In today’s world, “Leave It to Beaver” stereotypes for men and women in partnerships should only exist in Nick at Nite reruns. Yet many women still don’t understand their household’s finances and aren’t actively involved in managing money matters.
To achieve true equality in a partnership, both individuals must have knowledge of and involvement in their partnership’s assets and debts. If you’re one of those women who isn’t participating in the financial side of your marriage, here are some tips to get you on the right track:
If your partner has always handled most financial matters, it may seem difficult to bring up that you want to be more involved. The first step is to initiate a conversation with your spouse about your desire to learn more about your household’s assets and debts and to be more actively involved in making decisions.
Choose a time and place without high levels of stress or too many distractions to have this discussion. Bring it up in a positive way, rather than in a tone that might sound complaining or accusing.
It’s never fun to think about something bad happening to the people you love. Yet you must be responsible and realize that if your partner should no longer be able to carry out the role of primary financial decision-maker, the tasks would fall to you.
Make sure you’re familiar with and have access to all financial records and documentation. Know how to quickly access everything from account numbers to mortgage documents to investment information.
Look for ways to become more integrated in your marriage’s finances. Whether it be creating and maintaining the filing system for your financial paperwork or paying the bills, sharing responsibility can be rewarding and make your partnership more balanced and fulfilling.
There can’t be a strong “we” without a strong “me.” While marriage is a partnership, you should still maintain your own financial standing. We recommend that each partner have a checking account and credit cards in his or her own name so that both can build good credit.
There are many programs available today that are focused on helping women handle financial matters. Many companies today provide financial services to help women achieve financial empowerment, security and independence.
Equality in marriage exists on many different levels and requires working together as a team – a team where both members are informed and involved.