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Money Talks: Marriage has made me lazy with my finances

I am inspired by how she [Jackie] handles her money and her career. She seems like a very focused young lady.
Pool
By Bett Florence-Kinyatti
What you need to know:
When you are married to a good man – a dependable man who financially provides for the home, and takes care of you and the children – there is a likelihood you will grow lazy with your personal goals.
Especially with your money.
Hallo Bett,
You recently wrote an article about a lady’s monthly budget.
I am inspired by how she [Jackie] handles her money and her career. She seems like a very focused young lady.
It got me thinking about myself. I have been married for seven years now and we have three children, the youngest is two years old now. I used to be like that lady but motherhood and marriage slowed me down.
I am 39 and haven’t made much progress in my career or with my money.
What do you think I should do to get back on track?
Thanks again for the inspiring articles!
Regina
I appreciate the candour in your email, Regina. And thanks for trusting me with your pickle.
So here’s the thing: When you are married to a good man – a dependable man who financially provides for the home, and takes care of you and the kids – there is a likelihood you will grow lazy with your personal goals. Especially with your money.
A good man turns a strong woman weak. It’s a vicious cycle.
Because he loves you and cares about you, your man will step up his game. He won’t want you to worry about bills and money and all that jazz. So he’ll gladly take up a huge chunk of your living expenses.
You gradually surrender yourself to him. Surrendering means you let him take care of the expenses he says he will. And not just expenses like rent, food and utilities, but all others on the household budget. Including your personal maintenance (hair, nails, wardrobe, makeup…).
Now, because your man has to be able to provide and to maintain this lifestyle he has accustomed you to, he will be driven and focused on his hustle. You will see him grow in his career/business to make more money.
This is the point at which most married women obliviously get to a fork in a road. She can either use this opportunity to redirect her money to her savings, investments and growth (her growth and the couple’s growth).
Or she can grow lazy with her money and their financial goals.
You grew lazy, Regina. You grew lazier the more driven your man became.
Twisted, no?
You are at a good place now, Regina, this place where you realise that you have to take active steps to get back on your feet again.
It is never too late to make a change.
I cannot say much about your career, but I can tell you something about your money and your finances.
Here is what I suggest you do to take charge of your situation:
Motherhood demands a lot of time and self. Hire an extra house help so it can free up your time to focus on all that I’m about to share.
Also, tell your husband you are embarking on a journey of rediscovery. And renewal. Give him a heads up to support you emotionally – tell him exactly what you will need of him (don’t ask him for money, though, ha-ha).
I am guessing that your salary hasn’t grown much in the last couple of years. Well, if your career has plateaued then what other ways do you have to make extra money? Can you start a business? Go back to school and get some certifications? Maybe look for another job elsewhere? You must do something, Regina. You must act because you need more money than what you are making right now.
If you are already bad with money, then take a class in personal finance. Pay for it yourself. Attend that class like a dry sponge – soak up all the knowledge you can, to use it to better your situation.
Sign up for some insurance policies for your kids. Finance the policies yourself. Finance what you can afford every month. These policies will complement the policies your husband has taken for your kids’ education.
Also, sign up for a personal retirement policy for yourself. I don’t need to tell you that you should finance the policy yourself.
I could ask you about an emergency fund for the family but I know you will tell me that your husband – God bless the man – has a sound nest for the family. Set up one and save to it. I recommend Money Market Funds (MMF) for your emergency fund’s savings
You haven’t told me anything about your parents and siblings, or the home where you grew up/your parents are retired. There is always a small project we can do for our people – maybe dig a borehole, upgrade the sofa sets or the home appliances, buy more cows, more farm equipment. You go and find out, Regina. These home improvement projects will jolt you out of that financial funk.
Go out there and hunt for projects you can invest together in as a couple. Take the lead on this one. Do all the groundwork, research, talk to people and finance a large portion of the project’s investment. If the project needs Sh500,000, you finance Sh300,000 and your husband the balance.
Are you a member of a Chama or an investment club? Join one. Or better yet, start one up with some of your money-savvy pals. Chamas are excellent platforms to prove one’s chops. – nation.co.ke