Why are we women so stupid when it comes to our money?
I get that guys are idiots too when it comes to money, but it seems like women are the majority of people who will passively let their partners handle the cash (or not handle it at all between the both of them).
I am not exempt from this stupidity, having done MANY STUPID money things in the past.
The heart of the matter is that I am on the right path now.
At least I’m doing stupid money things consciously rather than unconsciously, and I have great friends, readers and bloggers who virtually slap me once in a while.
But why are we women SO DUMB when it comes to handling our money?
Here are two biggest, most idiotic things we women do:
STUPID MONEY MOVE #1:
LET OUR PARTNERS HANDLE EVERYTHING
Ahh.. ignorance is bliss isn’t it?
Taxes, household bills, utilities, choosing where to budget your money, or spend it — many women (more often than not), will let their partners (husbands or others) handle it because “they’re men and therefore naturally better with numbers and management” (true words from a true conversation I had with a friend).
IN WHAT WORLD IS THIS TRUE?
How does having different sex organs, make you better at handling money? O_o
Here’s a reality check for you:
Men are just as stupid with their money as women are.
Don’t believe me? Read this little excerpt in this post about a guy named Calvin…
In fact, probably stupider at times because of their hormones (or they think they’re smarter); testosterone makes men do silly things to win whatever it is they’re in a competition for (women, resources, fame, fortune). (Source)
Men on the whole, tend to be more aggressive than women because of their natures (yes, testosterone again) and that makes them more likely to be big risk-takers who think everything will turn out find in the end, no matter what.
Measuring for aggression, hostility, competitiveness, trustworthiness, intelligence and skill,McDermott found that men, overall, are more aggressive than women both when unprovoked or in retaliation mode.
According to McDermott, men have a greater sense of positive illusion than women.
I saw this in effect when I was in business school and we were in competitions with each other.
The guys wanted to ‘stake it all’ on a bet on a company, whereas the girls would try and get them to come down off the ledge of “all or nothing”.
It made for some interesting late nights, arguing over what to do with fictional companies, I can tell you that.
I wanted to strangle a few guys I worked with sometimes, but I’d just go into another room and breathe in and out 10 times.
A lot of guys generally felt the need to assert their dominance and knowledge, no matter the situation, but then again, I guess if they’re in business school, they consider themselves to be leaders like the rest of us.
Some more than most.
We women were no slouches in the leading department either, we had lots of “discussions” (read: fights) about what to do, but in general, we tended to come to a compromise we could agree with as a team, rather than try and force our singular views down someone else’s throat.
I read a quote in Elle Magazine:
“Women need to be willing to take more risks in running for public office. I’ve talked to countless women who’ve convinced themselves that they’re not ready, not knowledgeable enough about the issues.
I’ve never talked to a male candidate who felt that way.
A female officeholder once told me that to talk about international trade policy, a woman felt she needed a PhD.
A man felt he was qualified if he drove a Honda.”
– Senator Susan Collins
Source: Elle Intelligence – Politics; Page 384 in Elle Magazine – Issue September 2012
That quote just about sums it up for how much we women value our cognitive skills and the ability to have the confidence to say what we want.
It’s also why it’s so frustrating to hear us second-guess ourselves especially when it comes to decisions about things as important as MONEY and MONEY MANAGEMENT.
What’s the worst that could happen? You end up putting your money in a savings account and it doesn’t do anything for 5 years but earn 1 – 2% interest?
It isn’t the best money management, but at least you didn’t LOSE or WASTE IT gambling, as I can personally attest to seeing happen first-hand in my life.
STUPID MONEY MOVE #2:
NOT EVER ASKING ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT ANYTHING
Where is our money being invested?
How much are we setting aside for the kids?
Do we have enough for retirement?
How come we’re spending money on buying this car, and not this one?
Why am I being asked to take your income onto my taxes?
These are all questions that women SHOULD be asking when their husbands do things.
Even if they are good things, and things that SHOULD be done, you should still. ask. questions.
Yeah, maybe we’re reluctant to want to even know what the hell is going on, but I really applaud and admire those guys who say things like:
I make my wife / girlfriend sit down and go through the budget with me.
I also tell her exactly where everything is invested, and how to get to it in case anything happens.
She hates our money talks but I feel better knowing that she knows where our money is and where it goes.
Otherwise, you end up like the women I know, who have let their husbands scam their pay cheque for the past 30 years, telling them they needed “a couple thousand” above the mortgage half, to cover household bills.
LADIES, WHAT’S THE WORST THAT COULD HAPPEN, REALLY?
What’s the worst that could happen? There’s a big fight?
He feels like his ego is bruised and you don’t trust him?
You end up not talking for days?
Well…let me ask you this — what kind of man would he be if he got upset because you simply want to know where your money is going?
It’s just a bullying tactic that keeps women away from asking the right questions, even if they’re hard.
Maybe he’s afraid you’ll discover what he’s been hiding.
Or maybe, you’re better off alone, and you’re discovering the problem early on rather than letting it fester.
Someone who is unwilling, gets angry or is really annoyed that you’re asking questions about how they’re handling the money, is someone who may have something to hide.
It could be something small, like he has a nest egg hidden for just in case and he’s afraid you’ll blow up at him because you wanted to build a swimming pool and he said you had no money.
…..or it could be something big, like you’re really deep into debt (into the thousands) and you’re sinking faster and faster each day.
Maybe they don’t want to tell you as not to worry you, but not knowing is worse than knowing and having a plan to dig out of it.
Whatever it is, big or small, if you don’t sit down and talk about the budget, or voice concerns about how much you’re spending and saving, then you aren’t really “together” as partners in life.
Do you really want to reach old age and discover (during your grieving period, no less) that he left you with a mountain of debt and a tangled mess of finances you can’t unravel even with a team of experts?
Or that you can’t even bloody find where he saved all this money that you now need to live on?
Didn’t think so.
IT’S TIME TO STOP BEING DUMB AND LAZY WHEN IT COMES TO OUR MONEY.
Also I am not purposefully trying to exclude the LGBT (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender) community, but I have no experience with how LGBT folks handle their money between them.
Comments on how these money relationships work, would be great, but as I’m a straight female, this is my perspective on straight couples.
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