Why Women in Relationships Need to Be Saving More Money
Get Yourself a Nest Egg
Are you in long-term relationship? Are you living with someone? Have a joint bank account? I have one very important piece of advice for you: get yourself a nest egg.
Two years ago, I was in a long-term relationship with a man I thought I’d be with forever. We had been living together for 4 years when he admitted to two painful things: 1) That he didn’t love me anymore, and 2) He had an indiscretion with someone from back home.
I had not only emotionally invested in him for five years but we had built a small life together. My budget was built around our shared rent. We adopted a dog. Despite the drama that followed that only breakups can bring, when I asked him to move out three days later, I meant it.
And he never moved back in. I was on my own again but with the finances of a life built for two. I had to readjust everything.
The only thing that allowed me to do that was the small nest egg I had made for myself over the course of those five years. A nest egg is essentially a fun way of saying “savings account.”
Ever since then I have preached this measure to any young woman who will listen. I’m on a quest to make sure saving becomes a habit, no matter what.
I’ve met a lot of ladies who “felt weird” saving for something they were “sure would never happen.”
A handful were even afraid that if they saved for the breakup, that they’d cause it to happen. And that’s when I’d tell them to pump the breaks and take a big sip of wine.
I am not urging women to be ready for the inevitable, I’m urging them to be ready for the possible.
If it helps, there’s no need to think of your personal savings account as your “breakup fund.” I most certainly did not until I needed it. There are a lot of changes that can happen early in your adult life that have nothing to do with your relationship status and having a little extra money is your way of protecting yourself against all of it. Stability is a beautiful thing and if you have that I am so happy for you. But don’t let that security keep you from protecting yourself in the future. If I had relied on the life we built being permanent, I would have never had the means to survive.
It can sound pessimistic, I know. I can’t even tell you how much back and forth I went through wondering if this article would be taken the wrong way and if I should even post it. In the end, I decided that helping someone else was more important than worrying about backlash.
Without that small bit of money, I would have never been able to survive in New York City alone. Even with it, things haven’t been easy. I’m still recovering from paying twice as much rent and from caring for a dog on my own. My little nest egg isn’t even half of what it used to be, but it’s there, trying ever so slowly to recover and come back to life. It was an emergency fund I had to crack open and use and I am so lucky and so grateful that I did.
Here’s the great thing about saving for something that may never happen: you don’t need to be too aggressive about what you’re putting away. There is no end-date to the saving in sight, so you can put as little or as much away as you can each month. You’ll be surprised how fast it adds up over the course of a LTR. And while things are good and you’re sailing through life, chances are you’ll be able to put a lot more in than you’d think. Before you know it, you’ll have a nice cushion to fall back on in the event something does happen.
Here’s what to remember:
- Do not feel inappropriate or sneaky for having your own personal savings account that you do not share.
- Do not think of it as a breakup fund but as a well being fund. It’s there to help you no matter what happens to you in your life. Not just a breakup.
- Knowing that you are secure to live on your own will help you make difficult decisions. Without the “how will I afford to live without him” question, you can follow your heart and your truth to what is best for you.
I know a lot of this is directed at women, but really this can be applied to anyone financially and romantically involved with another person. It’s about protecting yourself against the worst in any situation. I hope you save it and I really hope you never have to use it.