Friday, November 19, 2010

friday forte: another money edition

From Evernote:

friday forte: another money edition

how i earn my "pin money"
When you lose your income you lose your ability to put your hand in your pocket for cash. If you've been salaried for any significant period of time, losing that monthly input into your bank account can be hard to adjust to. If you're lucky, there will be a salaried spouse/partner and a joint bank account to keep the roof over your head and food in the belly.

But I'm not talking about escaping poverty, though that is a real luxury that I readily count among my blessings. I'm talking about losing financial autonomy and being a woman and being the non-salaried half of a couple.

There are little adjustments along the way to a zero income declaration on the tax return. A shift to talking about "his money". A near-religious observance of grocery bills and household budgeting. Fretting over billing deadlines which you cannot contribute to. Down-sizing, baking from scratch, thrift shopping, make do and mend, negotiating pocket money or an allowance, buying his christmas present with his money ... all character-building, all a source of friction, mostly inescapable.

Ladies, I heartily implore you - do not to take a back seat with family finances and let "him deal with his money". In fact, I'd urge you to stop referring to it as "his salary" - it goes to the family, no matter why you're unsalaried. I also urge you to withdraw your own salary from the household budget. If it makes it easier, discuss approving an allowance for your husband from "his" pay too. Instead of agonising over treat yes or no, cut yourself a little slack by having your own "mad money". If he has his own similar spending account it also makes budgeting easier - there is nothing more annoying than scraping together a payment for the credit card due date only to see it vanish when he makes his own impulse purchase.

Don't take a financial vacation just because you're not making the money. You are, you're generating wealth by staying at home cooking from scratch, sourcing bargains and contributing to the unpaid childcare economy.
Your contribution is important, and you owe it to yourself to realise your worth.

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