A new way

In our culture, when a woman gets married, she gets called into a room by aunts and other older female relatives and gets given the ‘lay of the land’. She’s taught never to question her husband about his whereabouts, to dress modestly when in the company of her in-laws, never to nag etc. I know this because I went through a similar process myself. It’s done in good faith and intended to help you navigate the complexities that come with being married and to ensure that you stay married. I suppose it was also a means for survival since men earned the money while women stayed home and tended to children.

I often try to picture how different life would be for many young women if they’d received financial advice, even the most elementary kind, in their teens and leading up to marriage. I imagine the aunts telling a young bride-to-be to open an investment account and for her to add to this money as often as she could. I picture the stern faces and hushed voices telling her to budget and for her to live within her means. And finally, and most importantly, if she ever decides to have children, she is to teach them everything she knows about healthy financial habits, as soon as they are able to grasp the concepts.

Unfortunately, we don’t talk about money. Not in the way that we should. We need to make it a habit to talk about money in a constructive way with our children and extended families (since many are either living with or supporting extended family). We need to talk about how to be responsible with money and how to grow and keep it, not just for us, but for others as well. It is possible to work towards changing the status quo for the next generation and I strongly believe that with a little guidance, we can make generational wealth a reality.

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