Save. Spend. Splurge.

Why women get judged for spending on themselves but men don’t

I was thinking the other day about how ridiculous it is that people assume my partner buys me everything.

I mean, it’s not just at my work, it is just random strangers, random people I meet in stores who happen to notice my bag or whatever, and say things like:

Oh, it must be nice to have a rich spouse.

Then I read this article Don’t Shame Women for Spending and said a number of times while reading through it:

HELL YES.

So many good points in the article, I can’t even begin to list them all out, but the main three for me are:

1. WOMEN ARE ASSUMED TO NOT HAVE EARNED THAT MONEY THEMSELVES

Unfortunately, 90% of women’s wealth does come from their parents or their spouse.

90% is a lot. But… there are also the 10% of us, myself included.

Cuz… know where all of that money I spend came from?

ME.

ALL ME.

I earned every dang penny and I will spend it the way I see fit.

I have no debt, I am not in financial dire straits, my house is paid, and I can and WILL do as I please with what I have earned, with no permission from anyone for anything.

LEAST of all my partner.

AND VERY LEAST of all my father.

So please, the next time you see a well-heeled woman swathed in luxurious cashmere, wearing designer shoes and a silk dress, rocking a really cute watch not from the drugstore, and a polarized pair of sunglasses, do not assume that she got that money from her spouse or her father.

2. ..AND EVEN IF IT IS THEIR MONEY, IT IS CONSIDERED WASTING IT NOT ENJOYING IT

The article made such a good point that men can wear the most expensive items in the world and not be called out, but for women wearing an expensive outfit it is just unthinkable that they could even deign to bring themselves to “waste” that money even if we WANT to spend that money so we can swaddle ourselves in cashmere.

It isn’t spending when it comes to women, it’s “wasting” when it isn’t in pre-approved categories like electronics, automobiles or anything “not frivolous”.

(Although, if you must ask, I did recently buy a fancy car as well. Me. All me.)

This is also why women get such a bad rap for being terrible with money and budgeting. I think it’s a load of crap because I know equally as many men who have no idea how to manage their money as I do women.

I know plenty of guys who live paycheque to paycheque and waste their money on beer, clubs and fancy vacations just as I know plenty of women who party away their money.

WE ALL SUCK AT MONEY AS A COLLECTIVE WHOLE.

A ton of us need a lot of help and a push to stop wasting our money, because we are, but we can’t just assume it is just women who are terrible at handling money which results in thinking that all women who have nice things, waste money.

3. MEN SPEND EQUALLY AS MUCH AS WOMEN

.. it just isn’t on things like clothes, shoes, and accessories, or anything that is deemed “inutile” or “impractical”.

For guys, if they buy things like electronics, televisions, or anything tech-y, it is for the good of the home and USEFUL even if it isn’t necessary that they own it.

For women, if we buy anything related to style, because it is meant to clothe ourselves personally, it is NOT useful and therefore a waste of money.

Jewellery? PSHAW.

I am unfortunately, the kind of woman who enjoys using really good, expensive laptop while wearing a really pretty designer coat so I should get dinged on both fronts.

..and in fact, I do remember getting a lot of comments back in the day when I wasn’t making as much money, and I spent something like $500 on clothes in a month.

A person (a woman no less), left a pretty snarky comment on my old blog along the lines of:

Girl, $500 a month on clothes?

Get a reality check.

Oh but a car lease, cellphone, cable TV subscription, and gym membership  that equals out to $500 a month is not quite as frowned upon because they are “useful” and not “frivolous” expenditures.

(For the record: No I didn’t have a car, cellphone, cable TV or a gym membership at the time, which is why I had extra money to spend on clothes…)

So you know what?

Money is made to be spent.

As long as you are financially on the right track, you’re saving, you’re investing that money, you’re budgeting your money and careful with where it goes and you have allocated it properly to your chosen areas, it is equally okay to want to be frugal (like I do these days cuz $60,000 a year is bananas for me), as it is to want to spend it on yourself.

https://www.oliveetoriel.com/products/i-have-to-be-successful-because-i-love-expensive-sh-t-2018-calendar-portrait

(You can buy that hilarious calendar here.)

