In Summary
  • I suppose your partner was slighted because you went ‘behind his back’ and did your thing without giving him a heads up.
  • I suggest you guys make personal finance one of those lame but necessary couple goals.
  • Read books on personal finance. Alone then together. When you’ve finished reading your book and left it dog-eared, swap it with his.

A reader emailed with questions. This is the final of the three questions I’m responding to. Annette said:

Hello, Bett.

I enjoy reading your money articles and I have learnt a lot from them.

What happens when one partner is smarter about money matters than the other is? And no matter how much I try to teach my partner he doesn't want to make changes to his lifestyle.

For example, last year I managed to save Sh300,000 from my side-hustles and saving. When I told my partner I’m buying a piece of land, he started complaining how he is the only provider in the family. Yet we each have specific bills that we pay and he makes more than me.

Is this too much to ask?

Annette
**


I’ll come right out and say it, Annette: women manage money better than men do.

We may spend more but when we’re charged with the responsibility, we instinctively know how to manage it.

Give a woman Sh10,000 for a 30-day food budget and you’ll have a balanced meal every single day.

Give a man the same and you’ll have a feast for five days, then avocado and bad ugali for the remaining 25 days.

HUNGRY LIONESS

First thing you need to do, Annette, is to do you. You save, you invest and you grow your personal investment portfolio as your income dictates.

Never stifle your ambitions for the sake of your man’s ego.

You go out there and pursue them the best way you know how. Carry on as you would. Don’t wait for him to catch up with you – he’ll pick up his pace and he’ll find you wherever he will, far ahead.

What this translates to, Annette, is he’ll sponge off your good financial management habits. Well, a mature man would. I’m assuming your partner is a mature self-assured man who isn’t threatened by a strong woman. The alpha female. A hungry lioness.

Hey, did you know it’s the lioness who goes out to hunt for the pack? The lion sits on his mane all day, napping and roaring and trying to catch butterflies with his paws. And when the lioness returns with the kill, it’s the lion who eats first. Then the cubs. She who hunts eats last.

So go hunt, Annette. Always be like a hungry lioness.

He’ll sulk at the beginning. As expected. But he doesn’t see yet what you two can chase down to kill when you both go out to hunt.

HEADS UP

I also suggest that you include him in your groundwork. That way he feels involved in the decisions you make with your money.

I suppose your partner was slighted because you went ‘behind his back’ and did your thing – with your money – without giving him a heads up.

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