Saturday, March 22, 2008

Women and Money - From Dysfunctional to Functional

Women tend to undermine themselves when it comes to long-term financial freedom and success. We tend to undervalue our time and therefore ourselves. We’re typically the first to take a job for less money so we can care for our families. We too easily accept that it’s the man who should be the primary and major earner for the family.

While there are more men who are stepping into the traditional roles that women have held, the numbers are still small. It’s refreshing to see and society will be better off because of it but there hasn’t been a fundamental shift in the fabric of society. Not yet!

Arguments are continually made about how well children adjust - or don’t - to daycare and other challenges when the mother works outside the home. Sometimes the arguments are presented in the form of a study by a reputable organization only to find that it’s sponsored by some group that has a clear agenda to make women feel guilty about leaving their family to pursue a career. The problem with this premise is that the majority of women who are working outside the home are doing so because they have to - not because they want to.

I strongly believe in choice and if a woman - or a man - wants to stay home and raise their children I support that. Realistically, however, most families need two incomes just to make ends meet. Sure many of us are living beyond our paychecks but given the state of the economy and the money it requires just to pay the utility bills let alone send or save for children to attend college that’s not hard to do regardless of good intentions.

So, where do we go from here? Well each person’s situation is different but there are some actions that women can take now to protect themselves in the future, something they absolutely need to do given that they tend to outlive men. We will be looking at how understanding our options with regard to saving for retirement, making smart tax choices, and utilizing budgetary controls will empower us beyond our greatest expectations.

Women are a powerful force in nature and provide a great service to society and the world. We will live up to our true potential - spiritually, emotionally and financially. Welcome to this journey towards your full financial and money-management potential.