Communication about finances is important in marriage. Ron at The Wisdom Journal posted 7 Things Men Wish Women Knew About Money, and I want to give you the woman’s viewpoint. My husband and I have been married for almost 13 years, and in that time, we’ve learned a lot about each other and our views of money. Though our financial road hasn’t been super rocky, there are a few things I wish my husband had known right off the bat that would have made things a little smoother along the way.
1. Being there is more important than having money.
As a woman, it’s important for me to feel like our family is the most important priority in your life right behind God. I know that it’s important for you to feel like you’re providing financially for us, and financial security is important. But emotional security is more important to us. We really do appreciate that you work hard to provide for us and give us financial security, but we would prefer that you cut back your hours, so you can be at the kids’ baseball games, school plays, band concerts, and have a free day to spend with the family once in a while.
How you can help: Be there. If you’re working 80 hours a week, realize that cutting back your hours would be beneficial to your family. Set aside one day on the weekend to spend with your family, even if you’re all working together in the yard. Just be present, physically and mentally.
2. You’re not less of a man because I’m better with the finances.
In my marriage, I’m better at math and my husband is better with people. In the early years of our marriage, we experimented with Jim being the one to balance the checkbook and pay the bills, and we soon realized that I was much better at doing the day to day money management. It takes me less time, and I rather enjoy it.
But just because the woman is talented in that area, doesn’t mean you’re inadequate. You have talents in other areas, such as dealing with people or fixing cars, or doing the yard work (I’ll admit…I kill almost any plant I try to grow). It’s best to divide up the tasks for running the family according to each person’s talents and preferences, rather than sticking to gender stereotypes.
How you can help: Don’t resent me for taking charge of paying the bills. And feel free to use your talents. If you’re better at dealing with people, even though that’s frequently considered the “woman’s domain”, feel free to line up a babysitter, so we can go out. Take charge of the gardening, if that’s what you like. And if you love to cook, feel free to step right into the kitchen!
3. Day to day actions speak louder than expensive gifts.
You see the commercials on TV. A man gives a woman a diamond ring, and she flips completely head over heels for him. While I concede that most women appreciate a diamond, it’s the day to day stuff that’s more important. A woman won’t notice that you’re not buying her expensive gifts if you’re giving her the gift of your time day in and day out. And if you give her a gift that she knows you can’t afford, she will worry about the money you spent.
Far more important than spending a lot of money are the little things that tell your woman you appreciate her. When I’m tired in the evening, my husband frequently offers to wash the dishes, so I can relax, and it’s an action that doesn’t go unnoticed. Kevin Leman wrote a book called S*x Begins in the Kitchen, and it’s true.
How you can help: Don’t overspend on gifts. I’m not saying that you should never buy gifts, but focus more on the day to day things that make a difference in your loved one’s life. Helping out with the chores, the kids, and even a handwritten love note speak far more clearly than a trinket picked up at the last minute for Valentine’s Day.
4. Spending money on decorating the house is important.
A woman’s home is important to her. Women see their homes as a reflection of themselves. When people come over to visit, they look at the things hanging on the walls, the things displayed on the shelves, and the general state of the house. And when they make a judgment about the state of the house, a woman takes it personally.
It’s important to allow us the freedom to spend a little money on wall hangings, throw pillows, and curtains. To a man, it may seem trivial, but to a woman, these are the things that make a house feel homey. It’s important to let us splurge on these things once in a while.
How you can help: Remember that a house is to a woman what a car is to a man. We know you men love your sporty cars or rugged SUVs. You like to shine them and keep them looking nice. Women are the same way about their homes. Indulge us and let us spend a little money on our homes without grumbling about the way we spend money on unnecessary things. To us, the little things that make a house homey are important.
5. Even if I manage the checkbook, I want you to be involved.
It’s important for both spouses to be involved with the family finances, even if it is determined that the woman is the better overall money manager. There’s nothing more frustrating to a woman than to feel like she’s left alone to deal with the monthly budget and bills. There’s no worse feeling than to have to tell your husband, “You need to cut back on the lattes, because it’s not in the budget.” Women don’t like to be the bad guy.
Open communication about money is important in marriage. It’s important for us to know that you are supportive of the budget, and if you’re not, we need to know why. The budget needs to be a cooperative effort, so it’s acceptable to both of us. We also need to know that if something happened to us, you’d be OK to take over where we left off.
