Last week I went on a date with a man who would have been perfect if it hadn’t been for a few things (isn’t that always the case?). One of them was his assumption that I didn’t know how to manage my money. Personally I don’t like discussing my financial status with strangers (which he was as this was a first date) but he seemed to have no problem so I went along with it. It was all fine until he started telling me that every financial decision I had made so far had been wrong.
When I came home that evening and told my family what he had said they all started at me for a while and shook their heads. My Dad especially – he’s the one who taught me and Sister how to handle our finances. In fact both my parents have made sure that we know what we are doing when it comes to money. They both made sure we knew the options available.
So why did this guy assume that I was making mistakes left right and centre? The conversation started with our student loans – as someone with an undergraduate degree and a masters, the amount of money I owed was substantial. The decisions I made with handing my debt were very different to the decisions he made and he assumed that his was correct. Why in the world did I choose to do X when I could have done Y? Didn’t I know how beneficial Y would have been? Well, yes I did know and I made a choice to still do X (SO LEAVE ME ALONE) just as you made a decision to still do Y. I think you’re an actual idiot for doing Y but you don’t hear me telling you that do you?
Of course I had to defend my decision just as he tried to invalidate it – in the end it was a stalemate and we changed the subject. But it got me thinking – was this because I was a woman and the assumptions till stands that women don’t know what they are doing with their money or was it because he wanted to show off? I suspect it was a bit of both.
But here is a deep dark truth that so many people don’t understand and don’t want to understand: I am excellent at managing my money. My decisions are good for me. And I suspect many, many people are. Plus if I wanted help or advice I’d ask. If I don’t ask, don’t tell.