In Budgeting, Career, Discussions, Discussions, Money, Women

Why women should be able to depend on themselves financially

I cannot think of a better title than that. It sums up everything I am about, because I heard a story of a woman the other day who went back to her husband because she had expenses and a “crew” to pay for.

Long story short, she was with this much older, very rich man for a decade, and has a 3-year old with him. In the car one day as they were driving, he hit her from the passenger side. I guess she was verbally provoking him about something, and he slapped her.

She almost crashed the car with her son in the backseat and her mother as a witness, and he ran out and went to his sister’s house instead. She pressed charges with the police, and there was a long drawn out drama for the next 8 months.

Finally in the end, she dropped the charges and went back to him.

Why?

Because she had expenses (code word: lots of things she likes, like blowouts at the salon, nails, spa days, skincare, trainers, etc….), and she had a crew to pay for (her older college-age son from another marriage, her 3-year old, her mother, her whole family actually..).

She needed his money to keep living because she couldn’t make her own

She was going back to school for her beauty technician degree or certificate, but was close to getting it but doesn’t have it (don’t know what the story is), and wanted to open a salon but obviously needs capital (his money) to do so, and in the meantime, cannot afford to pay for her lifestyle.

She rocks all the designer stuff – fur coats, designer Louboutin heels, Louis Vuitton suitcases, you get the idea.

She also has her own property that her mother lives in, and she lives in another property with this husband.


And yet, because she is unwilling / unable to leave because of her “expenses”, she went back to someone who slapped her in the car while she was driving.

This is why, whenever I hear people like my neighbour humble bragging with her little digs at me, and school-shaming me about why I am not paying private for Little Bun, or worse, when he was a baby, she even shamed Working Mothers in front of a group of parents which in turn, was shaming me because I had expressed a great desire to go back to work and make my own money again…..

I don’t give a f*ck at the end of the day

Why?

Because I have something they don’t – I can make my own money and continue to live exactly the way I do today, all by myself.

It is because I make my own money, I can take care of myself and Little Bun alone if ANYTHING happens, and I know how to manage my finances, and make sure we are never put in a position where a anyone’s money are my shackles or a noose around my neck.

I am also in an unusual position of being a woman who makes a lot of exceptional income, but even if I wasn’t, my mother instilled in me from a very young age, that I am never to be dependent on anyone but myself.

My mother is my total inspiration for the way I live today, because she is also someone who likes making her own money and not answering to anyone for anything. She’s an OG rebel!

And as for my humble-bragging, school-shaming neighbour?

I know that she can’t do what I do. And she knows it. That’s why she is insecure AF and always tries to take little digs at me by showing how much she doesn’t care.

If she ever left or if her husband ever left her, she would not be able to pay for her son’s fancy private school alone, or all of the things she and he is accustomed to having, and she would have to rent a small apartment because she would not have the education or skills to easily pick up a decent paying job to cover any of it.

She could make it, of course. Every mother can.

I am not saying she can’t, I am just saying it would be a drastic downgrade to her lifestyle.

I don’t need my partner’s money, because I only need my partner

This is of course, my own deep personal philosophy to be totally independent and strong financially, but not applicable to my real life because my partner is nowhere near this at all.

Many men aren’t! Many men are GREAT.

They are supportive, wonderful, equal partners. They stand up for women who are their partners, mothers and sisters, and they are the ones I really wish we would hear and see more of in the world.

My partner is not perfect but he is pretty damn good.

We are fairly equal, we help each other, treat each other as we should and I don’t need to feel like I am dependent on him in any way because I have my own money.

Even if I were a stay-at-home-parent, I would know that with my skills and degree, I could find a job easily if I had to.

We should all be searching for partners who are our equals in whatever way that is defined for you.

So if we want to stop having certain men treat women like #%*@, we have to definitely teach our boys, and men in society to not assault, rape, molest or otherwise harass women but we can ALSO do something on our own —


BE ABLE TO BE FINANCIALLY INDEPENDENT

I mean, is this a man women want to be stuck with because they can’t make their own money?

Because he is a “great swimmer” with “great swim times” and any longer sentence than 6 months for violently raping a girl behind a dumpster was going to “affect his career for a 20 minute mistake”?

MISTAKE?

MISTAKE!?!?!

This is not a son I’d be proud of, and I know we all love our kids, but this is complete BS.

Do you want to ever end up with a man like this?

Or have your children end up with someone like this and be trapped in that relationship because he is an all-star swimmer who makes bank and they need that money to live?

Thankfully, not all men are like this. There are great guys out there, and it is just a few bad apples that sour the whole pot.

This is why I actually really respect Kim Kardashian for, because she understands money, and she and Kanye keep their money separate but this woman knows how to save.

Say what you want about them and the marketing machine, but she is smart AF. I may not like everything about them but I do have major respect for her.

Making your own money is powerful

You don’t need to be beholden to anyone, if you can make your own money (not that you do, or want to right now, that’s another story),but as long as you know you CAN make your own money and way in life, that is priceless and powerful.

Doesn’t have to be spouse that you are dependent on. Many women are still dependent on their parents, believe it or not.

Why do you think I am so adamant that women learn about their money?

That they know how to balance a budget? Pay bills? Take care of themselves?

Hustle and get a job, and make MORE money through negotiation?

Because these are LIFE SKILLS.

You never know when you will need to do any of this, and you will be grateful if/when ever anything happens. You may not have to do it now, but you need to have this in your back pocket in case it ever happens.

So are you saying all mothers should go back to work!?

No.

I am not saying all mothers who stay at home should stop staying at home and go back to work, “abandon” their kids and whatever.

