I picked up Suze Orman’s book, Women And Money, today. As I started reading her introduction, my first reaction was, “This is totally sexist! Why should there be a money advice book specific to women? There’s no book written out just for men, is there?”
At first glance, one would think that making and keeping money would not be a gender-specific venture. However, as I read further into the book, I realised how misguided I was to think that.
Women have had to endure much prejudice, repression, and typecast into various roles. While much has changed, there are still certain roles that remain traditionally split up for the male and female person. In addition, while some attitudes have changed, mentalities have not from both the male and female perspective. As mz Orman points out, even highly success women, making a whack of money, don’t have any idea how to manage it, and, in fact, choose not to want to manage it. That’s traditionally been the “Man”‘s duty. Sorting out the financial admin, the legal contracts, the investment portfolios, all of this has been and remains, to a large degree, a masculine duty.
In addition, women are more family oriented, have a more caring nature and often are more ready to sacrifice themselves for the lives of their loved ones. This doesn’t only mean jumping in front of a bus. It also means not taking care of her own financial future in favour of her family’s.
Women and Money bring that into stark light, providing some reasons as to why women, in general, have issues with money, regardless of their corporate success. It goes further into informing its readers what to do so as to rectify those issues.
While much of the advice is women specific, as in catering for the specific needs of mothers and wives, there is a fair chunk of information that I suspect most men don’t know either. My advice, if you’re a man, is get the book and sneak a peek. Then you and your lady friends will both be on the same page when you get down to actually discussing your financial plans.