Friday, 27 February 2015

Money and Gender

Have you ever thought of financial management in terms of gender stereotypes? I was recently considering which financial chores are difficult for me and which seem to come naturally and I discovered I think of 'male' and 'female' jobs. Not that my money is anyone's responsibility other than my own. I sometimes seek enlightenment from Bill about 'accountant-speak' or ask him to double check that I'm not missing any info off a form, but I don't ask him to deal with the bigger issues as much as I would sometimes dearly love to off load the responsibility.

Wallington Hall, May 2014; just because I like posts to have pictures and I like the tranquility of this one.

I find being frugal - not spending money, looking for good prices, doing things myself, is almost second nature these days. Having experienced financial instability at a young age, I'm much more comfortable keeping a good sized margin between me and the 'financial edge', the subject of one of Amy Dacyczyn's editorials in her Tightwad Gazette newsletter. Spending less, even doing without, isn't that hard for me. I'd rather have financial security than just about anything I can think of buying.

What I struggle with is the tax preparation and the management of investments. I didn't have that much problem with going out and making money during my working days, but I would probably struggle with going back to work after over seven years of retirement. I could do it if I had to, but I wouldn't like it. Which pretty much describes the other tasks. I do what I have to, but I really hate it.

It was in trying to outline the 'Getting Things Done' Project List that I became aware of this weirdness in my thinking. I'm practically 19th Century in looking at money jobs: "men's" work is making the money, investing, dealing with tax authorities, giving the "little woman" her household budget and setting other spending priorities.

"Women's work" is running the household for as little as possible and developing the skills necessary to save money. I don't enjoy all those skills, either, but they don't give me the headache that some of the financial stuff does. I suppose part of "women's work" is spending the money to provide food and household goods. I quite enjoy grocery shopping, but I hate buying things for the house, particularly decorating decisions.

Do you like some parts of financial management better than others? 

No comments: