Realizing that the majority of household finances are handled by women, I thought long and hard before writing a blog about Women Manipulating Money. I was very concerned that I might not articulate the point that I desired to make. So I researched the definition of “manipulate” in order to truly be clear about the meaning.
I found three primary definitions that I believe will help me make my case. They are:
1.To manage or influence skillfully, especially in an unfair manner: to manipulate the monthly process of paying bills.
2.To handle, manage, or use, especially with skill, in some process of treatment or performance: to manipulate a major expenses.
3.To adapt or change (accounts, figures, etc.) to suit one’s purpose or advantage.
As a financial coach and educator, I recently sat down with five different households to discuss their financial situation and put them on a path to financial freedom. And here are the brief stories of a couple of women that I met.
First there is Tammy Z. Tammy is a hard-working wife and mother of two middle school age children. Her husband has completely surrendered the management of the household finances to her. And even with his income, they have struggled to make ends meet. When I reviewed their expenses versus their income, I found that there is a negative of over $700 a month. However, each month she finds a way to keep the bills paid and food on the table.
(She is able to “adapt or change – accounts, figures, etc.- to suit one’s purpose or advantage.”)
Next, there is Pamela, a single mother working and going to school. She has two children and receives child support to supplement her income. Her combined income shows that she can not meet her monthly expenses on paper. However, month after month the bills are getting paid.
These women, like many, are finding a way to pay bills by any means necessary. They manipulate what they must to survive. And the real problem with this is that it is all temporary. Survival must become greater than coping month to month.
Women must learn to manage money more skillfully. Women must decide to manage for more than the short-term. They must learn more effective ways to pass on better financial habits and knowledge to their children, regardless of their background, abilities or feelings.
They must incorporate long-term saving and investing, debt elimination and wealth-building concepts into their monthly “manipulation”.
When women begin to handle, manage, or use, their skills and abilities to create a manageable budget, live within their means, control debt and plan for their future they will then truly become Master Manipulators of Money.
- Rob Wilson, CBS Local