Do you use your career, your job, the work you do as a measuring tool to size up your worth? Though it’s a mistake to equate one’s worth solely with money, many of us were raised to associate our worth with finances. Make no mistake–who you are is the axis of your worth. Still, the expression of your self-worth is impacted if you have no control over what you have.
It’s a fact that control over our own finances–the ability and wherewithal to provide for ourselves and handle our own money, is a crucial step toward establishing an equitable balance in society, and achieving better overall outcomes for ourselves. Yet studies show that many women are intimidated by finances and are reluctant to get their personal money issues in order. If you struggle with this problem, take the appropriate steps now, because the situation may deteriorate as you grow older. One of the biggest mistakes women can make is to remain ignorant about finances.
You might want to think about your financial status more in terms of the independence it affords you. A man is not a plan; dependency breeds vulnerability. Based on many indicators, including the fact you may outlive the man in your life, it is vital for you to be financially aware and–even more essential–financially independent. It cannot be over-stated–your need for financial independence and savvy is especially vital as you age.
So, this is a lesson to learn and a warning to be heeded: To be better positioned for a happy old age, you need to maintain some personal control over your money and resources. Luckily, this message is getting through. Women are making substantial gains in the career arena. In fact, women-owned businesses are growing at twice the rate of all U.S. firms. You’re breaking through so-called glass ceilings all over the place. Not only do you want to bake the proverbial pie, but you want to eat a proper slice of it too. You’re making greater contributions to the workforce now than ever before.
There’s no doubt that women should be in the workforce and should have more of a say over their resources. When you are, society benefits, and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Dr. Muhammad Yunus of Bangladesh, founder of the Grameen Bank, proved it. He discovered that by giving micro-credit to impoverished women, they could change entire communities for the better. In his efforts to help millions climb out of the grips of poverty, he saw first-hand that giving opportunity to women was the best bet.
Having your own personal savings, checking and retirement accounts allows you to make choices; to be proactive about the course your life takes, without needing to ask permission. It allows you not only to better feel your worth, but also to express it in a currency that mainstream society understands. In many ways, your economic currency helps establish your social currency. That being the case, what can you do to take more responsibility for your economic currency?
Regardless of whether you work outside the home or not, be very clear that when you take more responsibility for your own finances, your self-worth and feelings of security and self-esteem will increase exponentially. And that’s a good thing.
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By Cheryl Saban, Intent