Last night, I read the chapter “Fearless About Money” from Arianna Huffington’s book, On Becoming Fearless… In Love, Work, and Life.
I was intrigued by this quote:
“Even today, a surprising number of us (women) still think that it’s the man’s job to make and understand money. Far too often we delegate this responsibility and don’t learn enough about money- so of course we fear it. That’s where we have to start. We can never be fearless about money until we demystify it and take charge of it.”
Arianna Huffington just might be right. I believe my apprehension about money stems from my lack of understanding it. As a college student, I have only dipped my toe in the vast pool of finances. I have quickly come to realize that being an adult is expensive. As a female, I have always been encouraged to marry a “breadwinner.” The principle isn’t inherently bad, but what if I don’t? What if I stay single? Or marry someone with fewer career aspirations? What if I’m widowed or go through a divorce? These are all common scenarios, and all would require the means to provide for myself regardless of circumstance.
If I’m not careful, fear can creep in and alter my perspective on money. Money has tremendous power as it is viewed as a sense of security and the ultimate measure of success. If allowed, money can put reigns on people’s lives by binding them to safety instead of pursuing a life of passion. However, as Mellody Hobson once said, “angst won’t be satiated by the size of your bank account.”
So, where’s the balance?
Arianna Huffington says the balance is here: “We need to put money into proper perspective in our lives, stop avoiding it, learn about it, and stop making it more important than it is.”
As women, I believe the best thing we can do is strive for financial independence, harness the spending power available to us, and, perhaps most importantly, give back. True fearlessness about money will only come from living a life driven by purpose, not financial security.