When talking about women and money, we are often portrayed as financial risks. This is because of the perception that we we either shop too much or know little when it comes to utilizing money to create long term wealth and security. So today I’d like to discuss the issue of being a financial asset in your relationship. No partner wants a woman who shops too much and isn’t financially responsible with bad credit. You’re as much of a risk as the man with a bankruptcy and continued financial irresponsibility if those are your cards. So how do we become a financial asset?
[Edit] Some of you have already commented that you are surprised by the gender assumptions made by the article. It is based on this Bankrate.com article which I found pretty eye-opening in that they specifically indicate the differences in approach to money by men and women. I don’t want you to think that I am using this article to paint all women with one brush, just understand that not all of us are working towards financial freedom because we havent been taught how to do so as the article implies.
- Women, trained to nurture and seek acceptance, view money as a means to create a lifestyle. Women spend on things that enhance day-to-day living. Theirs is a now-money orientation.
- Men, trained to fix and provide, view money as a means to capture and accumulate value. Men don’t spend, they invest. Men don’t want something, they need it. Theirs is a future-money orientation.
Embrace The Frugal Lifestyle
Before you turn your nose up at the idea, this isn’t about being cheap. This is about getting the best price you can for whatever you buy, remember, if it isnt free then it isnt on sale. It is also about figuring out your needs vs. wants, do you need that pretty fuschia sweater at Bluefly? Your partner will be able to appreciate this quality because you won’t present as a spendthrift, but as a woman informed about her buying power and not at all dedicated to buying crap and coming home with nothing to show for it. Believe me, I know
Invest In your Career and Education
I don’t care what your life plans are. Some of us want to stay home and take care of our children and some of us want to run out and conquer the world, whatever you decide, invest in your education and/or something that you are able to do in the event that you have to earn a living on your own. A man is not a financial plan and prince charming doesn’t exist. Sh*t happens. Be smart and protect your self. Having an education even if you don’t pursue the corresponding career (English major becoming and English teacher), shows your partner that you are invested in yourself and that is the best investment that you could EVAH make.
If you’re a career woman, map out a 1-3-5-7-10 year plan and revise it yearly as it is a working document. You’ll be a better woman for it because now you’re bringing to the table a woman who is focused and intent on her success.
Keep Up To Date On The Latest Financial News
Read and be informed around current and ongoing financial issues. I’m not at all asking you to go out and subscribe to Barron’s but reading sites like Girls Just Wanna Have Funds (shameless plug), Consumerism Commentary, CNN Money, MSN Money MasterYourCard and others will give you both an insiders and main stream media view of what’s going on with your wallet. Be aware of current savings and loan interest rates, take an active interest in making the most of your money no matter where it is. A financially motivated woman is a woman who is in control of her destiny.
Engage Your Partner On Financial Issues
How much does your partner understand about the current bailout drama? Do you meet regularly to discuss house finances such as your household budget and current debt load? Make these conversations a regular part of relationship to ensure that you remain on the same page.
Maintain An Open Door Policy: Communication
Need I really say this ladies? Communication is key. Don’t haul off and buy that $400 dress without talking to your spouse if your rules dictate as such. Some people need to consult for a $7 purchase and others a $200 purchase, different strokes for different folks. Whatever yours may be, keep the lines of communication open.
I’m the shopaholic in my relationship but I make sure to tell the husband unit of any purchases over $300 that sits outside of our regular budgetary items.
Be Financially Responsible Around Debts And Money Habits
Cut that shat out! No partner wants a woman who is irresponsible around her debts and overall money habits. In his/her eyes you become more of a financial risk, especially if you have no idea on how or if you’ll pay it all back. Debt is slavery and we really don’t want to be enslaved to a perpetual debt now do we? Get a plan, read a book like The Automatic Millionaire, Young Fabulous and Broke, Smart Women Finish Rich or Total Money Makeover.
I’m not saying that you have to go into your relationship or marriage, debt free but the first step is a change in mindset and a plan to make it happen. A woman with a plan makes for a happy man. Cheesy, I know but true.
Be Charitable By Giving To Others
Give and ye shall receive. You can do through tithing, charitable work/donations and/or community service. Any service given to those who have less than you is an indication of the quality of your character. This tells your partner you are willing to part with your time and money in the service of others, can’t go wrong with that!
Question: Have I missed anything? How do you think a woman can be a financial asset in her relationship?