Have women started owning financial decision making? Or do women still stay away from managing money? A look at why women should take more ownership of family finances.
When it comes to financial decisions or retirement planning of a household, in a majority of cases, men still take the lead even if the woman is a significant breadwinner or equally capable of taking financial decisions.
Why? Many a times, women despite being completely aware of financial subjects can’t afford to take the lead. The reason is mostly the burden of work life coupled with domestic work, child rearing which often takes away the lion’s share of their time; as a result, men end up taking lead roles in making financial decisions.
Although, there are instances where role reversals are becoming more and more common, where women head finances and men are becoming primary care-giver or at least equally sharing the responsibility, but still in most households, men lead the scenario.
There are several reasons why women should play a primary role in family finances.
Women live longer than men. If a woman is not aware of her investments or retirement savings, in situations like the demise of her partner, often she’s completely dependent on her children or relatives or distant family members. If things work out in her favor, children/family members help out or ease up such financial situations, and typically problems don’t arise. The real drama of life starts when money takes the lead, over love, faith and trust. So, it is always safer for women to participate in financial matters or least know the path to financial management in case they’d have to handle themselves in crunch situations.
Mostly, women play lead roles when it comes to the day-to-day budgeting for the family. Be it grocery, kids’ education, home improvement, women dominate decisions in these areas partnering with their better half. Since, a woman is meticulous about regular family finances, it would be really a step forward for her to make investment decisions or partner with her significant other on the same.
Men are comparatively risk takers when it comes to investment, whereas, women tend to play safe. There is no set rule for such an assessment, but the majority of women take safe routes to investments, children’s education or any other family financial decisions which in my opinion is absolutely fine.
So financially, women dominated households are safer bets than men’s aggressive ventures where you might make a lot of money or you might lose all. So, partnering with their respective financial approaches, both men and women can advance the family finance scenario. In the process, women become more comfortable with family finances and be the correction factor if the partner is too aggressive on the investment decisions.
Making financial decisions for the family empowers a woman and lifts her confidence surrounding financial knowledge. The more a woman handles financial matters, it makes her more self-confident of the family expenses, savings and investments. It carves a path to organize and plan, and also cut down on areas where finance is bleeding. It might turn out to be a whole new learning curve for a woman and who knows – it might turn out to be a career option for a lot of women. After all, baby steps start small and at home.
The more a woman is financially educated, it is more likely that she has decision making powers in terms of major financial decisions in a household. Suppose, a family wants to buy their home, a woman can also decide the loan terms and monthly payments and how much they should invest in a home, equally partnering with the better half. This not only enlightens her in every walk of life, she accumulates confidence in her decision making skills.
Woman usually spend a larger share of the time with their children. So she can help teach children the role of money. Often, it is important to explain to children the value of money, especially as this is a materialistic era. It is vital for children to know household finances (put simply though) and how much hard work parents put in to make the home running. What better way could there be than Mom explaining family finances to her kids and making them financially knowledgeable and responsible?
In a nutshell, women in general are multifaceted. If applied wisely, they can handle each and every facet of life with equal ease. Most women take the backseat as they start family life, and kids occupy most of their time. They do enjoy this priceless time, but in the process, they get settled into a comfort zone and eventually don’t challenge the status quo.
The truth is it might make a lot of women very happy and be it so. Frankly, staying happy should be our prime motto in life be it managing smaller day-to-day budgets at home or making larger investment decisions. Yet, in my perspective, staying knowledgeable only increases one’s prowess in a particular field (investment, retirement) and it’s always a learning experience to go on to newer and better pastures.
A disclaimer: This is my opinion over the role of women handling finances in their households. It might be completely different for various personalities who are ambitious enough in making financial decisions. This is based on my research by reading articles and experiences with my family and friends whom I’ve observed over a long period of time.
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An Indian upbringing, educated in Economics, with a Banking profession past, relocated to United States
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