13 Comments

  • lkanony

    Nooo…it’s not a matter of “class warfare dynamics vs judgement” because I personally, a middle-class everyday Jane has undergone judgement left, right, and center meaning at the workplace, the home front particularly with in-laws (SILs, and MIL primarily…go figure), AND peers. They ALL presume and assume after “getting the tea” from me that my husband’s either frustrated with my wardrobe/purchases, makes a lot of money, spoils me, turns a blind eye, or I’m hiding my purchases from him. You know based on the various snide comments and questions. Practically every workplace environment I’d worked at either bought out the insecurities in most female co-workers or the low-key admirers. Apparently, the same applies at the home front with SILs and MIL comments of “WHO needs so many pairs of shoes…” “The orphans can use the money spent on the shoes…” “Some people are just being financially irresponsible…living above their means.” (Insecure) Female co-workers typically ask or comment snarly “What does your husband say about all the shoes you have/buy?” “How big is your closet?” “What does your husband do (for a living)?” ” You know we’re casual…you don’t always need to dress up here. I’m casual because I just don’t feel like getting dressed or spending money on clothes all the time.” Peers typically say “Oh you’re husband is taking really good care of you from what I can see”….on and on. So from where I sit, this blog IS based on the judgment women get just for looking put together or a step above the rest…it’s the story of my life…can be across the socio-economic board.

  • macaroni n pearls

    are you sure this gendered attack on your wealth isn’t reflective of something deeper? men “waste” too…

    you may just be feeling class warfare dynamics vs judgement regarding gendered thinking.

    everything we do in the first world is a privilege that could be literally feeding folks.

    70% of the world (like 6billion people) live on less than $10 a day

    so yeah, flaunt it but even when they know its YOURS ONLY the judgement is the same

    • Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      I can see you are on a high horse right now and missed my point completely (or deliberately?) while being a martyr up there. You’re talking about something completely different. I am talking about gendered shaming for purchases, and you’re trying to twist it into something else, by not only gaslighting me, but trying to shame or guilt me. Kudos.

  • Susan Tan

    Is the calendar link still available?

  • Jamie

    Great article, I shared it on my Facebook too. Interesting how there’s the word “gold digger” only for women and no male equivalent. I agree that as long as you have no debt, your bills are being paid, and you are saving for the future (but not so much that you aren’t enjoying life now) then go ahead and spend on yourself. Like the article said, once we’re dead we can’t spend money on anything.

    • Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      HIMBO! 🙂 Him + Bimbo? 🙂

      If your finances are covered, in good shape and you want to spend your money. DO IT. That’s how I live and frankly shaming women in particular for enjoying it by buying clothes or doing our nails, is not the way to go.

  • Jess

    Great and thought-provoking article, thanks for the link! I’ve definitely been guilty of judging women based on their bags (especially, ahem, certain Chanel-carrying foreigners), but the article made me re-think some of that.

    I’ve definitely felt your first point of people assuming it was not my money. When I was buying my condo, the agent kept asking me if i needed to add anyone else to the title. Nope, it’s mine! 🙂

    • Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      Oh my god.. I had the same thing with my car. No joke, I was starting to get annoyed. Really annoyed.

    • Mia

      When my husband and I sold our condo, the buyer and a lot of the potential offers were actually professional women listed solo. Where I live there are a lot of women who make good money and are in high-powered jobs (big law firms, for example–there are a LOT of those here) so I feel like salespeople, realtors, etc. recognize that because it’s so much of their business. I live in a nice neighborhood and my neighbor on one side is a single professional woman and my neighbor on the other side is a couple where the woman is a very senior executive at a large company that out-earns her husband. But I think in other cities where I’ve lived, this definitely isn’t true.

      • Jess

        Yeah, I suppose it depends where you live. I’m not in a big city, and there’s no major industry (mostly manufacturing, I think). So people aren’t used to it. Sometimes I append my work signature to my emails (which I would normally consider irritating behavior) just so that people take me seriously.

      • Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

        It is not normal here for sure.. and where I am, people don’t make much, so they assume if we do have money, it isn’t from my earnings.

      • Mia

        I live in what’s been called the top city for successful single women in the US.

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