‘Own money’ a necessity for a woman’s true independence

‘Own money’ a necessity for a woman’s true independence

by Shruthi Venkatesh March 8 2019, 3:38 pm Estimated Reading Time: 3 mins, 47 secs

Knowledge and awareness about personal finance is an absolute necessity to achieve true independence and equality. In such case, living in a world filled with male-dominance, women get strangled financially.

No matter what station in life a woman occupies, she needs her own money. “Own” money is not money that a woman gets paid at her job or money that her husband gives her. “Own” money is money that is tied to a woman’s independence and typically is not tied to a job but instead from entrepreneurship, investments and other independent ventures. 

The Kenyan Women Microfinance Bank has been helping one million of Kenya’s women farmers and business leaders for almost 30 years. Founder Jennifer Riria, says that traditionally, women were “not considered credit-worthy”. She further tells the BBC: “We have to teach them that it is important for you as a woman, to have your own money, to invest in what makes sense to you.” The bank works with over 900,000 women, employs 2,800 people and since inception has disbursed $1.3bn of loans, each one averaging less than $600. It is Kenya’s largest micro-finance provider working together with many leading civil rights organizations. Kenya Women Holding also coordinates the Tuvuke Initiative for a Peaceful and Fair Electoral Process, which works to prevent violence and create a safer, healthier environment for Kenyan democracy and women empowerment.

Personal finance is an absolute necessity to achieve true independence and equality

Claire J. Vannette, a random woman answered a question on how important it is for a women to earn her “own money”. She stated the following.

Knowing I’m not financially dependent on anyone. I earn a living wage. If I wasn't earning that wage, I could fall back on family or public assistance. I’m pretty sure I can support myself.

Contributing about the same amount of money and labour to the household as my husband does. That might fall out of balance one year or another, but I like that it tends to even out.

Having room in the budget for discretionary spending. If I want to buy something small, I can generally afford to.

At some point in their lives, 90 percent of women will be single, divorced or widowed, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics, and therefore entirely responsible for their finances. A study by Artemis Strategy Group for Ameriprise Financial surveyed women ages 25 to 70 with at least $25,000 in investing assets and found that 41 percent of these women made financial decisions alone and 56 percent shared the decisions with another person.

The more involved women are financially, the greater their ability to withstand any investing challenges and recognize good opportunities, says Patricia Stallworth, CEO of PS Worth, a financial coaching and education firm in Cummings, Georgia.

Marielle Schurig, a financial advisor at UBS Financial Services INC spoke to a group of women at a wellness event at Lululemon Athletica Inc.’s store in New York’s Flatiron district, after a yoga and circuit-training class. Following her remarks, attendees lined up for an hour to talk to her about their finances. The women told Schurig that they let their spouses or partners decide on money matters.

Despite investing hours in self-care, many of the self-proclaimed feminists admitted that they had taken a back seat in their own financial affairs. 59 percent of women age 20 to 34 prefer investing and financial planning to spouses, according to a survey by UBS Group. The Swiss bank found that younger women are more likely than earlier generations to give such leeway to their partners. “I was really surprised to see that,” Schurig said in an interview at UBS’s office in New York. “You see women fighting for equal rights and equal opportunities, for respect in the workplace and at home. There are all these women running for political office. We continue talking about breaking glass ceilings. But once we make the money and get those positions, what are we doing with it?” she exclaims.

However, even when a woman earns up to her satisfaction, it is also important to secure her savings for a long period of time. A woman will be forced and dominated in society and that’s when she will be in need of financial assistance. Hence, apart from all causes and necessities, it is much important for a woman to have her “own money”.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of The writers are solely responsible for any claims arising out of the contents of this article.