New Money

By Tracee Sioux

I found Chapter 1 in Women & Money: Owning the Power to Control Your Destinyboth validating and empowering. For me it was great to have my feeling of bluffing as a professional validated in a historical sense. Orman brings home the point that women have not, historically, filled the role of workers or the role of people who have their own money. When speaking of a collective conscience as females 25 years is like 5 minutes and the result is that our “new money” is still something we don’t really know how to handle yet.

This could not be more true. It’s also incredibly relevant when trying to empower a daughter. Since I am learning this for the first time I think it will be most empowering to my daughter to work out the kinks out loud. (Rather than whispering about money as previous generations have.)

Our girls need to understand that the world is still full of “firsts” for women. First woman Speaker of the House, Thanks Nancy Pelosi, first woman running for President, Thanks Hillary Clinton, etc. I think it would be a mistake not to give our daughters the historical perspective that we don’t have very much experience at incorporating work into our family lives and it’s frankly, difficult and full of sacrifices and unforeseen pitfalls.

Unrealistic expectations of perfection can be enormous burdens for women. We need to be careful not to pass our judgment about each others’ work vs. stay-at-home choices to our daughters. The most empowering thing to pass on to girls today is the awareness that they will have choices. Ideally, we can send them off into the world empowered to make either choice, whichever they feel most comfortable with or with whatever combination they can make work.

Either way, we need to send them into the world expecting to be valued whether they make money or not. Orman beings out the point that women are undervaluing themselves if they stay-at-home and don’t make money AND they are undervaluing themselves if they go out and work.

In Chapter 1 she also says this is only to be expected considering how new access to money is for women. Why would they know what to do with it or how to handle it? It’s not as if these lessons were ingrained in our collective consciousness for millennium, as they were for men. It’s a great point.

Yet, for our daughters surely we can teach them better and give them sound words about money. I know the classic psychology of say Dr. Phil would have us believe that children shouldn’t be burdened with adult things like the family finances.

I would argue that such “protection” doesn’t empower our girls to go out into the world and make good financial choices. I think we should be working out the kinks “out loud” with our kids, daughters especially. How can we help them avoid financial pitfalls if we continue our bluff or never admit to mistakes?

On my mother’s side I’m the first generation career woman. On my father’s I’m the third. Either way, that’s not much experience. But, my daughter will have me telling her what to watch for, what to think about, what to avoid and what to do. Hopefully, she won’t feel so much like she’s faking it.

For more on Chapter 1 and how we can get on the same side as women, check out BlogFabulous. By the way, this is the first time I’ve ever led a virtual book club (or any book club for that matter) so I am still working out the kinks of how to have an online conversation between two websites (maybe I should’ve just picked one, but it’s an important issue). Please cut me some slack.

4 replies
  1. jen says:

    I am SO jazzed about this book, and it is absoulutely wonderful to have someone to talk candidly with about finances.

    I just wanted to add that I talk daily with my boys about making good financial choices, and why we should.

  2. JayMonster says:

    While I certainly like the theme you are picking up on with this book, I have been less than enthusiastic about Suze Orman.

    A lot of her portfolio picks and such have been downright questionable, and a lot of her “theory” has come under scrutiny from experts (read: not me) as well.

    I mean, being financially wise is one thing, suggesting people can’t get married until they have a good enough FICO score is just plain silly.

  3. So Sioux Me says:


    While I don’t agree with everything she says on her television show I think what she’s saying about the psychology of women’s relationships is relevant.

    Whether she’s the right one to be your personal financial adviser picking your portfolio is a whole different issue.

    I wonder if it is “just plain silly.” I mean, realistically if you marry a compulsive gambler you are setting yourself up for serious trouble. Since we are financially tied to our spouses why shouldn’t we take that into account when we choose one? I certainly didn’t do that, but now that I realize marriage isn’t as much about romance as it is about working towards the same goals and compromise I think I hope my daughter does look at a person’s relationship to money as a factor in choosing a spouse.

    Also, if you look at divoce statistics – if half of marriages end in divorce and one of the leading causes is money then wouldn’t a “smart” woman look up the FICO score before proceeding down the alter if she wants a happy and successful marriage?

    Thanks for commenting. Just because I disagree doesn’t mean I’m discouraging more comments. Because this is such an emotionally charged issue I want the conversation to be open to disagreement.


  4. jen says:

    I hope to see a new trend of couples seeking financial council before getting married. I know that more and more chuches are encouraging that and offering classes to congregations.

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