I was totally purposed to bring you another article about saving and growing your money but I’ve decided to put that on hold as I examine my Zone of Genius. Thinking about what that is and how I plan to get there, I started to think about my “why”. Why I am so passionate not just about personal finance but educating women about their money?
- What positive impact do I want to have on others?
- Who do I want to serve?
- In what way do I want to serve them
- Who am I and what do I stand for as a person?
- So what difference do you want to make in the world?
- Who are you, really when you get to the core of your authentic self?
- Why do you want to do this in the first place? Is it because you want to live out your true calling through your work in the world? Or, are there other driving factors? – Blogher – What Is Your Why and Who?
A lot of women visit this site and brush off the thought of how important money is to their lives. But all we have to do is look at the divorce rates and we’ll see that most marriages see a fiery end due to financial issues. Or we can ask some women to stop buying designer shoes, clothes and handbags and we’ll see where their heart lies (validation). Whenever I see a woman posted up in a designer label in every picture (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) that tells me she has issues around using money to validate herself to the world around her because she didn’t have money growing up (self-esteem issues). Sadly, we can also take a look at how many face the daunting task of supporting themselves if their partners are no longer in the picture (fear). Wait, what about the many of us living in shelters with children because we lost a job and too ashamed or don’t have families to turn to for financial help (shame)?
Money isn’t the most important thing in life, but it’s reasonably close to oxygen on the “gotta have it” scale. Zig Ziglar
Many of us don’t want to face the truth so we brush it off, sticking our heads in the sand until the crap hits the fan and we can no longer ignore it. The truth is money matters to every one of us and we are gratuitously lying to ourselves of we think that it doesn’t. Taking a look at the comments from my guest post over at Consumerism Commentary and we can see how many men are incensed by the thought of a woman requiring that they be financially stable, secure and responsible before getting serious. Then there are women who are so caught up in the idea of love that they forget the realities of dating financially unstable partner and the resulting devastation that occurs in the aftermath. I know because they eventually saunter over here and write me for advice on how to recover after Mr NotSoRight drained their bank accounts:
I’m here to tell you that you’re fooling yourselves if you think that way. Issues that have to do with money are never really about the money. They are often issues rooted in deep childhood that play out in our financial lives and we think the solution is a debt snowball but it really isn’t. Consequentially, we find ourselves as adults with this tacit resistance to managing our own money because of antiquated childhood programming where we were told to allow our partners to do so or we weren’t socialized to care about it in a meaningful way.
Born to shop From birth, American women and men are raised to view and spend money quite differently. Our socialization, a trained behavior, is primarily modeled after our same-sex parent. While experts agree these generalizations are breaking down, here’s the money paradigm most of us have been dealt:
- 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.
“Women have been taught to invest in lifestyle and children. Men have been taught to invest in things that hold value — a house, retirement,” says Ruth Hayden, a financial counselor and author of For Richer, Not Poorer: The Money Book for Couples – Bankrate
This leads me to my “why”.
Every day that I set out to write an article here, my “why” is to think about how can I help you get financially comfortable, whole, safe and in control.
That’s my why.
We can talk about how to save .50 on a 12 pack of toilet tissue ad nauseam but none of that means anything if you don’t feel comfortable, whole, safe and in control of your financial lives. And that goes deeper than extreme couponing.
Why did I choose that why?
- I don’t want to be the woman that stays in an abusive relationship because I can’t afford to leave
- I like having options when life throws 100mph curve balls
- I like being in control of my life. I like having the option to leave a situation (relationship, job etc) that isn’t working and not remain a slave because of money
- I refuse to be a slave to debt for the rest of my life
- I need to understand my financial patterns because this tells me much more about me than the numbers in my budget
When I started writing this article, I wasn’t really sure where I was going with it but I’m here now because I’ve told you my why. My why helps me sleep at night and I want the same for you
So we’ll continue with the regularly scheduled programming tomorrow but today I want to know:
What’s your why? Why do you want to be financially free? Why do you want to get out of debt? Why are you on this financial journey?