3 Ways to Attain Financial EmpowermentNov 30, 2021
With the evolving world culture where both husband and wife (or partners) are working and financially independent, there also continues a culture where husband/father/partner is the sole earner.
According to the findings of the U.S Department of Labor, characteristics of labor force change over time. Following is the representation of labor force participation rate of mothers by age of the youngest child.
You may be in a relationship where one partner works and the other doesn’t because you are:
- a full-time mom,
- a stay at home wife,
- a student in college,
- or you simply choose not to.
In such cases, it becomes very uncomfortable to ask for money to spend on things you need to or would like to. This dependency damages a women’s self-esteem and can be destructive to the relationship.
“Over time, the earner starts to act more like a parent, and the dependent begins to feel and act more childlike,” says Mary Gresham, a psychologist who specializes in money issues in Atlanta.
Partners usually have a shared bank account. In an ideal situation, both should discuss or have a conversation regarding their expenses, but typically it doesn’t happen.
The bread earner of the family (ex: the husband) who is also the primary cardholder will instantly get an alert if you spend a certain amount. Upon receiving the alert he may call you to confirm whether it was you who spent it. This is where you feel a bit disempowered because whatever you spend is not only being monitored, but also sometimes requires justification of expenditure.
On the other hand, the earners don't have to worry about when, where and on what they are spending because no one is questioning them.
3 STEPS You Can Take For Your FINANCIAL EMPOWERMENT:
Understand you are wealthy:
Unless you are struggling to make both ends meet, it’s very important to understand and feel (from inside) that you and your partner, both are, as a TEAM, financially stable and pretty solid!
So stop saying or repeating words such as, 'I can't afford this' 'We don't have money' to yourself, as they negatively impact your thinking and result in making you feel financially quite unstable and mostly keep you in a ‘wishful zone’.
Have a conversation with your money:
This may sound absurd, but it works! According to an exercise suggested by Ken Honda, have a conversation with your money.
Imagine your $50 bill is a living, breathing thing. How do you think it will feel for you? Will it be sad, happy, upset or angry with you for whatever ways you used it? Hold it in your hands and speak your heart out, lighten yourself and make peace with it. Turn your relation from tense into a loving and caring one. Turn it into a Happy Money!
Ask questions to your partner (Don’t ASSUME):
The key to misunderstanding is ASSUMPTION. To sustain a normal and loving relation always ask for what you need. Yes, it’s very much normal to have doubts before actually going and speaking to your partner but don’t let this feeling overcome you. Be confident, practice-by speaking to your self- before having a conversation with your better half and don’t let those negative assumptions cloud your thoughts.
WAYS of ASKING:
Ask for a Salary
Be creative and cash what you do. One way is to simply ask your partner to ask for a salary for whatever household chores you do. Just make sure you keep the conversation light, yet make him understand that if not financially, you are still contributing to the smooth running of the house.
Ask for Personal Development
Change the perspective! Make your partner realize that your mental and emotional well-being is important and you will need to spend a certain amount monthly if you enroll yourself in any personal development program.
Ask for Fun Money
Simply tell your partner, just like him, you also need some money to spend on yourself. This way you won’t get a confirmation call from your husband/partner every time you go out with friends and swipe the card.
Some Common Questions/Statements:
Once you ask for a certain monthly amount, be prepared to be questioned, but don’t let those questions pull you down.
- Your partner may say he’s not comfortable giving you a salary. At this point don’t be silent and let negative thoughts take over you. Immediately ask for clarification and you will be pleasantly surprised by the response you get.
- Why don’t we share an account? Partners very commonly encounter your demand with this question. So here you need to explain to him that he being the primary holder will constantly get updates of all the spending and how disempowered you feel upon being monitored. Explain to him what liberty you will feel once the same amount is spent from your account instead of his.
- You may get a straight NO too! Although chances for such a response is very rare, you need to be prepared. If you get this as an answer, then you need to evaluate your relationship. You may be in a very disempowering relationship where your partner tends to control and dominate. Don't lose your confidence upon hearing this and try to get hold of the situation by showing him what other ways you have to financially empower yourself. For instance, if you are a stay-at-home mum, then tell him that if you will start working for finances, then extra help for other house chores will be needed. This will surely broaden his perspective and make him think otherwise.
During the conversation you may see some unusual expressions on your partner’s face, don’t let them bother or disempower you. He may just be inquisitive or trying to comprehend your proposal. Stay positive and be logical with your reasons.
What action are you going to take today to make your self empowered? :)