It all changes with birth. The long sleepless nights, that permanent swimming head feeling that comes from a different sort of big night out – one in the feeding chair.
If I can nudge you awake for a moment though, it’s a reality that once a woman leaves her job to have children, she’s on a downward curve of money fuzziness too. Women on average earn for a third less time during their lifetimes than men, meaning we have a far shorter while to create financial security for ourselves and our families. Australian women are terrified of ending up as bag ladies, yet whilst most realise a ‘man is not a financial plan’ they’re not sure what is. Then it gets too hard, heads go in the sand in favour of the ‘she’ll be right’ approach. Statistically, eighty-nine per cent of women have no formal plan in place. Ouch.
Studies show that the lower a wife’s earned income, the less bargaining power she feels she has within the marriage. Not only does this extend to big ticket money decisions but often right down to what colour the walls are going to be. Happily, studies show that if women’s earned income increases again down the track, they’re more likely to assume a greater role in financial decision making again.
Marital harmony can only benefit if we women continue to take an active interest in the long term financial security of the family unit, whether we earn an income or not.
Sara Lucas is Founder of EnrichMe a community focused website that bridges the yawning gap between what smart women want from their money and how to get it. “EnrichMe bridges the abyss between what women say they want from money and what they’re actually doing about it.”
In closing, Sara would love to share with you a comment from a father of four. “I wish my wife would take more interest in money, I’m constantly having to explain why we can’t afford this item or that holiday, It creates so much tension but if she took a more active interest we wouldn’t need to have these conversations.” His wife is an investment banker so there’s validation for all of us. I’d love to know how it works for you. Who wears the money pants in your family and how well does it work?
“I was raised by an intelligent mother who believed that “my daughters must have the capacity to be independent”, EnrichMe is my mother’s voice. ” Sophie Bartho, Managing Director, Brandswell.
“Thank you EnrichMe for empowering women in financial matters. “ Melanie Kansil, CEO, Customer Underground.
“EnrichMe – finally an amazing source of ideas, inspiration and information around money for women.” Janine Garner, Founder, Little Black Dress Group.