“A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.” Virginia Wolf 1929
These words inspired early feminists to fight to give today’s woman the right to vote, to get an education, and to earn her own money; but financial dependency is still one of the biggest struggles a woman can face today — dependency on her spouse or another person, on a job that she’s unhappy in (maybe even in danger in), or being on a fixed income (a pension, welfare, unemployment, etc.) that could change at any time.
The stories of famous women that have been put into dreadful situations because of a man’s control over her ability to get or keep a job have now become so common, we ask ourselves, “Who hasn’t been a victim?” We felt that women’s right to earn equal pay and have financial control had been won, but we now see the reality that we still have a long way to go.
While you may not be in a situation that would be deemed as abusive, you may have been experiencing the feeling that something is wrong, and you can’t quite put your finger on it; or maybe you’ve known for awhile that financial dependency is causing serious issues in your life, but you don’t see a way out.
You patiently wait for things to get better or accept this as a woman’s lot in life; but as with the stories in the media today, this dependency has a greater effect on you, and those around you, than you may realize — not only financially; but also emotionally, physically, creatively, practically — in all areas of your life.
Why You Need to Become a Financially Independent Woman
- Attain full emotional and physical health by avoiding the frustration and stress that can be caused by being dependent, and the deeper depression and the physical issues that will develop over time.
- Build greater confidence in yourself to not only earn financially, but also because you are proving you are capable to do the work needed. You will know that you can make decisions, handle problems and take care of yourself and others that need you.
- Set and attain your highest goals with more freedom. There is a ‘glass ceiling’ on your hopes and dreams, if you there is someone that you need to account to or that is actually putting a limit on what you can do.
- Better enjoy the fruits of your labor, without feeling like you need permission from someone else. If you’ve worked hard and want to splurge a little, it takes away from the joy if you need to ask first or will worry if someone will judge you because of it.
- Enjoy healthy relationships with your partner, family, friends, colleagues etc. because you are happy with yourself and there is no longer the strain of the dependency. Sometimes this situation causes a woman to shut herself off from friends and family; because she is so unhappy in herself, or maybe even ashamed, and it makes it easier to hide what is going on.
- Ability to maintain adequate savings to have security for yourself and your family. You may not have enough coming in to put aside any for savings, or you may not have control of what does come in to budget for this. It’s important that you make this a goal so you have financial stability.
- Have a good credit rating in your own name, so that you can get a line of credit or make larger purchases when needed. It takes time to build up good credit, so important to start early.
- Be a positive role model for the young people around you — especially if you have children. Show your daughters the importance of being independent and having the ability to set and work towards their highest goals. Show your sons the importance of supporting women in having their own independence. The earlier they see this positive behavior in their lives, the better; but it’s never too late.
- Gain peace of mind for the future that when you are older and not able to, or no longer wish to, work as much; you have the financial facilities – savings, pension, etc. – in place to support you comfortably. It will also help to have the ability to shift the way you earn to something more suitable or desirable.
Keep focused on these benefits to motivate you to take the first step toward financial freedom. Even a small step forward, will help bring you confidence and make you stronger to take the next step, and the next.