Women And Finances

When reading some of the comments to our posts I’m amused to see that some responders assume that I’m a man.  When it comes to women and money is it generally assumed that women my age are clueless about money and let their husbands control the family finances?

Women and Money

It irritates me to no end when my husband and I meet with sales professionals – whether insurance agents, mortgage brokers, contractors, etc – and they totally ignore anything I say, or even worse, look to my husband for confirmation.

I have dealt with the family budget, savings and investments since my marriage over thirty years ago.

Sure I discuss major purchases and investment goals and holdings with my husband, but he basically gives me free rein because he knows I’m more interested in finance than he is and I have worked for a financial institution for over 25 years.

It’s important for all women to know what’s going on financially in their lives and have some understanding of the decisions made even if they are not interested in the act of building the portfolio.

It’s fine to let their man manage the family investments as long as there is some discussion (even if only a couple of times a year) of strategies, progress and decisions made.  It’s a huge mistake for women to plan on a secure financial future by hoping to marry well and live happily ever after.

As a financial planner I’ve seen many cases of women who became widowed or divorced and were paralyzed with fear and confusion, not knowing what to do.  Because of lack of involvement and ignorance of their family finances, the pain and grief of personal loss was intensified.

Nearly half of all marriages end in divorce, and women generally live to be about ten years older than men, so widowhood is a strong possibility.

Related: Is A Prenup Really Necessary?

Whether on your own with books or online information, or with the help of a trusted advisor, it’s everyone’s (both men and women’s) responsibility to learn the basics of managing money and taking charge of your financial future.

Make sure you know exactly what your holdings are.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions.  After all, it’s your life, your plans and dreams we’re talking about and you should know how to go about achieving them.

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  1. The Passive Income Earner on September 16, 2010 at 9:16 am

    I totally agree with you. My mom took care of a lot of the finance at home when I grew up to help my dad with his business. You should write more about your experiences.

    I have to say that my wife has learned a lot from me with respect to finances and can now easily spot flaws and lack of budgeting amongst her friends. On the other hand, she often comments that I think with my wallet. I am also regularly bombarded with the word ‘cheap’ from the kids now. Both of them girls and I am determine that by the time they reach adulthood, they will have a financial and investment knowledge necessary to succeed.


    • Boomer on September 16, 2010 at 3:22 pm

      You’re absolutely right. When I shopped with my boys for back to school clothes, we were all crying when we got back home because of the arguments about what they wanted and what we could afford. Luckily, they were a lot more budget conscious when they had their own money. I think it’s really important to give our kids a good head start with managing their own finances and it’s about time that girls stop buying into the belief that they aren’t “smart enough” to learn money management skills.
      Thanks for your interest.

  2. youngandthrifty on September 17, 2010 at 1:14 am

    Oh my goodness. For some reason I assumed you were male too (my apologies)! Now I like you even more =) Maybe it’s the simple background on your blog? I’m not sure. =)

    I’m actually much more financially savvy compared to my male significant other and I am happy that I am.

  3. nancy (aka moneycoach) on September 19, 2010 at 10:24 pm

    I think the part about not being afraid to ask questions is key. Sometimes we forget that it’s OUR money, not the advisors’ or the bankers. And asking questions should be seen as a way of becoming savvy. If our advisor/banker can’t answer in a way that we can understand … time to move on!

    • Boomer on September 20, 2010 at 5:27 pm

      You’re right Nancy. There’s just something about a guy in a suit sitting behind a desk that seems to intimidate some women. I don’t know why. It IS our money and we don’t need a pat on the head from someone telling us not to worry about it.

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