How you can help: Set up a weekly budget meeting. Ask how we’re doing with the budget. Make suggestions. Be involved. Just because you’re not the one writing the checks and paying the bills doesn’t mean that you can’t be an active participant in the family finances.
6. It’s OK to say no to me sometimes.
I’ll admit. Women can be very emotionally driven sometimes. And I’ll concede that sometimes we come up with crazy ideas that cost a lot of money. Sometimes those ideas are brilliant. But sometimes they just cost a lot of money.
I know that your desire is to make your spouse happy. But when we suggest things like buying all new appliances for the kitchen, and those appliances are nowhere near within the boundaries of the budget, don’t be afraid to suggest that we save the cash first. Sometimes women try to fill emotional needs by shopping for new things. Try to get to the root of the problem. Say no to the stuff, and start paying more attention to what your wife really needs.
Women like strong leadership qualities in men. That doesn’t give you the license to be a dictator, but women like to feel like a man will take the lead and make decisions that are in her best interest. I remember in premarital counseling our pastor told my then fiance that at times he would need to make decisions that were in my best interest, even if I didn’t see it that way at the time. On rare occasion, my husband has had to do that. And though I sometimes get angry at the time, I’ve always come around to respect my husband even more in the long run.
How you can help: Recognize the difference between needs and wants. When you find your wife wanting to blow a lot of money on a want, ask her why. And if you can’t afford it, don’t be afraid to insist that you save the money first. The big purchase might provide short term gratification, but if you can’t afford it, it will cause problems in the long term. Better to think long term in this case.
7. If I know that you love and cherish me, I will bend over backwards for you.
It all comes down to this. Women want to feel loved. Cherished. Treasured. Needed. Appreciated. It doesn’t take a lot of money to convey these feelings to a woman. A love note. A hug. A squeeze of the hand. Assurance that you are there for her, even when her emotions are out of control. If you provide a woman with the knowledge that she is cherished and treasured, you will be the king of the castle in her eyes.
Last year my husband lost his job. We went through some really hard times, yet all through that time, I knew that he was there for me. That he cared about me, and that he would do whatever it took to keep our family afloat. I never stopped respecting and loving my husband. And when he landed the job of his dreams, I fully supported him, even though it meant a huge pay cut. We don’t need the money. And he gives so much for our family, I don’t mind sacrificing a little bit of money, so he can pursue a career he loves.
How you can help: Make sure your wife knows how much she means to you. Show her every day how much you love and appreciate her. If you do these things, she’ll likely support you in whatever you do.
Looking back over these 7 things, I realize that most of them have to do with letting a woman know that she is loved. Contrary to popular male opinion, women are not really that hard to understand. We just want emotional security. As long as we know we can rely on you, it’s not hard to keep us happy. And we’re pretty strong and will stand by you when the going gets tough, if we know that you love us.
Men really knows a lot about how we spending money, but they loves us)
What a load! I dated a supermodel for 7 years. I treated her like a queen – Listened to her and gave her my whole heart and access to everything. We fell deep in love, but as she got older – her insecurities set in place and her confidence seemed to crumble from the inside leaving a shell. I am a natural leader, sweet, funny, charming and have a decently thick bankroll. My ex had the most beautiful wise soul, but the moment I hit a speed bump and was laid off -She did what all Women do She scat. This is article is the opinion of a typical lame jane – not all women. Gorgeous Women want MONEY. Period….it could also have to do with the fact she was an only child and lacked empathy. Who knows. It stings like hell.
I like your article, but it’s geared for people who are in relationships and to hopefully keep those women. Judge me or not here is my little rant.
Let’s be real here… Women want a relationship with a guy who is financialy stable, this includes fat girls, average girls, or good looking girls. What I mean by financialy stable is that women want a single male that has the three C’s – Career, Condo, Car. Women seek a man that is nice, bad boyish, and that can be financially stable enough incase they have children or whatever may happen to them in the relationship.
In Ottawa, Canada, the majority of people working in this city work for the government, and most of those women make big money. I have no problem with that, and they deserve what they have achieved with their careers. What I have noticed is that they want to meet someone who makes the same or a larger income then them. I’m a good looking guy, I’m 34, I make just under 40k, and I’m educated. I still take courses at the college or university to always better myself, and I’m not a slacker.
