Did you ever have a financial role model growing up? I did not. I had “learn-from-my-mistakes” role models, in that I decided I never wanted to live in the way that I grew up and made a voracious effort to work my ass off and live frugally in order for that to never happen. Some days Chris asks me if I am still on that road and if I will ever slow down and realize I can chill a bit.
It is an interesting conversation (well maybe to me). Who impacted how you view money? Did you ever have a financial role model? Did you grow up watching Suze Orman on TV telling you when you might be DENIED? Were you given everything, and never taught that money does not grow on trees, and that there are consequences to racking up a crazy amount of credit card debt in the tune of never freeing yourself from the monthly payments? Or, did you learn how to know about your net worth, an emergency fund, and the importance of your credit score? Additionally, that your credit score can also be a causing factor in getting a job or not?
Money and finances are a reoccurring blog topic for me. Somehow over time money and sex seem to be taboo topics. No one really wants to talk about either. And, yet “Fifty Shades of Grey” became a mainstream movie (not without some backlash) what will be the movie about money that potentially starts the conversation amongst us? Somehow I think that movie will not be of much interest to the masses. Yet, how do we actually shift the world to start taking care of itself?
This recent Daily Worth article shares one woman’s experience and what she learned from her dad, or…like me what she learned not to do. Her dad is now retired and has to live on a fixed income. The potential for many who do not plan accordingly for the future, save, and approach retirement in a way that allows you to really “retire.” Chris and I look at today and what we save as a way to prepare for our future. For a time when we hope to have been savvy enough to find a point in time when we can make the choice for ourselves rather than be forced to work past relevancy. That way we can pamper our family and truly enjoy life.
We all have to start somewhere, but somehow I think many just never start. Or maybe it starts with who our financial role models are and what they teach us about today, tomorrow, and the future.
I have not really followed Sheryl Sandberg (Facebook COO) or her new book that was just released. Last week on Facebook I saw this quote and had to share it. Maybe I like it because I was a bossy little girl. Go Sheryl.
Then I found this letter to Sheryl Sandberg from Daily Worth founder, Amanda Steinberg, and I had to share as I agree with the letter. In it, she mentions a TIME magazine cover story, where Sandberg says of her husband: “He manages our money,” she says. “I have essentially no interest.” (page 5 of the TIME article). This comment is what Steinberg is reacting to in her letter.
Each and every woman should have a stake in and understanding of their personal finances. It does not mean that we always understand everything 100%, but we should try. I know too many women, that make a good living and would willingly turn over their hard-earned income to the man in their life, because they do not understand how to manage their finances. Please stop.
I know that it might be the easy way out, but you are not doing yourself any service by giving your money over to the man in your life. You are giving away your power. I would be the first to say that I do not always understand each and every part of our finances or retirement accounts. There are often little details that confuse the crap out of me, but the key is that I try to make sense of it. I want to know. I do not give up my power to my husband. We share the responsibility of our finances and make each and every decision together.
So in light of Sheryl Sandberg, and her great success as a woman, I encourage all women out there regardless of income level to care about their finances. It does not mean that you have to manage your finances day-to-day, just care about understanding them. You might pay someone to manage your finances, your husband might handle them, but set up a time each week or month to review your finances with whoever is handling them. Make a point to understand how much you are spending, and how you are saving. If you do not, to me it is like having someone take care of your children, yet you do not know their style. Which means you do not really know what is happening, right? I agree with Steinberg, all women should feel confident managing their money so that they are able to live life on their own terms.