I am saying just be aware of what you can and cannot achieve, and make sure you are financially able to support yourself and your own family if anything happens.

Don’t leave things to the last minute to figure it out in a haze of grief/stress/pain/frustration.

Just don’t be that person who is clueless and is taken advantage of, and gets into deep credit card debt because she isn’t sure of who she is and what she can achieve.

All mothers will do what it takes to protect their families, but why not make it easier by actually knowing what the reality is and what you would have to do, if you were alone?

So, could you support yourself by yourself?

You may be quite surprised to learn that you can only get a minimum wage job if you were a stay at home parent for a while, and this job will barely cover rent, let alone food.

So, could you support yourself if you were alone?

Just think about it. Think about your expenses, what it would cost to rent, etc.

I am not saying start packing a suitcase and run for the hills, or start turning on your spouse and to start antagonizing them by saying they will leave you and you have to be ready to leave at any time.

This is NOT THE MESSAGE I want to get across.

I want you to get the message that THINGS HAPPEN.

You may not have ever imagined it would, but THINGS HAPPEN. It may not be someone leaving you, or you leaving them, or domestic violence, it could even be a death.

Whatever it is, you have to be SURE of yourself and your situation, otherwise it will be much worse.

Thoughts?



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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

I got out of $60,000 of debt in 18 months using TheBudgetingTool.com. Since then, 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 (savings rate = 85%). I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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9 Comments

  1. k
    karen

    Personally, I prefer the more traditional family model, with all its advantages and disadvantages taken into account.

    I don’t mind about what other people do with their own lives and families, but I, for one, would find it very, very hard to be apart from my child for most / lots of his waking hours. To each his own. So, if I can afford to have a choice, my choice is to be with my child and do my best in my role as a mother and homemaker. I also take care of our family finances responsibly and we are doing fine. (We keep joint finances as both my husband and I have always preferred to do so and we are both on the same page financially.)

    Fortunately, my husband is a good man and we have common values. But we had been married for almost a decade before we decided to have children, so we knew each other quite well. We also had both worked hard to build a good financial foundation before expanding our family.

    Founding a family should take careful judgement and planning because it’s essential that the spouses have common values and that they love and respect each other.

    Also, I’d say that nowadays, it is usually very hard for most people to become single parents (even for working mothers or fathers), especially when the children are small and need full-time care, too. Not many people have high incomes (even educated ones) and sometimes the other parent doesn’t fulfill his duties and avoids paying alimony for his child/children and you have to sue that parent, etc. It is not easy. Besides, there are other necessities apart from money (i.e., the helping hand in your everyday life, the one who helps you when you need a respite).
    So one should try and choose their partner wisely from the beginning, that is, before marrying them, or at least before having children. Also, another important thing is to live within one’s means and not to have a high maintenance lifestyle when you cannot truly afford it.

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      I absolutely agree with this — your partner in life, should be someone you trust completely. I think rushing into unions and not choosing wisely, can really have terrible outcomes.

      Reply
  2. L
    LiNDA

    Yep! With you 100% on this.
    Like you said things can happen.
    I don’t like to think of the worse, but I do and I can say I can cover us or rather myself god forbid something happens.
    Grateful to say that!

    What she should’ve been doing is banking some of his money as a just in case. He’s older and probably will die sooner. She need to cover herself and the baby.
    As for the mom, I hope she has some retirement $ to chip in as well. Too much burden on this lady. I would even bet the moms encouraged her to go back too. #sad

    This was a good read abt working moms that I can only imagine about.
    https://www.someecards.com/news/news/exhausted-mom-goes-viral-lean-out/

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      Yes! At least know what you have to do if anything happens. Not saying it will. Just saying be aware.

      Reply
  3. S
    Sense

    YES!

    100%. My ex-BF used to get so tetchy about splitting everything 50-50. I never understood why! Even if he made more $$, it is so important for me to be able to pay for my own way and not be dependent on him, or ‘owe’ him a clean house and cooked meal (ew). Even when my residency in NZ was linked to him, I started applying for my own independent visa as soon as my feet hit the soil and I was eligible to apply. I never want to be beholden to anyone for anything.

    The other side of the coin is that men need to be able/learn how to take care of themselves and others emotionally. We have to flip/eliminate expectations on both sides for true change and equality to happen. Women are currently expected to do it all, for much less. Our emotional workload is enormous. With feminism we got to make our own money and have careers outside of the home, but men have pretty much continued as normal. This may need to be the next goal for feminism?!

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      ONE THOUSAND PERCENT.

      I love how you said “to owe him a cooked meal or cleaned house”. Men definitely also have to step up. Some are doing it but an article I read and I think I linked to at one point, said that men are getting heaps of praise for the littlest of things they do and it isn’t fair as it makes them lazy (they think they’re doing great) and some REALLY aren’t stepping up but are told they are.

      Reply
    2. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      Women also feel the need to be more feminine and clean the house more, etc, when they make more money. FYI. To make them stop feeling so emasculated, apparently.

      Reply
  4. GYM

    Oh dear, that’s a terrible story…this is the reason why I could never be a stay at home mom. I think when you make your own money you feel empowerment and you don’t need to put up with domestic violence like that. I don’t want to be ‘asking’ for money or permission to spend money. Today I had an $8 piece of cake and didn’t need to check in with my husband because it doesn’t come out of our joint spending.

    Like it or not, money is about power and control.

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      Money is all about power and control. Whoever has the money calls the shots which is why when women are breadwinners, they are so confused.. they aren’t used to being in that position.

      Reply

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