I was watching TV the other day, and on a show ,like 60 minutes or something. It was talking about how many women know absolutely nothing about their finances. Being from a strong financial background, I figured this must be something that only older generations of women are guilty of, right?! Wrong! Even women my age, mid 30s, had little to no idea where there money was or what kind of credit accounts their family had. Being the control freak that I am, I found this to be just slightly terrifying! If you fall into this category, you MUST continue reading. This article is written for you.
Being married is one of the best things in life, well as long as you find the perfect person you can annoy for the rest of your life. It’s a partnership, and both partners should be aware of the household finances. This avoids putting stress on just one partner, and also protects the other spouse, goodness forbid, in the event of divorce.
After seeing this show, I decided to do a little research and I came across this interesting article about why women tend to avoid making financial decisions, and exactly why we needed to stop doing this.
Because of the history where the men made financial decisions, there are still some women that don’t tend to invest their time to learn how to manage their money beyond paying the bills. They seem to think that learning about investing or retirement planning just isn’t something they have the ability or know how to do. Ladies, this is something that we don’t have the time NOT to do! We need to empower ourselves, and learn about our financial goals and set a plan to get there.
Crunchy Frugalista started out as a deal website because living frugally was what it took to keep our family going. Clipping coupons and finding that awesome deal was how we made our family budget stretch. We, as women, are so much more than coupon clippers. We have the strength and the right to make financial decisions to not only get out of debt, or stretch that budget, but to prepare for our financial future. It’s the only way all of our hard frugal planning can really build a future for our family and ourselves.
To help you get started, I have made a list of ten things you need to know or learn about in order to have a good handle on your finances and make those big, “scary” financial decisions.
1. Know Where your Bank Accounts Are (All of them): You may not be the one that pays the bills, but you need to know, and have access to, all of the bank accounts. When I say “know where they are”, I don’t just mean knowing you have checking accounts at XYZ bank. You need to know the bank account numbers, and be able to access the accounts.
If you and hubby have decided to keep some finances separate, have a monthly finance meeting with him and ask to see the bank statements. It’s really something you need to know, so you can help plan your finances together for the long term.
2. Know Where all Your Marital Debt Is: Did you know that in a lot of states that even if you aren’t on a credit card with your husband, upon divorce you could be liable to help pay that bill? Yep, speaking from experience on this one ladies. That’s why it’s so important to discuss how much debt each of you have, and have a general idea what the balances are. That way there are no surprise bills or you know what you have available for emergencies or home improvements.
3. Invest in your 401(k): If your employer offers a 401(k), or similar program, make sure to invest in it. These plans can seem really overwhelming, but most plan administrators have customer service that will discuss your long term retirement goals and help you put your money in funds that match your needs and what risk level you are comfortable with.
4. Protect Yourself with Life Insurance: Whether you are working or a stay at home mom, it’s really important to have some life insurance coverage. I hear all the time that women don’t think they need to have life insurance because they don’t work, but in the event of your death your spouse is going to need to pay for daycare and other expenses in your absence. You owe it to your children to find a Genworth Financial insurance agent you trust, and protect yourself and your family with life insurance coverage.
5. Don’t Be Afraid to Educate Yourself: There are so many great, user friendly websites out there now that are geared towards educating women on their finances now. They no longer read like stereo instructions and are there empower women when it comes to their finances! Don’t be afraid to use search engines or great financial websites to learn a little bit more about a topic you don’t feel confident about!
These tips are baby steps to get you in the right direction about knowing your finances ladies! Just take these few, simple steps and you are sure to be the financial guru of your domain really soon!
Do you handle your finances at home? What advice would you give women that don’t?
Rae Howell says
Loved your post!!! I am the CFO of our home…My husband does not use his debit card without permission…well lets be honest he at least asks me before using…WHY? Because I rule the roost…Well actually #1 its a partnership and we both agree based upon his past marriage and my aunt the trophy wife’s experience to work together…His idea of together is he makes money and I take care of everything else…I tell him about what is going on everyday on the ride home…yes we have only 1 vehicle that helps too…We also have a listing of all accounts passwords due dates and estimated bill amount…that way he knows if something happened to me#2 We live on a budget and I am very very frugal…I did not used to be this way…I actually never couponed or bought store brand, day old bread, or reduced meat/veggies. 2 years and one stroke and one surgery later…couponing saved our finances and we are about to purchase a home in the country….Including our soon to be mortgage almost all of our bills can be paid in one check. That means half of each paycheck goes to bills and the rest is broken up for other expenses including savings. We try and look at worst case scenario… If my husband lost his job and had to be on unemployment could we pay the bills with unemployment….YES we can…We have had some rough very rough times in the past….including having to sell off almost everything due to a dual job loss…so 17 years later and lots of lessons learned we know its much easier to work as a team and talk things out…I had to learn that when my husband is upset about finances its NOT ALL ABOUT MY ABILITY…and through communication (and lots of tears later) we were able to through our past hardships and current challenges…COMMON SENSE should prevail!!!