Money Insights, Wisdom, and More
Women and Money | One of our longest most important relationships
I think you would agree… even though it’s not a human relationship, the relationship between women and money is lifelong (first it buys us toys and then it buys us long term care). While we can divorce our partners, become widowed or end relationships that no longer serve us…money hangs with us through thick and thin and is a medium we engage with daily.
Like any relationship, the one between women and money, has it’s complexities. As we work through our fears, struggles and pain with money, we have the opportunity to step into a space of personal power, freedom, and security. In my own life, I’ve found working through my projections, fears and scarcity mentality about money has brought me to a space of emotional and financial freedom (regardless of the amount of money I have in my bank account).
I’m going to “think out loud” with you about WHY it is important for us women to have a healthy relationship with money. I invite you to post your “think out loud” thoughts with me here in the comments below.
We make better decisions
We make better decisions for ourselves and our family when we have our money handled. We don’t have to sacrifice our values and emotional health while staying in relationships or career situations just for the money. I think all women can relate to this…earning our worth and learning smart money management skills keeps us in a place of personal power and keeps our emotional health front and center. The bottom line is we have MORE freedom, more choice and make better decisions for ourselves and our family.
I learned first hand from my mom how important it was to be able to stand on my own two feet financially. She always told me, “you never know what life will bring your way, go to school, build a career and always bring in your own money so that if anything happens you can always stand on your own two feet.” My mom was “asked” to leave her corporate job when she was pregnant with me. She was told, “women can’t be dependable at work if they have children (it was a different time).” Over time, she became dependent on my dad’s earnings and in some way, this crimped my mom’s experience of freedom for herself and her family.
We create smoother transitions for ourselves
We open ourselves to creating smoother life transitions when we are financially smart. Whether it’s getting married, having children, going to school, getting divorced, unexpected illness, moving through loss of a spouse or parent…all transitions require emotional energy. Personally, I find it comforting to know that I can fully direct my emotional energy to a transition rather than split my energy with financial worries. Transitions can be stressful enough without the added worry about “do I have enough money to make it through this the way I want to?”
Money in the bank gives me breathing space, time to process, play with possibilities about how I’m going to move forward in the transition presenting itself to me. I think that is one reason why I am a good saver. I save to take care of my future self because I know she has high freedom needs.
We can give more
We can give more and give longer when we first create a stable financial base for ourselves. Women are givers. We want to help our children out with school. We want to help our parents out. We like to give to causes and charities to make the world a better place. If we establish a solid financial base for ourselves, we can continue to give throughout our lives without jeapardizing our well-being over the long term. It goes back to that old airline saying, we need to put our own oxygen mask on first.
By not taking care of our own financial situation first, we make ourselves vulnerable, limit choices for our well-being in the longer term. I don’t think any of us want to create a situation where we depend on our children in our later years or county services, but this is exactly what we create when we don’t put ourselves first. I can’t emphasize strongly enough, that caring for ourselves FIRST financially is a NEED and that comes before taking care of another’s WANTS.
Honestly, this isn’t a lesson that’s come easy to me. Just now in my 50’s, I’m learning how to “receive” and feel good about it. I’m learning how to wisely “spend” my time, energy and money while evaluating the rate of return with each of these energies. Marie Nemeth’s book, Mastering Life’s Energies has been a Godsend for me to help me in this area.
We can be more creative
We can spend more of our brain space on higher level activities…like creativity, our passion and soul filled next steps and manifesting dreams. When our brain space is occupied with how we are going to pay our mortgage or meet our monthly bills…our energy and brain space get taken up with these lower level survivor needs…and we have less energy and brain space to create with. It all goes back to Maslow’s heirarchy of needs…certain needs have to be met first (survival needs) before we can move up the pyramid to higher level ways of being in the world.
I remember with clarity how it felt when my husband and I were in 60K of debt, when our bills became debts, and when the tension was so thick between us “over money.” I am glad those days are gone, yet my nervous system can recall them with great clarity. This was not a time, where I had energy to dream because I was in survival mode. It took lots of work to dig ourselves out of this space and it is not one I ever want to go back to.