Do people with money usually flaunt or apologize for their wealth? This past week one of my good friends lost her job. As it goes in the financial industry when times are tough and companies need to increase their profit margins. She (let’s call her Amanda) has over 10 years of experience and is college educated so I don’t think she’ll have any trouble finding a new job. However, the period of uncertainty is unsettling for her, her relationship and her bank account because let’s be honest money troubles can be a major source of stress.
If you had to live on less, could you?
Amanda’s husband has a good job and makes approximately the same amount of money as her per year which is $75,000 before taxes. As she was telling our circle of friends about her two week notice she confessed her concerns about living on one income and I felt like some other women were money-shaming her.
I think income is all relative and cutting a household income in half is a big adjustment, whether is $155,000, $75,000 or $35,000 per year. I don’t feel that anyone should apologize for your wealth, especially since it’s yours and no one else’s.
Don’t apologize for your wealth, you earned it
Yes, $75,000 per year is more than some families of four live on, but that’s not her fault, nor is it truly relevant. The fact is she is about to lose half of her income and that can be terrifying. Amanda didn’t take a year off after graduation to travel like so many college students do. She worked hard and landed a full-time job right out of college so she could start gaining experience in the work force.
Amanda has always been determined and she’s had a clear career path ever since we met in the second year of college. All this to say that her life choices helped her get where she is today, so should she apologize for that?
Wealth inequality can be stressful in a relationship
If Amanda does find herself without income between jobs it will set off an imbalance in her relationship and that can be stressful. When the financial burden of being head of household lays upon one person’s shoulders it can create tension between the couple. Although the lack of contribution will hopefully only be temporary, it’s a lot to ask of someone.
The other side of the coin is for Amanda to dip into her personal savings. This would allow her to continue contributing towards the household expenses, but it will cut into her retirement savings fund. I’m not sure which of the options is the lesser of two evils: does she allow her husband to take 100% responsibility for the day to day family finances including credit card payments or does she withdraw money from her nest egg?