Financial independence is very important, even if you’re in a marriage. In a healthy relationship, each partner should trust the other partner to have separate financial tools, accounts, and goals. More than ever before, women must be financially independent in a relationship. And building your own financial independence can work to build a stronger relationship with your husband.
Why Should a Woman be Financially Independent?
Because life is going to happen. You never know what surprises are on the horizon. Your spouse could lose their income. Or your spouse could be incapacitated. You never want to just rely on your spouse because you are an individual. Anyone who loves you would want you to stand on your own financial two feet. The most stable tables have four legs.
We know that there is going to be something else, some new emergencies. You don’t want to get stuck in a situation where you don’t have the necessary funds to do things because that is the easiest way to be preyed on financially. When we don’t have a financial safety net, we get into pay day loans, driving up credit cards, and borrowing money we know we can’t pay back. That’s why every woman needs their own financial independence.
You can be in a marriage and still be financially independent. I know that’s not the norm, but I’m not the normal thought leader. I’m a trail blazer, my community believes in being trail blazers. Financial independence is key to feeling secure. And that’s what most women want. They want to feel security and stability.
How Can Women be Financially Independent in a Marriage?
- Start by being financially equal. Create a joint account with your husband and use that account to budget together.
- Have income. Create an inflow of money by having your own job or business.
- Build a safety net. Build your own financial safety net by creating an investment account.
- Have your own joy account. Set aside money for your aspirations.
First off, hopefully you have the money-talk with your fiancé before marriage. Financial disagreements are the number one reason for divorce.
Having these talks before marriage will not only help you but also your husband become more financially astute and successful. It’s also a confidence builder when a woman is building their own path to wealth. Even though my husband can manage the household, there is something about being an individual. Some people believe that when you get married you just lose themselves – especially as the woman in the relationship.
You must have your own financial goals. Even though you have one in marriage; you have two individuals. Be sure to keep your own independent goals, aspirations, and dreams. Never lose your independence, it will make your marriage stronger.
Discussing Finances before Marriage
Money and finance are hard topics to broach. Many people feel uncomfortable discussing money in general. This discussion can have added complication when between loved ones. Before getting married, it’s important to discuss what kind of financial independence you want. Going into the wedding, you need to clarify how joint costs will be paid and what assets are shared. Houses and vehicles are great assets to be jointly owned and costs may be paid right out of a joint account both partners add money into.
Discussing the details of your financial plan before marriage will help to build trust between you and your husband.
Create a Joint Account with Your Husband
Before you can be independent, you need to be equal. If you do not have access to a joint account to pay for daily costs like food, clothes, and travel, you must have this discussion with your husband. Your husband cannot control 100% of the finances. Discuss with your husband what you want to use this joint account for. For example, this joint account would be very useful to pay for a babysitter when you both want a night out together.
By broaching the subject of a joint account, you can discuss not just a budget for common household needs, but also start discussing what goals and dreams you have. When you start budgeting for this joint account, you can add in money for activities you want to do together with your husband or the whole family.
Generate your own Flow of Income
To have true financial independence, you must have a flow of income. Even if you’re a stay at home mother, there are a variety of ways to generate income from home. You can use tools like upwork.com to work on a variety of projects you can do while at home. You can work part time on the weekends while your husband is with the kids. Even just a part-time, 10-hour job can go a long way towards financial independence. It also allows you to take time to work on something you enjoy. Your husband also gets the opportunity to take more responsibility for the kids.
Build your own Separate Investments
For true, financial independence, start a brokerage account and have your own investments. You can buy shares of stock for as little as $1. Once you have a flow of income, you will have enough money to invest $25 each month. There are many resources you can use to learn about investing like BetterInvesting.org and StockBossUp.com.
So, for me, financial independence is having my own joy account. A marriage financially is not a one size fits all. Some gurus say everything should be comingled. Other gurus want everything separate. You must decide what is right for you. In my marriage, we have a joint account but also individual accounts. I’m putting money aside for my own entrepreneurial aspirations. My husband has supported me and has put money into my dreams. But it felt good as a women entrepreneur that I’ve put in my own sweat equity and that I have my own dream accounts.
It’s a confidence builder. It was good when I knew that I didn’t create another bill for our household by getting a loan or driving up our credit cards because that’s what many women do, especially African American women since we receive less than 1% of all capital.
Financial Independence Makes Marriages Stronger
Creating your own financial independence should be a healthy change in your marriage. By discussing money with your husband, you open up dreams of how to use that money. Maybe you discover you both want to travel, or maybe you both want a bigger house. Discussing what to do with your money should allow you both to express your needs and start a dialogue on how to compromise so you both get what you need from your budget.
When you have your own finances, you can start to save money for your own joy. Your husband isn’t going to enjoy everything you do, so putting aside money and time for yourself is absolutely important for your own happiness and the functioning of your marriage. You need your own time to see a movie with friends, or get into that hobby you enjoy. By giving some resources to your needs, you can replenish yourself so that you can give more to your marriage and family.