The current construction of gender puts a woman at an odd relationship with money. As girls society grooms us to be delicate, dependent and generally at the mercy of a man when it comes to money. No wonder every conversation that we have does not end without there being mention of a man.
The fact that women are now increasingly having careers of their own and even starting their own businesses is definitely a win. Take Lora for example she’s a graduate at a renowned University in her country. She has a good job, a car and generally lives a confortable life. To everyone on the outside she’s very successful, but behind all that glitter the situation is actually different.
She spends her salary impulsively and has no assets to show off. She’s in debt and can’t seem to keep track of her finances. She doesn’t get a house of her own because that’s the job of her future husband. Her boyfriend pays for all her cravings and her mall excapades that she really don’t have to worry about hustling to get more money. She’s always on the lookout for the latest designer bags, shoes you name it.
Then there’s Lilly, she a college student so her only source of income is her parents. Everytime she gets money from them she spends it on clothes, shoes and ends up with less money to spend on food. When she’s flat broke and knows that she can’t ask money from her parents that soon, she asks for cash from her boyfriend.
Does any of this sound familiar?
Men on the other hand were raised to be goal getters, money makers. They are encouraged to Hussle and Chase that money. They work towards securing a confortable future for their families.
Now back to my gender, our conception of money does not allow for us to think about our future. To me this is a real tricky situation because a man cannot guarantee your future welfare. What if you break up with your boyfriend/wife what then? This is no real freedom , being at the mercy of another especially when it comes to money.
In Africa, traditionally, being a woman means that you don’t really have to worry about money issues. You can earn just enough to get by but you don’t have to worry about your future welfare, coz guess what, that will be your husband’s job. As a child your parents provide all that you need especially the father (it’s what’s expected of them) . No wonder any conversation about money for ladies always seems to get tangled up with the presence of a man or lack there off.
As Chimamanda says and I quote
We say to girls
You can have ambition
But not too much
You should aim to be successful
But not too successful
You can have money but not too much else men will be threatened ,”they will not want to marry you”. All the girl is good for in the end is to get married .
In addition to that women do not receive a sufficient education when it comes to money. Men are the most likely to go out of their way to chase money. They are taught to be entrepreneurial at a young age. Of course girls can do this too but they are more needed at home to do chores.
Girls grow up with a sense of entitlement. Things like he should pay for the bill at the restaurant, he should call the taxi and pay for my cab fare, he should get me chocolate etc. In conclusion he should finance all my splurges.
This creates a mindset where a girl doesn’t really have to work for their money because all they have to do is “sit still and look pretty” and they are sorted. I’ve heard a lot of guys say, “it’s easy for you girls, your man can easily get what you need.”
This to me is no real freedom, you are shackled by the chain of dependency on a man. What if he dies and his brothers snatch all the property? What if his business venture fails and you are left broke? What do you do when he decides to leave you? But because we are superstitious in nature we don’t want to take all these factors in consideration.
Am happy to say that a lot of women have broken the cycle of dependency and are beginning to stand on their own two feet. Many have amassed success that even transcends their male counter parts. These women continuously Break the Glass ceiling that has been placed by society. Tides are changing and so is the number of women who have or are aspiring for great success.
If the ones that are lagging behind are to go forward, something has to be done. Women should be taught on spending, saving and investing. Am talking about how they can manage their personal finances. It’s time to say, “little girl, you can strive to be successful, you can get financially educated and you can aim for the stars”.You can be financially independent and there is nothing wrong with that.
Eventually you will find a man who knows your worth and who isn’t intimidated by your greatness.
I have recently adopted a new hobby which is stitching. One thing it has taught me is patience and that the little steps lead to the bigger picture. If you take the little steps towards taking charge of your money and making it grow the result is financial freedom. Let’s us be the generation of women who aren’t afraid of making more money.
Spending on everything designer will give you immediate gratification, will make you feel good for a moment. In the long run you will have many designer shoes, no assets to show for and a life ridden in debt if not careful.
That is why we need to change our habits. Create good habits that will help you to better manage your finances. Learn to save and to look at you bigger financial picture. Read books of personal finance and financial freedom, there is a lot to learn from there. Implement money making strategies in your life. Be a smart money woman. Track down your expenditure , make a budget and stick to it.