Time and again we’ve talked about the importance of self-worth and independence. In a male-dominated society, it’s already difficult to establish your worth and it takes twice as much hard work and luck to achieve the same status.
But slowly and steadily, we are evolving as a society and husbands do think of their wives as partners and not property. However, what happens when you apply the old patriarchal rules in the new society?
We got a glimpse of that in Mumsnet user Sophiewoods recent post. The hassled wife share her ordeal after her husband took away her credit card for overspending.
While it may seem like a trivial matter between the couple, it surely had the Internet polarised bring the importance of financial independence of women to the forefront.
Husband Took Away Her Credit Card
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Detailing the entire incident in a post, the woman wrote, “Hey, my husband and I agreed together on a budget and that I was supposed to stick to this budget. However last week I was about SGD 37.15 (£20) over this budget. My hubby got really annoyed with me for this, especially as he has managed to stick to his side of the agreement. He has now taken away my credit card to our joint account and has given me cash for my budget this week and says he will give me money every week.”
While the user acknowledged the fact that she didn’t stick to her end of the bargain, she also felt it was unfair to take away her credit card.
She wrote, “As much as I realise what I did was bad and he has a right to be annoyed, I think him taking away my credit card is an overreaction and a bit controlling. I think he should trust me more.”
Seeking an opinion from the Internet, she said, “I’m 34, my husband in 37. We have two kids, four and six. I work part-time. Everything else in our relationship is great. Do you think I am right to think he is being a bit controlling? I know he is trying to help me stick to this budget but it seems a bit of an over the top reaction to me.”
Polarising Views From Netizens
The post saw some extremely strong opinions coming from netizens who were both supporting and against the mum.
While some thought it was only fair to curb her spending given they had debts to clear, others felt it was just another example of restricting the financial independence of women.
One user wrote, “I think it’s disrespectful and you should have agreed on a plan together to help you stick to the budget. But. Do you have a history of constantly overspending? Maybe he is at the end of his tether if he has already tried everything else.”
Another user pointed out, “Like this would be ok if a woman did it to a man? Jesus what kind of relationships do people think are ok?”
Repeat-Offender When It Comes To Going Over Budget
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Answering a few comments, the woman clarified that it was turning out to be a regular issue with her when it came to overspending.
Meanwhile, her husband ensured he stuck to his spending limits every week.
She wrote, “Our account is a joint account and both our wages are paid in there. We have both spent too much in the past and have had to borrow quite a bit of money from both of our parents. He is very keen to pay this money back, but none of our parents are really nagging us about it. We agreed on this budget a few months ago, he has stuck to it fairly comfortably every week. I have been pushing it and gone very slightly over every week. Last week I bought birthday presents for 2 close friends which pushed me over.”
This further brought more comments from netizens. Siding with the husband, one wrote, “How much was the budget that you were SGD 37.15 (£20). To be honest if we agreed a budget and to stick to it, then even a partner I had joint finances with (after that serious discussion) repeatedly overspent I might do the same short term and not think it was abusive.”
Another user remarked, “Start living within your means and pay back your debts. You don’t wait till people are jumping up and down demanding repayments. And you don’t spend money you can’t afford on presents for friends when you owe other people money. Just because your parents aren’t asking for what you owe them back yet doesn’t mean they’re not annoyed. Why agree to a budget if you’re not prepared to stick to it?”
Naysayers were having none of it
One user commented, “What context makes it ok for a man to remove a credit card from a joint account -holder and TELL he will be giving her money from now on??? If he thinks his wife is bad with money then he sets up his own account and stops the joint account – not unilaterally decide that he now controls all the money, if the couple was on budget to save for something OR if the OP was on a strict budget to keep a roof over their heads what makes the OP’s husband the one who controls finances?”
Another user wrote, “Astonished people think it’s ok for someone to take a bank card off a grown woman. On what planet is that acceptable? He’s literally not in charge of her. That’s not how this works, this isn’t acceptable. He doesn’t get to make financial decisions without consulting her like this, or treating her like a child.”
One user questioned the sad state of financial independence of women.
She said, “I’m getting the feeling that there are a lot of women out there with no notion of what it means to be an adult female with autonomy.”
Financial Independence Of Women: Why Be Self-Reliant
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While sharing finances with a partner is great, women also need to be financially independent and dare we say responsible for their money. Here are five reasons why you need to be more self-reliant when it comes to the wallet:
1. Pre-empt emergencies
Irrespective of the fact that it’s a single income to dual-income house, every family needs to be prepared for emergencies. This is all the more relevant in today’s times when layoffs are more than common.
If the husband is the sole breadwinner and the wife is a homemaker, this can be a problem. Even if you reverse the roles, it’s bound to create panic.
That’s why families, especially women, need to have their own contingency plan when it comes to earning. It can be either through a full-time job or a side hustle. This is great for the bank account as well as maintaining your self-worth.
2. Escalating cost of living
Inflation isn’t kind to anyone. If your salaries aren’t increasing on the same line as the inflation rate, you will be paying more for the same things as compared to your income.
So, when you factor in a decent standard of living, education costs, travel and leisure, and more, it is bound to be a burden.
Prepare for this beforehand and be financially independent with your own income. Houses with two incomes fare better when it comes to rising costs, and women too are able to contribute better towards household expenses.
3. Stay responsible
Earning money takes effort and be it a guy or a girl, you won’t know its worth unless you’ve put your own blood, sweat and tears to acquire it. That’s why those who’ve built a fortune the hard way take pride in it and spend it wisely.
This not only is great for your self-esteem but also necessary to understand the value of little things. For women who’ve come from a less fortunate background, financial independence is your ticket to the world of your dreams.
It will give you the wings you are looking for and make you a self-sufficient person in life.
4. Build your self-worth
In this patriarchal world, it’s easy to lose your self-worth, especially when you’re not the one paying the bills. It’s just providing an opportunity to your partner to remind you how they are more responsible for your wellbeing.
While they can be that. You are your own person and responsible for yourself too. Don’t let anyone take that away from you.
5. Be a role model to the next generation
Young and old mums, you are the role models for your children and a financially independent woman should be the precedent you set for the kids.
This is not only important for young girls who will have this deeply ingrained in them, but also for young boys who find this normal and accepting.
Children learn from what they see and when they realise their mothers are financially independent women, that’s exactly how they’ll want other women to be.