Alright ladies, this post is for you. In honor of International Women’s Day, I joined forces with some of the brightest ladies in Personal Finance to bring you the #WomenRockMoney project.
As part of this project, I’ve been challenged to share ONE piece of advice for all my wonderful readers that I believe all women need in order to achieve success with their finances.
And here’s the thing ladies, I know most of my readers are working hard to achieve amazing results with their money and I also know how hard it can be to make that success happen.
But I also know, that there are many women out there living without a single clue of what their money is doing. I’m not just talking about married women here, I’m talking about single ladies as well.
In fact, I just spoke with an old friend from college who just got married and her statement to me was, “Now that I’m married, I don’t even have to think about money again! Thank God because I just couldn’t manage all of my money on my own anymore.” And another single friend of mine told me she has no idea how much money she spends every month besides her making a nearly six-figure income, she ends up struggling at the end of every month to pay the bills.
Ignorance is NOT bliss.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m the primary money manager in my home because I LIKE that type of thing. But that doesn’t give my husband a free pass to just go along with whatever I say. He must be informed as well about what is happening with our money.
And the same is true for my newly-married friend, she doesn’t get a free pass because now she’s married and her husband is a freak about spreadsheets. She needs to come alongside her husband to make sure that she understands what is going on financially in her home.
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True story time.
About 8 years ago at a company I used to work for, I heard a coworker sobbing – the ugly-barely-breathing kind of sobbing. Now it’s important to note that this coworker was not the drama kind – she was an incredibly hard worker and not the kind that engaged in water cooler chat.
When I asked this coworker what was wrong, she unleashed the flood gates and told me that her husband for months had been trying to fix his mistakes – without telling her. She had no idea they were in a horrible spot financially, and even though her husband tried in vain to fix the issues, it never worked. He had forgotten to include his wife and his wife had failed to educate herself on the financial affairs of their home.
Everything came crashing down and they lost their home, one of their cars, her husband’s business, and much, much more. She was devastated.
But the fact remains, that both her and her husband are at fault for what happened. Sure her husband shouldn’t have tried to pretend that nothing was wrong, but she also shouldn’t have kept herself in the dark about her family’s money. Thankfully, it was all a blessing in disguise and they ended up renting a home that was significantly cheaper than the home they lost.
When you’re married, there are two people using the money and therefore there must be two people involved in the decision process. And when you’re single, you’re the one that has to manage the money. You can’t just pretend that everything will get better – it’ll take action.
Do not keep yourself in the dark.
Back when I was single and drowning in a big fat financial mess that I created myself, I tried to keep myself in the dark. I mean, I knew that I wasn’t doing great financially, but I didn’t really know how bad I was doing. In other words, I didn’t really know what the numbers were.
I was trying to pretend, just as my coworker’s husband did, that everything was going to be fine. I kept telling myself that everything would work out but I wasn’t actually doing anything to fix my mess. Ignorance is not bliss. You can not put your head in the sand and pretend that your financial mess won’t jump up and sink you – because guess what? It will.
Let’s get real with our money.
Okay, so what do you? If you’re married, you need to sit down with your husband and openly discuss your family’s money. If your husband is the one managing the money, ask him to be involved – not in a “I want to control everything” way, but more in a “how can I help you with this” type of thing.
Start working together towards your family’s financial goals and you’ll achieve them so much faster.
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And what if you’re single? Write down your goals – what do you want to accomplish and how can you start to managing your money in order to bring you closer to achieving those goals? Then, find an accountability partner. This can be your mom, best friend, anyone that is going to tell you to NOT buy the purse you’re really wanting. You don’t want your shopping buddy as your accountability partner.
The best thing you can do for your finances is to keep yourself aware of what is going on with your money. Keeping yourself in the dark won’t shield you from life happening. So, if you haven’t already, set down with your money today and educate yourself on how money works in your home.
You tell me – what is one piece of financial advice you wish you could have given your younger self?
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