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.

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