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Money Mistakes Women (Besides Me) Make??

April 18, 2011 · 76 comments

in Personal Finance

I was perusing the web this weekend, and I came across an older article at Money Ning titled ‘Money Mistakes That (Mostly) Women Make’.  I knew I had to read the article to see all the things I may be doing wrong.  The following is the list of financial mistakes, and how they apply (or don’t) to me:

  1. Spending too much on shoes and clothes.  HA HA HA HA.  That is totally not me.  I have never understood the ‘shoe addiction’.  I just want comfortable feet.  Sure, I want to look nice, but being pain free matters more to me than anything.  Also, it isn’t just about foot comfort either.  I have worn shoes that made  my knees ache too.  Regarding clothes, I definitely need to update my wardrobe.  However, I just get upset at the prospect of paying full price, and it seems when things are on sale, the items in my size are gone.  Perhaps I need to actually shop more?
  2. Expecting a 2-Month’s Salary Engagement Ring.  OK, I am guilty of this one.  That is because we were in college when we got engaged and I think my husband’s part-time job paid about $6.25 an hour.  I don’t think I ‘demanded’ anything regarding an engagement ring, but my ring might have cost 2 months salary at that time.  By the way, our 20th anniversary is coming up in 2 months, and I have no desire to update my ring and get something fancy.  My 1/3 carat ring is just fine thank you. 
  3. Competing With Mrs. Jones.  Again, I chuckle.  I don’t care what anyone else is driving or where anyone is living.  I just want a vehicle that is comfortable for my family and and a house in a safe neighborhood.  As stated earlier, I definitely do not dress to impress (again, I prefer comfort), and jewelry doesn’t matter to me at all.   The thing is, I would drive myself insane if I tried to keep up with others because there will always be someone better off than I am.  So, what’s the point?  If you find that you are always trying to keep up with your neighbors or whoever, then just change your comparison other to be someone worse off than you are.  It may just change your perspective and make you appreciate what you have more.
  4. Engaging in Recreational Shopping or ‘Retail Therapy’.  The last thing you will see me do in a time of crises is speed off to the mall to buy a new outfit or the latest gadget.  As a matter of fact, shopping makes me feel worse, unless it is grocery shopping.  I have never found shopping to be recreational, it is more of  a chore.  Now using chocolate as therapy is right up my alley and is totally acceptable!
  5. Relying on Marriage to Save Them.  I got married right after I graduated college.  I had a Masters Degree, so I am sure I could have supported myself had I not gotten married.  In the end, I guess I did get my MRS Degree, but it was nothing I sought out. 
  6. “Playing Nice” At Work.   I have never had a problem with asking for a raise or a more challenging assignment.  I feel it is up to every individual to advocate for themselves because chances are, nobody else is going to do it for you.  Of course, during bad economic times, it may be that salaries are frozen or even reduced.  However, be ready for when the economy does turn around and make sure you have all your accomplishments documented to justify a raise request. 

So, in all honesty, how many of these ‘mistakes’ are you (or your spouse) guilty of?  What do you think of this list?

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{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

Nicole April 18, 2011 at 7:24 am

None of the above. I also don’t make girly chore lists like JD’s wife and instead walk around getting things done randomly as I see them. I must not be a real woman.


Kris April 18, 2011 at 11:15 am

Nicole, I make lists sometimes, but then I forget about them… I am much more the random-task-accomplisher myself!


First Gen American April 18, 2011 at 8:29 am

I’m guilty of none of these either, although I admit that I have way more shoes than my husband does.

I’ve subscribed to the comments on the article by moneyning and I’m surprised it’s still getting regular comments.

I absolutely hate shopping, HATE IT. I can’t believe people do it for fun. If I were super rich, I’d probably hire someone to go shop for me. I also can’t believe how much of my weekend it sucks up just doing grocery shopping and essentials. My sons outgrew their shoes, so we had to go shoe shopping this weekend as well. That’s 2 hours of my life I’ll never get back. Thank god adults don’t grow out of things as we can go a lot longer between trips.


Kris April 18, 2011 at 11:14 am

First Gen- I can’t count how many last minute shopping trips I had to do for new cleats for the kids or whatever. (The feet grew in between seasons!)

I am with you regarding shopping. I wish sizes and such were standardized so I could order everything through catalogs!


