I have a love hate relationship with money. I love having it, but hate managing it. However as a company director and producer it is essential I make friends with money through managing and budgeting for it.
While that sounds simple, it has in fact been a huge stress in my working life. So earlier this year I did a very bold thing and decided to hand over managing the company finances to my partner in the business, he’s also my life partner so I charged him with managing the household budget too.
Admittedly it was a huge weight off my shoulders but it brought on a new stress – the stress of not being in control of my money. Now we can talk about how the money is spent, I can go online and look at where the cash is going and still have a say in the budget. But it didn’t change the feeling I had about someone else controlling how money I was earning is being spent.
Of course I can change this decision at any time and take back control of the finances – and it’s something I’m seriously considering- but what about all those women who don’t have that power?
Not having a democratic way of controlling your money is a form of abuse, it’s what Purple Purse refer to as The Invisible Weapon in domestic violence.
80-90% of women seeking support for domestic and family violence have experienced financial abuse
You don’t see scars or physical marks from financial abuse but the results are just as damaging; isolation, low self esteem, disempowerment and being trapped.
Sadly financial abuse goes unrecognised because its symptoms are so ‘invisible’. Yet it should be noted that financial abuse does not always happen in isolation. It often is paired with other forms of abuse such as physical, emotional and social.
Women who are being financially abused may:
- Have limited access to money or credit cards
- Have their spending tightly monitored and restricted by their partner
- Worry excessively about how their partner will react to what are commonly thought of as simple, everyday purchases
In a recent blog I noted that a woman’s financial incapacity is one of the main reasons why she returns to an abusive relationship. That is why financial literacy is so important for a woman who is planning to leave an abusive relationship.
81% of single parent households are headed by women
Initially financial literacy can be basic with where to get financial support then leading on to how to budget, maintain spending and getting ahead.
Recently Victoria’s WIRE launched womentalkmoney.org.au.
Women Talk Money is an online financial literacy resource that empowers women to have healthier conversations about money in their relationships. It has information and strategies to help women have productive financial conversations.
Because let’s be honest talking to your partner about money can be difficult no matter what your financial position is. Money is that taboo topic in our society, so discussing it with your partner can bring up a well of emotions that no one is prepared for. This can easily lead to stress, disagreements and fights, and you might start to avoid talking about it altogether.
70% of primary carers are women
I hate the phrase a woman’s work is never done, and I think I hate it because it is true. When leaving an abusive relationship life can become overwhelming and daunting. If children are involved it can become even more complex. Women Talk Money acknowledge this and I want to end this post with this little gem I found on their website.
“Coping with financial abuse can be really tough, and sometimes you can be so caught up with everything going on that you can forget to look after yourself. So try to remember to take some time out to do something you enjoy. It might seem like your last priority but taking time for yourself can really help when you’re trying to cope with something serious like financial abuse.”