This may be a controversial topic, but hear me out on this: I vote that a woman should have her own money in a relationship to do what she wants AND to have a safety net so she can be free and empowered to make her own decisions.
Regardless of how stable the love may seem or how long you’ve been married.
Regardless of how much your partner brings home or how ‘generous‘ they are when you tell them you want something.
And I’ll tell you right now, if you disagree with that statement – which, of course, is fine – you’ll disagree with this entire post – which is also fine.
Because I feel really, really strongly about this.
I’ve had two kinds of powerful conversations this week that have sparked the enthusiasm and need for me to write about this.
The first was three women who wanted to work with me (to the point of tears) but their husbands told them no. Either it wasn’t a good time financially – which may have totally been true – or they didn’t think it was something worth investing in.
BOTH triggered me for different reasons. And I say triggered because independence is something I value so much that I’ve bet an entire business on it.
If the money wasn’t there, the truth is that it could have been… had she had her own income, secret stash, or budget to invest in herself if she was a stay-at-home. Having to always ask permission for anything that will make you grow or bring you joy is one of the most disempowering things we can do.
And as for them deciding it wasn’t something worth investing in? I think you can guess why that made my girl power-laced blood boil.
Whether or not working with me was a right fit and a worthy investment, it should be up to her to decide.
I was immediately taken back to the days my dad would make me present to him something comperable to apowerpoint presentation everytime I needed money for something. This made sense for a 13 year old girl, not so much for a 30 year old woman.
Why You Need an Investment Budget
Wherever it comes from, you need an investment budget.
For your dreams. For your adventures. For a damn coat without holes in it.
And you should be in a relationship that empowers you enough to make that decision for yourself. Where you’re not going somewhere for permission
The bigger reason, if not the ONLY reason to have your own money
My grandma was in the forefront of the feminist revolution in Italy, which meant two things: Her lullabies were only songs of women empowerment, and her Christmas gifts always had a 50 stashed away with a note, “Put this away for safe keeping.”
The second kind of conversation I’ve had this week, and have been having over the 8 years doing what I do, relates to a woman needing a safety net of her own.
“Don’t expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund, maybe you have a wealthy spouse, but you never know when either one might run out.” – Baz Luhrmann
I have been talking to women who have shared their experiences and struggles in “starting over” with no foundation of their own.
I’ve also been talking to women who want to leave their toxic relationships, but don’t, because they don’t have the money to start over. Because when their partner controls the finances, they have all the power, which is a common reason why abusive partners won’t let their partners work.
A safety net won’t discriminate against the kind of day it will save.
It will just… save the day.
Ways to Make Cash + Store it
So maybe you’re reading this and kicking yourself for not having thought about it before. Maybe you’re gaining some real clarity and realizing how powerful (and empowering) it would be for you to have your own money, make your own decisons, and have a safety net to catch you in the case of whatever.
Great. Get started now.
If you have your own income, start saving. Open a separate bank account and commit to putting a specific amount in from every paycheck. It doesn’t have to be crazy, but even $25 or $50 a check will start feeling good.
Go through your closet and the junk under your bed, and sell off that dress you haven’t worn in 11 years. Amazon, eBay, even an old school yard sale if you can swing it. This is such a great way to get a little cushion bank account started.
Get a side hustle going. Start a blog, make some jewelry on Etsy, walk the neighbor’s dog …whatever. You don’t need to go full on entrepreneur to start making some money. Babysit a couple of nights a week, or start a small VA practice to help your business owner friends keep organized.
Go full on entrepreneur. Do the above and invest in a coach or a training program to help you get a business started with the full intention of doing this full-time. Here’s a free training to help you start a coaching business.
So maybe you don’t have a lifetime’s worth of grandma’s birthday checks stored away for safe keeping… That’s okay. Just commit to starting now – starting today – and don’t look back.
Whatever your reasons, you should always have your own money.