Moneycone April 18, 2011 at 8:40 am

I’m so not going to comment on shoes and clothes in case my other half happens to look at the comment! 🙂


Kris April 18, 2011 at 11:13 am

MC, I think that comment kinda tells it all… 🙂


Jacq @ SMRM April 18, 2011 at 11:44 am

Heheh, #2, 3 and #5 are N/A. I have been prone towards the others. I still like to shop – sort of. Nowadays, I mostly do it on holiday but have it planned out for the most part. But it also isn’t good since I sometimes end up with some inappropriate clothing for real life (aka shorts and summery dresses) and too many dangly earrings.

At work, I go for the hard stuff because it’s interesting. Also happens to pay more. But I’m a marshmallow of a manager – unless someone’s lazy.


Kris April 19, 2011 at 10:11 am

Jacq- I would be surprised if you were truly a marshmallow at work! I am sure people like working for you as you are a realist and probably get the best out of people. Laziness is a tough thing to tolerate in any aspect of life.

Sounds like you have more of a balance than I do to shopping. I hate it so much that I am running out of clothes! Maybe I need to buy some cheap dangly earrings so people won’t notice my clothes? But then I would end up with burning, red ears and a rash. I guess that would also be a distraction…


Money Reasons April 18, 2011 at 12:37 pm

It’s funny, occasionally, I try to get my wife to upgrade ring too, but she says the same as you.

I’m lucky to have such a frugal wife, some of my friends weren’t so lucky and now they are divorced and broke.

But then again, I have a feeling he would be broke anyway since he’s a spendthrift…


Kris April 19, 2011 at 10:07 am

MR- no need to push the new ring! I can’t think of many things I would want to spend less on than a new ring. I just don’t see the point. Buy your wife some chocolate as a surprise now and again instead!


Squirrelers April 18, 2011 at 1:56 pm

It would be interesting to see the money mistakes that men make….because my gender surely makes it’s fair and equal share of financial mistakes as well!

I do think women have legit needs regarding spending a little more on shoes than do men…most men probably just need to accept that. Actually, this reminds me of a past discussion I had on this topic….may be a post idea here:)


Kris April 19, 2011 at 10:06 am

Squirrel – I think women need more shoes because we have more specific outfits than men. (Black shoes just don’t cut it for every dress! :))

I was thinking yesterday about what men seem to like to spend on. Perhaps we could write a post about it on the same day! 🙂


The Saved Quarter April 19, 2011 at 1:22 pm

Electronic gadgets. Stuff for his truck. Golf. Or maybe that’s just my husband?

I think it’s hard to pin it down to a gender without being totally stereotypical. My husband certainly spends more on shoes than I do, and DEFINITELY cares about the Joneses more than me! I don’t fit any of the stereotypes that were there for women!


Kris April 19, 2011 at 8:12 pm

SQ – I totally think golf spending is more ‘male’ than ‘female’ for sure. I know many guys that would golf with there last 50 dollars in their bank account, but not any women.


Heather April 18, 2011 at 5:41 pm

While I am certainly guilty of making money mistakes, I am not guilty of any of the ones on this list. Since I discovered the fabulousless of Vibram Five Fingers, that’s pretty much all I wear on my feet (I do have three pairs, but for good reason 🙂 ). Before that, I had very few pairs of shoes and just wore them all the time. I hate shoe shopping — I want comfortable, not trendy, and I certainly don’t want heels — and shoes that I like that fit are few and far between :/

I didn’t want and don’t have an engagement ring at all.

Who is Mrs. Jones? 😉

I don’t enjoy shopping at all, so it is definitely not therapeutic!

I supported myself for six years before getting married, so I know I can do that as needed.

And I’m a public school teacher, so my salary is non-negotiable. This one might be an issue for me if I worked in the corporate world.


Kris April 19, 2011 at 9:59 am

Heather – I want to know what Vibram Five Fingers are. Hang on, I will Google…. Those look fun, and very comfortable. I bet they are good for driving in too.

Anyway, Mrs. Jones is that woman that always dresses better than you, has nicer jewelry than you, and probably drives you crazy by letting you know how superior she is! 🙂 I don’t think I actually know a Mrs. Jones, as I would avoid her at all costs (as I imagine you would too…).


Heather April 19, 2011 at 10:13 am

(I was kidding about not knowing who Mrs. Jones is as a way of (unsuccessfully) attempting to say that I don’t keep up with her.)

I wear Vibrams to work, to exercise, for everything that I can’t do barefoot … and anything that’s not in a dress. Love love love. Took me about a week or so to get used to wearing them. Now regular shoes don’t feel good, but my feet sure do!


Kris April 19, 2011 at 10:51 am

Heather, I did know you were kidding, I was just putting a spin on how much I don’t like the “Mrs. Jones” of the world. It was me that was unsuccessful in making my point!

I am going to have to look into the Vibrams. Do your toes get cold in them at all?


