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21 Sep 2012

WOMEN AND THEIR MONEY

It is such a shame that a negative relationship between women and their money is so persistent. Especially in the light of the fact that money issues impact more on women than they do on men. The following are only a few of the reasons why women should take their finances more seriously than men do.

Women Live Longer
The last time I checked, women's life expectancy was longer than that of men. Yet most women have their men take care of the financial management and planning in their homes. They will give silly reasons like the complexity of financial issues. This is a sad truth for one of my friends, whose salary goes directly to the husband’s cheque account where its managed by said husband. Shocking, I know. Her husband seems to be a great family man. But, should he, God forbid, die, my friend would be left with a huge dilemma. She has no idea how to handle her own finances. It is kind of short sighted for married women not to learn to be independent when it comes to their own money and financial decisions. Especially given the fact that they are most likely to outlive their spouses or partners.

Shorter Work Life
Then comes the fact that women are likely to have breaks throughout their work life. Women who are of a child bearing age may have to take maternity leave, meaning some break in their earnings in some cases. Some women have to take years off to raise their kids to a school going age. Others choose to stay at home permanently, to take care of their families. Men are beginning to make this sacrifice too, thankfully. But it is still optional for men, as they don’t get pregnant nor nurse their babies. Women need to wake up and sort their financial lives whilst they are still having some earnings in their names. They should be saving a higher portion of their salaries to provide for the time when they are out of work.

Divorce
I know a girl who never knew that they had financial problems until she spotted their home up on auction in a newspaper. They both had jobs, but her husband had decided to stop paying the mortgage. Totally unbelievable. Whilst this is an extreme case, most women I converse with ignore the household financial statements and bank communication. In the case of a divorce, women have to start taking control of their lives and in most cases their children too. It's a very hard way to learn. They should be in touch with their money all their lives. Women should learn to know and manage the household money issues. There is no excuse for ignorance at all. Time to fix the relationship between women and their money is NOW.

Single Parenting
Most single parents are mothers, FACT.
Women are more likely to be the ones who win a custody battle in the case of a divorce, FACT.
Women are primary carers of the children in the household, FACT.
Most men don’t provide any financial support to the mothers of their children, whom they don’t live with, FACT.
A few men who are forced to provide financial support by law often give too little money for single moms to go by, FACT.
Most single parents focus on their children’s future and neglect providing for their own retirement, FACT.
Enough said.

Main Providers
Even when women are in good relationships, they remain main nurturers and providers for their households. They are the ones who know how the pantry looks, the state of everyone’s closets, etc. Their budgets are bigger than those of their spouses in most cases. They spend more on others in the family than men do.

Lower Salary Levels
Finally, it is 2012 and yet women still earn lower income than men. A number of social issues lead to this. Fortunately for us, growing wealth is not about the income level. It's about discipline and consistency. Take control of your finances. Better late than never!

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