A few weeks ago, I was having a conversation with a friend’s husband when I was called out for something that is 100% true – the fact that I’m a control freak. #guiltyascharged
I know, I know. I shouldn’t be proud. But the thing is, I don’t want to change at all. In fact, I believe my Type A personality is actually an asset- one that allows me to make quick decisions and manage our day-to-day lives without much effort or stress.
Anyway, the whole conversation started when I admitted that I make most of the financial decisions in our household, with input from Greg of course. He reacted as if I had just told him I was pregnant with sixtuplets, but I don’t think our situation is strange at all. Let me explain.
Sometimes Ignorance is Bliss
You see, Greg just isn’t all that interested in the ups and downs of our electric bill or the fact that I spent $27 unbudgeted dollars on school supplies this week. He also doesn’t notice or care if our auto insurance went up $17 or I splurged on something small for the kids.
So instead of bothering him with all the inconsequential decisions I make on a daily basis, I choose to only consult him when it comes to the “big stuff.” You know. Things like saving for college, choosing a health insurance plan, and our retirement goals. He couldn’t care less about the fact that I just stocked up on fabric softener sheets because they were on sale. Because, let’s face it, he’s too busy being awesome.
So What’s the Problem?
The conversation with my friend’s husband rubbed me the wrong way for a few reasons, but mainly because I felt his opinion was based on the fact that I am a woman.
Think about it.
How many husbands do you know control the family finances the way I do? And how many women are on some sort of allowance system or have to ask their husband for money on a daily or weekly basis? Men everywhere control the checkbook without so much as an eye-roll. Should women really accept that arrangement whether it works well for their family or not?
Pssshhhtttt…… I think you know the answer to that.
Who Wears the Financial Pants in Your Family?
I don’t believe that one gender is better at budgeting, but I think we can all agree that women are just as good at making financial decisions as men are. Obviously. Actually, a growing body of research shows that women make the majority of purchasing decisions in the U.S.- up to 75 percent according to this Nielson consumer report.
But we’re not all raging control freaks. We’re mothers, wives, and friends. We’re the ones who buy the birthday presents for the nieces and nephews, and the razors that husbands can never seem to replace. We fret over college savings, make sure the kids have shoes that fit, and shop for diapers in bulk to save.
There’s nothing wrong with women taking the reins in any aspect of their marriage or financial life. What I do find wrong is labeling powerful women as controlling or oppressive, especially when the accusation is only based on a small set of facts.
And no amount of shaming will ever make me feel as if I am doing something wrong.