Why Women Are Giving Away Power When It Comes To Money
Since the beginning of time, money and power remained synonymous. Sure there are plenty of quotes about how kindness is power and success isn’t about money, but there’s not denying the fire power of money not just on huge corporate or global scales, but on much smaller, very personal scales too.
Women’s lack of control over the world’s finances is represented by the stubbornness of those glass ceilings. While cracks are starting to appear, until women are equally responsible for the world’s financial wellbeing, we will never hear the shattering of ceilings. On a domestic level, women have been giving up their financial power in relationships since the beginning of time. In an age where we profess to be more independent and more powerful than ever, women are still burying their head in the family sand when it comes to money.
It’s worrying, but understandable. Remember, it’s not so long ago that the majority of women were at home looking after the kids. They had no muscle in the household finances and instead simply relied on a housekeeping allowance given to them by their bread-winner husband. There was considered no ‘need’ for women to have any access to the machinations of money - the husband earned it…and gave her what she needed. Such a situation is all well and good, while women are happy are to be socially and emotionally handicapped.
I know women, strong women, women who you’d be surprised to see in this situation, who don’t even have their own bank account. All their accounts are in joint names. I know women who don’t even know what their husband brings in every month. I know women who have never opened a credit card statement in their life, but are perfectly happy to spend money on it. I know women who wouldn’t know who provided their household electric or gas or who their insurance providers are. It’s a situation that we can fall into so easily because of the models that have gone before us but there’s no excuse to continue. We are better, we are smarter and we need to know where the buck stops.
What’s the problem you may ask? If it works, then it works, right? Sure. Until it doesn’t work and then what? If a marriage or a relationship breaks down, a woman with no insight into the family finances, no money of her own and now job, can find herself trapped, unable to leave, powerless to break free. If a man wants to control his wife, he doesn’t need to use his fists. He can render her paralysed by simply maintaining control of the purse strings - how can a woman extricate herself from a toxic relationship if she’s never had a job because she’s been a stay at home mum and relies on her husband to hand her money every month? I’m not suggesting that every woman has to go out and earn their own cash, but every woman in a relationship should be 100% involved in the discussion of finances. Every woman should know what’s coming in and what’s going out and if you’re with someone who refuses to share that information then may be you should ask yourself why.
It’s so important that we, as women, understand the need to have access to our own money. Money can be boring and tedious and stressful and I understand the desire to want someone else to deal with it but as women we need to be better. We need to be smarter and we need to stand up and ask for a place at the money table - whether that’s in the bigger world or in our own worlds. We need to take charge of our own pensions, our own insurances and money needs to be an open discussion in a relationship. We need to stop turning a blind eye because we want to avoid an argument or we can’t really be bothered to deal with all that stuff. It’s our responsibility to fight for this because trust me, it’s not going to be handed over willingly.
And now to my point…Vestpod. This isn’t a sponsored article in any way, but I met the website’s founder Emilie Bellet at a panel event I was talking on and I was blown away be her vision. She’s committed to empowering women when it comes to money - all those boring things that we forever assume to be the domain of the man are now ripe for the taking because Vestpod is breaking it all down and providing smart and accessible advice for every woman. Whether it’s pensions, stocks, investment, loans, debt, savings…Vestpod has everything you need to know as a women looking to empower and protect herself. Sign up to their newsletter today.