What I have noticed with the women I have dated over the years is that they all have the same reaction of where I live. “Your place is very small, but very organized”. I rent a small bachelor loft, and don’t own a vehicle because of my own personal choice (because I’m saving for a home, and paying off school depts). The next thing you know, they are gone due to that they have judge me with my lodging, and lack of a vehichle.
Also, what I have experienced for the last few years is that career oriented women want there freedom and only want to have friends with benefits, until they find there cash cow. I refuse to be with a welfare baby pumping machine, someone who is unhealthy, someone who has no goals, and I refuse to settle.
The only problem with that is that I’m starting to feel very lonely, critical with women, and I’m starting to judge them as materialistic leaving beings. That scares me… I can only hope that I meet someone normal that wants love, friendship, companionship, and to have goals together. Unfortuanetely, this society has created a materialistic world that tells women to be with someone that has everything, and to look like a magazine. Believe me I am fit, and that doesn’t get you far when women want money.
May the bashing begin towards my thoughts on this subject…
It is a pretty good and gracious job; I agree with your opinion about this matter, however I should unveil the matter that couple mutual commitment may overcome any financial obstacles; in fact, couples may fight or dispute any irrelevant spending issue if they didn’t agree, and so to help then they should create their own budget. This will overcome any financial couple disagreement; a good, accurate and gracious budgeting will solve couples discrepancy.
Marlon V García
I’m not sure I agree with your approach. You are saying “Understand us poor men. There are some things we are so bad at.” Shouldn’t we also be looking at the way women get things wrong. I can’t help noticing how advertising and the media urge women to spend, but never encourage women to take responsibility for financial decisions. If you don’t believe me, look for an article in a women’s magazine on managing finances. However, very often (not always!) it is women who make the financial decisions. If you don’t believe me, look at how many advertisements for family cars are aimed at women and not men. The result is a society that is swamped with consumer debt. Don’t get me wrong. I am saying something about advertising and media – not women. Women shouldn’t be asked to understand men’s failings better; they should look at the difficulties and temptations that are put in their way.
Er… unfortunately, although this article definitely points toward something true, things ARE a bit more complicated that that.
I think I’m from another planet. LOL. My guy is the one who has taught me how to cook (a little – although I have a long ways to go), the proper way to fold laundry, etc. In fact, he’s the one who would suggest we spend money on decorating, before I’d ever feel right parting with it for that reason.
He’s also the one who’s better with finances and got me back on track after I let my new habit of inputting expenses into Microsoft Money slip for three months.
What would I do without him to get (and keep) me on track? Whew.
Somewhere along the way I missed all of those lessons. Never learned them at home. Lived in Army barracks with a poster or two on the walls for years. My apartments have always looked like bachelor pads.
I wish they taught this stuff in college, because it’s been a long, hard road for me.
I love what you wrote. And I guess men also want the same thing. To know they are loved and respected and appreciated. Thanks for sharing your insights and wisdom.
Word to the wise to all you young guys out there. Go to school, study hard, get a good job that pays well (BIG BUCKS). Then all of the things listed here “might” matter, but/cause if you don’t have big bucks in this 21st century, to woman you are a nobody. Love looks good on paper and a lot of big talk, but with no money it is as good as ficticous. So study hard and get that job, the big bucks; and pray somebody doesn’t run you over with a big truck and take your health and life (like me), as woman will not want you unless you have big bucks!
another factor re: spending money on the home
Women, esp. SAHMs like the home to look nice because they have to look at it all day!
My wife will enjoy this. :-)
You are spot on, except for one thing (IMO): You say the common element is letting a woman know she is loved.
I believe the common element is a little more basic than that. It’s that we need to have wide-open communication.
Telling your wife, “no” when she wants to spend frivolously is more about communication than showing her she’s loved, for example.
Even spending quality time with our spouse or family is more about how you spend the time than just being there. The husband should be a participant in the activities — often these times are when families talk, and an absent husband never has the opportunity to talk with his family.
Great post Lynnae.
Although I don’t exactly agree with every aspect, overall I’m 100% with ya.
Great articles and I find myself reading more and more.
How about a NASCAR article and how to save money when going to a race?
Yes, very well written, gets the nail on the head for a lot of things! Can’t add too much more than what’s already been said. I enjoyed it and have stumbled it too:)
Gee I needed to read that. Ouch