Heather April 19, 2011 at 6:19 pm


Vibrams: No, my toes don’t get cold. That said, I live in Phoenix, but I’m one of those people in a scarf and coat in the winter in Phoenix 😉 I have a pair of Classics that I wear when it’s warm or hot out. I have a pair of KSO Treks (in black) that I wear when it’s cold out or when I’m in nice (non-dress/skirt) clothes. And I have a pair of Sprints that I exercise in. I have liners (thin socks) to go with the Treks, partially for warmth and partially so I don’t have to wash them.

I was in NJ in February, and my feet were cold. But my feet were pretty much always cold when I lived there, so I’m not sure how much of that should be attributed to the shoes. Does that help?


Sandy H @ Journey To Our Home April 18, 2011 at 7:07 pm

I am guilty of the last one. I ‘play nice’ at work. Thankfully my boss thinks I’m great and while our company is having wages reduced every year (5 years in total) he did petition on my behalf and I received a decent raise (I mean after all I had received my Masters) but it was mostly gobbled up in the pay decreases a month later.

My husband on the other hand likes to shop for fun and tries to outdo the Jones’ (which are actually his brothers). I do admit though- He has gotten A LOT better at not spending as much. Though he still loves his electronics.


Kris April 19, 2011 at 9:54 am

Sandy H- I was just thinking yesterday how electronics seem to be the ‘soft spot’ for men if I had to pick something that are tempted to spend money on.

It sounds like playing nice has worked out well for you, well until the pay cut. I think a lot depends on where you work. If your company has taken care of you, there is no need to be stomping around demanding raises. This economy seems to have changed a lot of the rules, or maybe I just wasn’t around when companies were cutting pay and benefits left and right.


Deidre April 18, 2011 at 10:37 pm

I admit being guilty of making financial mistakes…however, none of these were on my list 🙂

Shoes: Nope, I only own 2-3 pair and 2 of those are a pair of work boots and a pair of roof climbing boots 😉

Retail ‘therapy’: Again, nope. Sorry to disapoint LOL

Engagement ring: My DH and I have waited a long time to get back together (different story there!) so I admit to picking out the ring of my dreams. I did not, however, assume he was going to fork out the $$; after all we are partners in everything – even business.

Relying on Marriage to ‘save’ them: Ahhhh, no. I’m way to independent minded for that.

Playing ‘nice’ at work….I am too opinionated and own my business. Thank goodness for that!

I love the post Kris…keep them coming 🙂


Kris April 19, 2011 at 9:52 am

Deidre- roof climbing boots? I didn’t even know those existed! 🙂

So when is the wedding???


Yakezie April 18, 2011 at 11:06 pm

Isn’t that weird how “playing nice at work” is considered a common mistake by women? Why is that? hmmmm.


Kris April 19, 2011 at 9:50 am

It is interesting. I know many women to have flexible work arrangements (like me) and perhaps they feel asking for more money or whatever might rock the boat? I don’t worry about the boat at all, but I know others do.

I also wonder if the ‘playing nice at work’ is as common as it used to be as it is more of a given that women will work and be treated equally than it was 30 years ago. In other words, are todays college grads more willing to stand up for themselves than people of my generation? I don’t know…


optionsdude April 19, 2011 at 9:01 am

Unlike MoneyCone, I can comment about the shoes and clothing mistake since I know my better would not be caught dead reading a financial blog. Hence the shoes and clothing mistakes. And yes, I have said it all…


Kris April 19, 2011 at 9:40 am

Optionsdude- make sure you delete this site from your web history just in case your wife gets bored and starts digging around your computer! 🙂


Dana April 20, 2011 at 9:50 am

Oh count me in on the “playing nice at work”. Like you mentioned above, I’m starting to think it is a generational thing. (Ouch that makes me feel old).

I’ve never been one to engage in recreational shopping although I do have a special fondness for chocolate therapy 🙂


Kris April 20, 2011 at 11:27 pm

Dana, chocolate is just the best. You can always justify it by eating dark chocolate. Buy the good stuff that is 70 percent or greater cocoa and you can eat it guilt free!

Don’t worry, I am feeling old too…


Kay Lynn @ Bucksome Boomer April 21, 2011 at 11:10 am

Most of this list is sterotyping and sexist in my opinion.

I do agree with playing nice at work, but I am an older generation and have hope younger women don’t make the same mistake.

I’m surprised a women would list these things.


Kris April 21, 2011 at 4:30 pm

Oh it is totally stereotypical and sexist. However, I could also probably write up a stereotypical post about the spending habits of men too, so I did not get offended.


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