In Discussions, Money, Wealth

There is nothing more sexy or satisfying than having your own money

As a woman especially, there is going to be nothing more sexy or satisfying than having your own income.

I say this after (re)-reading this book:

The book talks about Manhattanites, specifically Manhattan Upper East Side Mommies who make homemaking their lives.

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They fight to get their kids into the right preschools, be the richest, show off the most, climb the social echelon, support their husbands’ careers, manage the household, look and act perfect and be 100% amazing all the time all the while trying to clamp down being jealous if another woman flirts with your bread & butter (husband) or that it can all go away in a blink of an eye.

No pressure right?

Oh and it’s all done with a bleached smile.

What Martin says in the book really resonates with me, particularly these two points she brings up in the book in light of all this excess and stress:

1. NOTHING IS MORE SATISFYING THAN MAKING & HAVING YOUR OWN INCOME

It seems to me that the women are educated for the most part but seemingly deeply unhappy with trying to fill a void in their lives by living through their children to make them perfect because by extension, they represent your status in life.


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The ones who channeled their passions into making their own money, felt a sense of independence and satisfaction from doing so that cannot be gleaned from just obtaining the money.

Getting $100,000 handed to you without having worked for it, or earning that $100,000 are emotionally & psychologically speaking, two absolutely different things.

The latter being more satisfying and fulfilling believe it or not.

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Perhaps that’s why lottery winners don’t keep all their money. They didn’t work for it, or earn it, so they take it for granted and spend it like water.

Not only that, they have no sense of responsibility for the money earned and thus, cannot see the true value of it without having worked for it.

It is the same I believe, for people (women AND MEN) who have money handed to them.

2. WHEN YOU ARE DEPENDENT ON OTHERS FOR MONEY, IT CHANGES THE RELATIONSHIP & DYNAMIC

Others can mean anyone.

Your Husband / Parents / Parents-in-Law.

It can last forever, this giving money tree, and be wonderful.

Great vacations, fantastic clothes, great schools, anything your little heart desires is immediately purchased and presented to you.

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Or it can go away overnight or trap you in a relationship because you have no other way of providing for your children or you don’t want to go through a messy divorce with lawyers & end up destitute while he takes sole custody of the kids because of financial reasons.

Much like being trapped in a job because of the pay and the fact that you’re in debt, people dream of an Emergency Fund, or as some like to call it, the “F U Fund”, it is the same as being trapped in a marriage or a relationship with your parents solely because of the carrot dangling in front of you (the money).

You are in it for the long haul, happily or unhappily all because of money, which you have to ask for each time you want to use it.

Is there no one out there who would not feel bad asking for the money or for permission?

Or like a child, yearning for the day when they are adults with jobs who can just DO WHAT THEY WANT with their money?

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For those of who are of the staunch, independent ilk, you could also (in hindsight) wonder if you should have just taken the money and swallowed your pride.

Either way, you know that the relationship exists because you are dependent, not inter-dependent.

This is probably why I am so adamant in being 50/50 with my partner. I want to earn my own money, pay my way, complain just like any other working schmuck about not saving enough, and be at the same time, happy and stressed in doing so.

It isn’t all bad, this working for your money lark.

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It gives you way more than just money. It gives you a sense of independence, pride, and personal accomplishment as well. I guess if we saw work as a way of maintaining good self-esteem in being useful in society, we may be a little happier on Mondays.

Or not?

What are your thoughts on this?

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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

Am my own Sugar Daddy. Am a millionaire at 36 after getting out of $60K of student debt in 18 months, a little over a decade earlier, using TheBudgetingTool.com. I have worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K with an average lifetime savings rate of 50%. I have 11 side incomes that are on track in 2020 to make me $50K - $75K. I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I am all about balance - between time and money, and also enjoying my money. I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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14 Comments

  1. cantaloupe

    Interesting entry. I’d be interested to read that book.

    I agree with raluca that it’s about values though. The Park Avenue women were probably raised in the same ways they’re raising their children, and it’s just the way they expect life to go. It’s their norm. And while perhaps for some that norm seems unhappy, there’s a possibility that some are happy with that norm? I’m gathering that the book didn’t portray that side, but I don’t think all people care about where the money they spend comes from. And to be honest, I get just as much joy when my mom drops a check in my bank account as when my employer does. I think the biggest problem with not having a job is that it might get hard to fill the hours. But if they throw themselves into charity and arts and children, they could be getting fulfillment from other sources than employment….

    Reply
    1. sherry@savespendsplurge.com

      The book was great. I really really enjoyed it. She is a great writer, it made me really love everything about the Upper East side woman and feel empathetic.

      You’re right, it is the norm but I think they were happy with the situation seemed insecure with their wealth not having been earned and could have been taken away at any time. That’s the feeling I gathered from the book. They worked so hard to be Super Wife. Super Mommy. Super Woman…. that when (a few) cases where it disappeared, they seemed lost…

      Reply
  2. Anne

    I have shared economy with my husband. We both think that we are earning money for the family unit and enjoy the fruits of our work together.

    Even though I don’t earn as much as my husband, I do not feel dependent because I know that I could easily support myself alone. My husband also has a child to support, so I feel we both contribute our fair share.

    We discuss with each other before purchasing something pricier and because we have quite similar values and interests, we usually reach consensus. Maybe I do not really see why we should buy an expensive pair of speakers, but if we can afford it and it really makes my dear golden ear happy, then I think it’s OK. The same goes for my husband.

    Reply
  3. Gina

    I found that book interesting as well. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I really enjoy your blog!

    Reply
    1. sherry@savespendsplurge.com

      A really good book. I hope she writes more.

