This blog post is dedicated to Carrie and Marisa – two chicks who have lent invaluable financial advice to this female blogger.
My boss, a completely phenomenal woman in her own right, shared the following article from the NBC12 website: New rule cuts credit cards for stay-at-home parents
Disclosure: We work for a bank.
The 30-second article overview: Beginning October 1st of this year, federal rules prohibit banks from issuing credit cards to people without “an individual source of income”. For this blog’s audience that means all you stay-at-home moms, widowed homemakers, divorcees looking to re-establish your life, military wives with spouses overseas (yup, it’s in the article), single mom living on stretches of child support payments, and lady without a job: the government does not trust you with credit. But don’t go scrambling to get your credit card application in before 10/1/11; banks are free to enforce the rule at any time.
You can be of several opinions concerning this topic, but the conversation that needs to be had is how this regulation really hits women. Because by and large females end up in shitty financial situations. Whether through plain ignorance, misplaced trust, blind faith, evolving (and devolving) personal relationships, and sometimes just damn poor judgment – women experience poverty more frequently than men.
Want some proof? Help yourself to these stats posted on the the Federal Reserve Bank’s website pulled from Pennsylvania Governor Elizabeth A. Duke’s speech, at a program hosted by Consumer Credit Counseling Services:
*The Department of Labor reported in 2008 that less than half of working women participated in a pension or retirement plan.
*Women are more likely to work in part-time jobs that don’t offer retirement plans.
*The typical woman spends 10 years out of the workforce for caregiving, while the typical man spends just 2 years out of the workforce. (What’s a stay-at-home mom worth anyways? In 2007, Salary.com reported the salary to be $138,000/year.)
*In the first year after the divorce, the woman’s standard of living drops 73%.
*Nearly 7 out of 10 women will at some time live in poverty.
*90% of all women have sole responsibility for their finances within their lifetime, yet 79% of all women have not planned for this.
And if that’s not enough for you, do your own Googling and find out more.
Better yet, talk to the women in your life.
Aside from bearing the children, the job of rearing them falls predominantly on the shoulders of women. We are the CEO and CFO of the family unit, we are Custodian of the Floors, Laundry Officers, and the Gatekeeper of Purchases.
But outside of your front door, all of that means shit. And all the stay-at-home moms that I know make $0/year. This new credit law is a wake up call to get your purse straight.
Ladies, you NEED to be smarter. Because life happens and nothing stays the same.
More importantly: start educating your daughters.
It’s simply not enough to rely on public education to teach financial basics to the next wave of purse string holders. It’s not enough to hope they’ll learn from our mistakes and embody our best habits. It’s not enough to hope beyond hope that your daughters will fall into the hands of a man or situation that will take care of themselves. IT.IS.NOT.ENOUGH.
It’s not enough because obviously most of us have no clue what we’re doing with our money. We haven’t saved for retirement and we’re living from paycheck to paycheck – if we’re even collecting one.
End the cycle of female poverty starting with you and your lineage.