It’s International Women’s Day, and I want to speak directly to some of the women who are hopefully reading this blog. As a woman in a traditional marriage, I understand that sometimes it can be hard to navigate the marriage and the advice when it comes to managing finances in a conventional marriage. It can be challenging to navigate a modern women’s place in marriage- especially when it comes to money and finances.
Managing Finances in a Traditional Marriage
I am in what you would call a “traditional marriage,” which gives me specific insight into this issue. Being in a traditional marriage does not mean that you have to give up your knowledge- especially when it comes to finances. You can be a great wife who trusts and respects her husband and still know what is happening with your husband. Even if your husband “deals with these things,” it does not mean you are exempt from having at least a basic sense of the state of your finances.
Ladies: you need to need to know the status of your finances.
I have touched on this before when talking about the need to know passwords, usernames, and location of money so you will be prepared in the case of death or incapacitation (god forbid.)
Now I am talking about the day-to-day status of your finances. How much is in your bank account? What is your budget?
Knowing this information and being on top of your financial situations does not mean that you have to be the one taking care of the finances. It’s OK for your husband to be the one to deal with this. I am not telling you to add more responsibility to your plate or take a job away from your husband. In fact, my husband deals with the bulk of our finances in my home.
I can hear the collective gasps already. After all, I am a personal finance blogger. Let me clarify; my husband is the one who pays the bills, takes out the cash from the ATM, and divides the money for our spending. He is the one who transfers the money to savings and our various envelopes. This doesn’t mean that I don’t know everything that is happening with our money. We worked together to create our budget, and we regularly discuss our money and goals.
I also have full access to all our accounts, and I get alerts on my phone and emails when money is transferred and taken out of my accounts. I can trust my husband to deal competently and responsibly with our finances and still know what is going on. Having complete trust in someone does not mean that you don’t know what is going on. I trust him implicitly. I still am always in the loop. I still have a say in every penny. I still know exactly what is going on.
Knowing does not mean that you lack trust. Going a bit further, knowing does not mean that you don’t respect your husband. I respect my husband. I trust him. I do not doubt him. All of these things do not mean that I need to close my eyes.
If I am cooking supper and my husband walks in, picks up the pot cover, and sniffs- is that a lack of trust on his part? Is he being controlling? Nagging? No! He is looking. He is aware. He is enjoying my efforts. I don’t see why this has to be different when it comes to finances. When I check my bank accounts- I am not displaying a lack of trust or nagging. I am checking things out. I was appreciating how competently and organized my husband is.
People make mistakes. Things happen. Life happens. You must be aware of where your money is and where it is going. Unfortunately, too many ladies have been blindsided by people who they trust. It is crucial to make sure that you are aware of your financial situation. A couple must work together as a team towards financial security. A team cannot operate when one person is clueless and kept in the dark.
I hope this does not come across as too preachy. I know that maybe I am coming across strongly. This is because this is something that I feel incredibly passionate about. I hope you will excuse this lecture on this day that is about empowering and celebrating women.
Of course, if you want to be more active and involved in your finances, you can do that as well! Even in a traditional marriage, you can control your finances and start saving for your retirement.
Of course, I am only speaking from my own experience and knowledge. Every relationship is different, and many delicate situations that require nuance.
If you feel like you are in a situation where you would like to have more control of your money and deny that access and knowledge, you should consider seeking out professional help.
We have a responsibility to teach our daughters and the young women who are in our life all this important information, so please reach out to the young women in your life and share this vital information.
We have to choose to take the freedoms afforded us today when it comes to money. This type of access has been traditionally denied to us and is still being denied to many women around the globe today. Let us not take this for granted. Let us help raise other women so that they, too, can have the rights our mothers and grandmothers fought for.
Women have worked so hard for the rights that were begrudgingly given to us. Let us not relinquish them, even in our minds.
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