      Reply
  4. Amanda @ My Life, I Guess

    Being unemployed/underemployed for the last 2 years has left me feeling really crappy about myself, so this really hit home. I hate not really having my own money, and I hate being dependent on my fiance. This is not how I want to live my life, at all. Our relationship has changed, I’ve changed, and I don’t like it.

    Reply
    1. sherry@savespendsplurge.com

      You will find another job. Just keep the faith up. You have someone to help you slog through it, so that’s always something to be grateful for.

      Reply
  5. raluca

    I tend to agree with you.. for myself. I could never be completely dependent of another person.
    But I have also seen this work out for some people. It’s hard to do it the right way, but then I think marriage/long term relationships are hard anyway. Having money in the mix just adds and extra layer of hardness.

    When it works well, it’s because both partners have a common goal. For example the woman may stay home and sacrifice her career for a few years for the children, but the husband is equaly committed to familiy values and understands that familly comes first and money is just a tool for all of them. The sacrifice in not just the woman’s sacrifice, is both of them that forgo material things for the sake of a more well-rounded family. (I’m not advocating staying home with the children, but rather, this are their values and they are living them).

    I also strongly believe that if the people in a marriage don’t have the same set of values, that marriage will show cracks in time. I don’t mean moral values or christian values or for that matter buddist or muslim values, but that one true compas that we all have, the things that matter most for us.

    Sometimes those values can be the fact that a woman’s place is in the home, taking care of children while a husband’s role is to provide. As long as both partners really subscribe to this, their relationship will be just as strong as one where the partners have equal earning power. It does not seem to the the case for the people of Park Avenue, where the women go to the best universities (so they obviously don’t think they should stay at home) and the men cheat (so they obviously don’t think family comes first). I think it’s this dissonance that’s the most harmfull to their marriages, rather than the ammount of money that is actual being earned. They don’t seem to live their lives according to their values.

    That being said, I make my own money, because I never, ever, ever want to feel powerless. My parents have inadvertently instilled this in me when I was young, by giving me money presents for the things *they* though I should buy. Money became a tool of their control over me. They might not have wanted that, but that’s how it felt and they were deeply shocked when I started working in my second year at uni and started making my own decisions. We are now over the hill, where I give them money (and feel proud to do so), and we have come to a better understanding, but my 20’s were the years of strife.

    It’s not just husbands/wives that control with money. It’s parents, grandparents, the government, etc. If you are not financial independent, somebody has a claim on your time, attention and life. There’s a saying where I come from: “It’s better to be rich and beautifull than poor and ugly”. It’s a very true saying :P.

    Reply
    1. sherry@savespendsplurge.com

      I would agree with what you said.. I met a sort of Upper East Side woman recently and she said she enjoyed having her husband take care of her. She was happy to let him and he was happy to do it. All the more power to her. I myself, can only hope to have my own money so that I can feel SECURE and not feeling like I need to be with someone because of money.

      Reply
  6. NZ Muse

    And conversely, like it or not, having to support someone else changes how you feel about them to some degree.

    Reply
    1. sherry@savespendsplurge.com

      Yes. I have been there and done that.

      Reply
  7. Jaime

    Sounds like a good book. Funny you brought this up.

    I read this story from an Aussie website about the rise of the millennial homemaker, a few days ago:

    http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/sunday-style/culture/real-housewives-of-gen-y-rise-of-the-millennial-homemaker/news-story/e851280ad6f501baa97e6e78a25f8506

    A few years ago I read a similar book called “The Feminine Mistake” by Leslie Bennetts. One example she gives in the book if I remember correctly is of a woman being married to a wealthy man and then he later asked for a divorce and she had to become a cleaning woman. Yikes!

    Oh and a few years ago I came across this NY Times story: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/20/us/many-women-at-elite-colleges-set-career-path-to-motherhood.html

    And then there was this nightmare from hell: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/11/magazine/the-opt-out-generation-wants-back-in.html

    I basically agree with you, because when I was growing up my mom would often say to me, “I want you to know how to be independent even if you marry Mr. Wonderful.”

    I used to admire FIRE (Financially Independent Retire Early) blogs but my opinion of them has recently changed. While I still am a huge fan of achieving financial independence because it can bring you freedom and you should give yourself options in life. Life happens. People get laid off, you may have a bad boss, etc.

    In another way there is a disturbing message that some of these bloggers advocate in their blogs. It seems some of these people fell into their jobs or didn’t make a change to switch careers so they stayed in jobs they hated for decades and started hoarding their money.

    I also think it’s bizarre to hoard all your money. What about donating to charity? I know you donate to charity at the end of the year and I like that about you. And you also enjoy your money, but man some of these FIRE bloggers are about hoarding every penny. It’s creepy.

    I don’t want that for myself. I also hate their anti-work attitude. I don’t think work is a great evil. The wrong work can be hell though. Even in amazing careers there are bad days and crap you don’t want to do.

    I want to pursue a career I enjoy, that allows me to grow, and master it like a craft. I read the book “Mastery” by Robert Greene and it totally changed my perspective. My desire is to pursue a career I enjoy and to also grow wealth just because I want to have options in life.

    Reply
    1. sherry@savespendsplurge.com

      1. You are full of GREAT links. Thank you.

      2. Oh these FIRE bloggers scare me.

      I would like to read them and be inspired but in the end, I just want to buy nice things, eat sushi, shower with hot water, and be able to donate to children’s charities out of the blue when I am at the grocery checkout.

      I don’t want to penny pinch. I save my money, that should be good enough. I’m starting to be more lax about that as of late. *cough*shopping*cough*

      Reply

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