Stay Connected to Your Financial Future

I did a post a few weeks ago about the ultimate independence being financial independence. The key thought:

If independence is what you want, money is a big key to it. Financial success equals independence. It doesn’t get better than that. All the rebellion or individuality in the world is nothing if have to rely on others for support.” — 40-something, NY

A lot of times when you’re young,  you don’t worry about your financial future. It’s part of the freedom of being young…or part of just not knowing how and feeling it’s okay to be irresponsible for now.  One woman made an interesting observation.  She felt her devil may care attitude about money reinforced the image she had of herself as a carefree 20-something cool woman who was empowered by her freedom. She realized later it was actually what made her feel out of control.

Most 40-somethings have learned this doesn’t just apply to being single. I think we all know it, but every now and then, it’s good to be reminded. Even if you’re married you should be financially secure or know how you can be. Recently I had a question from some 20-something women wondering if it’s possible to be happily dependent. I would have to say that most 40-something women would say no. It’s a choice to work or not work when you start a family and for most in today’s economy,  a luxury. No judgement…because starting a marriage and family is rewarding and we all recognize how much work it is. But most 40-something women attest…don’t forget about yourself. Today more than ever, you never know what the future will hold. No matter how certain you feel your future is, shit happens. 40-something women urge you to try to find a way to stay connected to your financial future.

When you get married there are a lot of financial decisions to make as you join up finances. This women recommends always at least being able to pay your own bills…

“You have to be able to support yourself in some way. It doesn’t mean that you have to actually do it. It just means you have to be able to do it. I think the main reason that that’s true is because it gives you a sense of autonomy that without which I don’t think you can make really good decisions. You certainly don’t want to end up in a relationship with any man where you can’t afford to not be yourself. That doesn’t mean you have to be able to drive around in a Mercedes and live in a fancy house. It simply means that if you had to, you should be able to pay your bills yourself. Then the rest is negotiable… how you end up dividing up the finances in your marriage. That’s up to you.

This woman recommends investing and getting a financial advisor when you are young so you can have a nest egg in case you need to or want to stop working later…

“Build yourself a nest egg. Money is freedom.  I wish that I had built myself a little bit more of an nest egg. Not just in case I’m going to be alone and may need to get by on my own with my son or in case I need to leave my husband. I wish that I had the cushion because money is freedom.  Let’s say I had some savings in the bank, then I could feel okay about not going back to work immediately. I could feel okay about buying my son things.


I think going back I would invest better. Get a financial advisor when you are young and work with that person to set specific goals. Even if you’re not making a lot of money, ask yourself, what are my goals?  What do I want to try to save by the time I’m 30? Because you may get to a point in your life where you’re raising kids, and you’re not working, and at that point if you haven’t saved money, you’re going to be disappointed.

It’s important to know that even if you meet the right person and get married, you still want to have your own financial security. Like you meet Mr. Perfect and they come along and they’re like “here’s this unlimited funds. You might think when you’re young oh if I get married all my financial worries will be over…DON’T”


I imagine most women today aren’t looking for a sugar daddy but sometimes it’s easy to fantasize about someone making all your financial worries go away like the woman above notes.  I would say that thus far in my journey, it is a fleeting thought. Most women realize that there is no easy way out and that you can’t sacrifice your self worth.  And there are plenty of women of all ages who strive for achievement and financial success on their own. The good shift is that it is no longer because “you never know what will happen” and more often about “it’s what I want to do”. But it’s also easy to get caught up on your life and raising kids and then waking up either not knowing what you want to do with the rest of your life or having to face some harsh realities.

This women believes, it’s always important to keep your foot in the water.

Always do a job keep a job, a career part time because when you lose it you lose it.  It’s so hard to get a career back if god forbid something happens. I have so many friends who are divorced or widowed. They can’t get back into the industry. They think “why did I ever leave being a teacher? Why did I stop doing what I was doing?” It’s hard. Unfortunately, resumes don’t recognize raising a child is a job. No one thinks they are getting divorced. My girlfriends say “I feel so stupid that I relied on my husband for money”.  They all say I was so stupid to leave my career. You’re not stupid, you were raising your children. That’s a job. It’s different. It’s just that resumes don’t recognize that. They don’t get it. That is what sucks. The workforce does not recognize that that is not a job.”


The good thing is, even for those of us that have let things slide, that in today’s world there are more opportunities to be resourceful and start something on your own. Even in today’s economy, more and more women are starting their own businesses or finding ways to work from home on the side.  As of 2011, there are more than 8.1 million women-owned businesses in the United States, generating nearly $1.3 trillion in revenue. During the last five years, the number of women-owned firms increased by 50 percent – a rate of 1 1/2 times the national average, according to American Express OPEN State of Women-Owned Business, using data from the U.S. Census Bureau. This article talks about the other side of being financially independent and doing something on your own…the journey itself is all about being “rebellious”:

“The assumption is that many women open a business so they can manage their own schedule, especially when they have children at home. But ask women like Wolfe, and they have a completely different reason for choosing the riskier path of starting a business over joining the corporate world: They hate the idea of having a boss.  To survive as your own boss, Gonzalez added that it takes a “cowboy mentality,” or “a certain amount of guts and optimism and not being afraid of failing.”


Over the next few weeks I will share stories from 40-something women on how they stayed connected and how they benefited from it both financially and personally. 40-something women…bring on your stories!

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