?
As a generation of women our earning capacity is higher than it has ever been before. Our potential for financial independence and security has never been more possible than it is for us now.
Yet so many of us still fall into that age old trap.
We look to a man for a financial plan.
For that knight in shining armour to gallantly come along rescuing us from our zero (or next to zero) savings, credit card debt, taking over most of our money stuff and investing the money because “he knows about the money the best”.
This is where I sheepishly put my own hand up and admit that I too was one of those women. Can I also admit that I did earn a good income on my own pre-children but that I learnt almost everything I know about money and investing from my ex-man with the financial plan that I most likely would never have done otherwise. Something that I am eternally grateful for.
Because of my time spent in that relationship I’ve renovated and sold for profit an investment property and have still an investment property. I’ve watched him trade with shares occasionally. Read his property investment magazines. Gone to talks I probably wouldn’t have chosen to go to.
I have to admit, if I’m going to be truly honest with myself (and you), if I hadn’t had a man that was so proactive in a money-making/financial sense than I probably wouldn’t have bothered doing or learning about any of those things.
What I would have kept on doing? I’d have kept on spending the majority of my pay cheques on items I thought I needed to have, but didn’t really. Decking myself out and fluffing myself up in hope of the man with the financial plan coming along and whisking me into my star spangled and secure future.
And if we are lucky, eventually the majority of us marry this man. We have babies, buy a house, remortgage a house, do this, do that and in that haze of sleepless nights, feeding and devotion to caring for babies that only Mothering can bring we realise that hey I have little to no idea about our finances anymore. Who do we bank with again?
I didn’t have to choose this financial plan for myself. In fact it doesn’t have to be this way for any woman. Particularly one living in the western world and in the 21st century. I could have learnt this money stuff myself. I could have saved money from my every pay. Invested wisely on my own accord.
As women we all do it. It’s our natural instinct. To care for others and to want to be cared for. It’s healthy and totally ok. We don’t have to change that. It’s important that we still need a man because men instinctively like to be the providers and carers for us on some level (beyond just financially).
But what if we didn’t need a man for a financial plan?
What if, even better, a man added to the financial plan we already had going on? What if we could get our own dollars and cents sorted out? Independent from anyone else. How empowering would that be?
A year ago I would never have thought these words would escape my finger tips but here they are; I really enjoy reading a good book about money. Money books don’t have to be dry to be insightful and inspiring. Fortunately there are now a plethora of money books being written that won’t suck your mind dry and that are also written with women in mind.
I’ve learnt that our relationship with money is so much more about our mindset than what is or isn’t in our wallets. And hey if Donald Trump (who is a d@%khead on so many levels in my opinion) can bankrupt himself nine times and still make make a new fortune for himself every time than surely we can learn a little more, make a little more money for ourselves.
Money A Love Story by Kate Northrup
If you have issues with money- spending, saving, or budgeting that you have been avoiding then you will really love this book. This book is full of step by step exercises that help you realise your personal perceptions of money and wealth and how to change them for the better. I particularly loved Kate’s emphasis on understanding our true values and spending our money in line with these values. As women we are sold to constantly. Every season there is something else that we “need” and if we are not conscious of our spending habits we can purchase items that don’t actually bring us fulfilment or add to us as a person.
For me at this point in my life, if where I spend my money doesn’t match my top values of love, connection, experience, growth and excitement, if my purchase doesn’t leave me feeling loved, proud, connected, joyful or intuitive than I think twice before buying said item. Read this book and I’d love to know if it changes your spending habits. Purchase to read here.
The Barefoot Investor by Scott Pape
Getting your financial act together can be fun and it can be simple. This book is back to basics and no-nonsense. The five steps in this money book show you how to save it, invest it and let your money do the hard work for you. And if you’re not convinced then read this blog post from him here where he talks about a man not being your financial plan and predicted my almost life story age-wise (though I’m only 33 and I refuse to go on Tinder). Damn you Scott Pape for publishing this post five days before I did my own (though I did write this post two weeks prior to publishing it today so hopefully I pipped him to it in some way).
But hey I’m flattered to be sync’ed with him in some way because I enjoy reading the advice he shares. His Barefoot Blueprint plan is on my list of things I’d love to potentially explore this year also. Find this book here.
Get Rich Lucky Bitch by Denise Duffield-Thomas
I really love this book because of it’s emphasis on the less than helpful self-beliefs and fears that we as women so often carry when it comes to money. As women we so often think over and question ourselves endlessly before taking action, often to our own detriment. I could never earn that much. I could never charge that much. I need a man to be financially secure. Those sorts of limiting beliefs we hold about ourselves and learnt to be true from watching our parents with money (for women more than likely from our Mothers).
This book is very much a money mindset book helping women to get out of their own way when it comes to making more money. This book explores your own money story, reframes those stories and has you embracing wealth regardless of your past money history. An insightful and reflective read. Get lucky here.
Here’s to standing and landing on our own two feet x