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Girls… Are you on top?

I often hear women say that they have little involvement or interest in their family investments and financial position. It seems many of you leave it up to your significant other to manage.

money

I am referring to your finances … ! 🙂

Do you know your credit card balance and the interest rate?

How much are your combined direct debits each month?

What’s your minimum mortgage repayment and how much of that is interest and the rate your Bank charges you?

Haven’t a clue and you’d rather be off shopping?

Great… then read on.

If you are not in control of your finances you will never ever be financially secure. Don’t leave the management of budgeting, paying bills, sorting your financial paperwork and managing your superannuation solely to anyone else. Ignorance may be bliss but you are setting yourself up for possible financial disaster.

I often hear women say that they have little involvement or interest in their family investments and financial position. It seems many of you leave it up to your significant other to manage. I still find it amazing that I when I look around at the passengers on my bus ride to work, I notice that most of the guys are reading the financial pages or a Trading publication and the women are engrossed in a magazine detailing how fat/thin/spotty a celebrity is.

Girls, this is a big waste of your intellect and you know it.

Ideally, finances should be a fully shared and understood process if you are in a relationship and live together. If you rely solely on your partner/husband/lover to manage “the money” then you are doing yourself a serious disservice. Both of you need to get equally involved as you are both accountable. What would you do if they left you, died or became too ill to sort it out for you? Ok, this stuff of nightmares may never happen but unless your crystal ball is working, you just never know what your future holds. A time of crisis is not the best time to start learning about your debts and you may even be in for a very nasty shock.

When I was about 22, a much older male friend of the family told me to always take charge of the money. He advised me to always be the one to hold the credit card, to pay the bills, and to know what is going in, going out and when. I took his advice – not appreciating what he was actually referring to. He even said get your own secret bank account which I never did – I’m too honest in a relationship to do such a thing. You make your own call on that one!

Many years later, his advice paid off. I experienced a divorce and I had been in sole charge of the finances including investment property tax, BAS statement compilation and submission. This was a God-send to me as I understood our entire financial position and didn’t need to try and learn it during a time of crisis. My ex-husband didn’t have a clue and was happy to let me take charge of the dollars. Luckily for him I was completely honest about our finances (I believe in karma too much – that’s another topic).

During a period of great uncertainty, I was sure of one thing – I knew how to survive on my own financially. All very empowering stuff.

Here’s a bit of gossip for you. I was just speaking to a work colleague; she said that her friend recently told her the following:

  • She has no idea what her husband earns
  • She is “granted” a housekeeping allowance every fortnight
  • She has never paid a bill during their married life.
  • She has virtually no Superannuation of her own and has no idea how much her husband has.

I’ll end this blog entry with an extreme example of non-financial participation which hopefully belongs to a past generation. My mother has never used an ATM machine. My father has always done it for her.

What happened to “Girl Power”?

 

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