It’s hard to watch fellow single women who are otherwise responsible with their money make stupid financial decisions as soon as a man enters the picture.
The same amount of effort that goes into earning money, should go in to keeping it and making it grow.
Unfortunately, people close to you can function as a never-ending leak to your bank account.
Here are five financial faux pas I’ve seen single women make with men and their money.
You give your guy unlimited access to your money
You’d think we’d know better, but I’ve come across more than one woman who’s made this mistake.
You’ve probably heard a lot of ol’ school women say don’t even let a man know how much money you make. My mother cautions against telling your husband your income. I disagree with my mother on that one. (Sorry, mama.)
However, your man needs to earn his own money. If you’re in a non-marital relationship, and your man stumbles on hard times then, by all means, help him if you’re in a position to do so.
Your strength and ability is part of what makes you a good woman. But, he should not get free reign over your debit cards, credit cards and checking accounts. If he’s short on money, then that’s what checks, money orders, and cash are for.
Years ago, my cousin’s wife told me about something that happened in her relationship that has always stayed with me. She won a law suit. All of the money from the law suit was put in a safe deposit box. Don’t ask me why this money wasn’t in a bank.
My cousin’s wife went on to say that she noticed my cousin buying a lot of clothes, jewelry, and little things for around the house. She didn’t think too much about where he was getting the money until she went to her safe deposit box and found only a few dollars left. He’d spent practically all her money without her permission. Even though she told me this story years after it happened, I could still see the hurt in her eyes. Don’t do it.
You don’t know your partner’s financial situation
Before you marry someone, you need to know how he handles his money. Money fights and money problems are one of the leading causes of divorce in the United States. That means you should be extremely reluctant to wed someone who isn’t forthcoming with his financial information.
Once things start getting serious, it’s not unreasonable to have the money talk. I’ve cut a man loose for being too secretive with his finances. How could we move forward when he was so resistant to sharing such a large part of himself? We couldn’t. I’ll take my chances on a new man.
You depend on a man to take care of you
Sometimes I wonder whether I should dedicate more time to my physical appearance in hopes of catching a rich man. Seems like that’d be easier than working for myself and making my own millions. Then I realize, depending on a man is downright frightening. There’s no security in that.
Even if you end up with a man of substantial means, you can’t let your guard down. Never stop taking care of you. If you insist on relying on a man financially, verify that he has both life and disability insurance. You need to be the beneficiary on his life insurance policy. And make sure the premiums are paid.
What happens if he pushes you to the side when you’re a crotchety old woman for an upgrade. That sort of stuff happens all the time. If you’ve put your best asset – your ability to generate income – in early retirement for a man, then ensure you’ll get your money if he’s gone.
You ignore reality when managing your money
Make purchase decisions based on the life you have instead of the life you want.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t execute a financial plan that’ll allow you to accomplish your dreams. It simply means you shouldn’t make financial decisions based on events that haven’t happened.
For instance, don’t buy an over sized house in hopes of filling it with a man and children. Did you forget your empty house needs to be heated in the winter and cooled in the summer? There aren’t many guarantees in life, but taxes are certain. You’d better believe, all things being equal, property taxes on a 2,500 square foot house are more than those on a 1,500 square footer.
Likewise, if you’re single and you want to own a home, buy it when you’re able. Don’t wait on a phantom man to come along and make you his wife. It’s great to have faith, but until you know the answer from God is “yes,” it’s wise to use your money according to what He’s already given you.
You become desperate
Don’t subscribe to the notion that you’re incomplete without a man.
When you’re desperate, any man will do. There are women who all but pay their man to be with them. It’s fascinating how a guy can find a new woman while he’s in jail. If a man isn’t free, what can he do for you?
Obviously, I don’t have a husband. Some day…perhaps. Happily single is far better than miserably married. A while back, I heard a quote that set me free:
It is better to be alone, than in bad company. – George Washington
Did I overlook any mistakes single women make with men and their money?
Shawanda blogs about personal finance and financial freedom at You Have More Than You Think.