After 2 failed marriages, I know first hand that Prince Charming is a myth. Ladies, you have to be your own white knight! In my experience and hundreds of others – Prince Charming usually comes riding in with his new car and payments! I changed my life at 39 years old and started to set goals, learn new money skills and put myself first. I didn’t do it by myself – I had a coach to help me. I literally became my own white knight and 2 years later attracted a partner that was a match for me, not a paycheck and security. (I did that the second time).
I learned the hard way that a man is not a financial plan. I was married the first time at 18 – basically right out of high school. I never lived on my own before and so my spouse looked after all the money – he was 10 years older than me. He took care of all the bills and all the assets (which he had when we got married) were in his name. When we divorced I had no credit rating and I could not apply for a loan, credit card, nothing. In fact I really did not really learn money skills (budgeting, spending and saving plans) until I was 39.
Here’s the thing ladies, even the most successful marriages end in either divorce or death. That is why a man can’t be the plan, even in the best of marriages. My grandmother did not even know how to write a cheque when my grandfather died. If you are married each of you needs to have money skills to stand on your own. For women, we statistically live longer, earn less and save less for our future. It is even more urgent for women to learn how to take care of themselves financially.
Here are some tips for you and your partner to discuss;
1. Don’t wait till you are older to discuss long term plans. This could jeopardize you financial future and security. Most couples do not have ‘money talks’ when they do they end up as money shouts. You will have disagreements for sure, but not discussing them will make it worse.
2. Who takes care of the monthly bills? Who does the investing? Who does up a spending plan or do you even make decisions as a couple? You should split the money tasks of your household and then each of you should know what the other does and discuss on a regular basis.
3. Establish a budget. A budget is planned spending, if you don’t have one you may end up spending beyond your means. That can lead to debt and further away from any financial goals you may have. Even if you have separate bank accounts and a joint account for household expenses, you should review them on a regular basis…. re-read tip #1.
4. Improve your financial skills. When you know your numbers and have a plan for your money, there is a ‘freeing’ quality that gives you confidence and control. When I enhanced my skills, my life changed, no woman or man is an island, get help. It is not a sign of weakness or embarrassing, it’s a sign of strength. My clients get no judgement from me.
5. Ensure that you have credit in your name. I told you my story. Make sure you both have a credit card – but make the payments on time. If you can’t afford to pay it off every month, then you may be living beyond your means. Get a free credit report every year for each other.
6. What are your financial priorities? Have you set goals? Do you have a financial plan that each of you are following? Have you discussed and have a plan for what is going to happen in the future?
Having a partner to love and cherish and share our lives with is fantastic.
But the odds are that one day you will be financially responsible for yourself.
Make sure that you have a plan and are able to be your own white knight.
To your success ladies!