Traditionally, women have had a difficult relationship with money. From talking less about it to making less of it, women are often at odds with the money in their life. It makes sense that one woman posted in the Fairygodboss Community to ask if it was OK that she wants to make a lot — and that she feels guilty about it.
“Do you ever feel bad about wanting to have a lot of money as a woman?” she wrote.
“I feel like a lot of my girlfriends try to downplay when I say that I want to make a lot of money. They say things like, ‘I'm happy having enough money for rent and groceries and a social life. I don't need more.’ I tend to hide my true feelings now that I'm older because I've gotten judged plenty. When my guy friends say stuff like this, though, no one defends their choice to not pursue more. What's the deal?” she asked.
Other FGB'ers completely understood her sentiment.
One responded: “This is a fascinating question. I have some friends who would prefer for their male boyfriends/husbands to out-earn them. I don't understand why.”
Another wrote, “I wish I could be more bold and upfront about wanting more money.”
And a third FGB’er said, “I love my ambitious friends who aren't afraid to talk about money and negotiating. I absolutely admire it, and I think their open conversations about money have helped me open up about it.”
As women, we can be unfairly accused of being too ambitious. And judged because of it.
One FGB woman, Magdalena, responded to the initial post with a good way to handle the nerves.
“Nope. Never, ever. You want more money, say it. Make it happen. I am sure all of your friends feel the same way and are just not voicing it.”
There is nothing wrong with having the ambition that is deemed socially acceptable for a man, especially when it involves finances. With a consistent wage gap for women compared to men, and especially for women of color, we are constantly fighting to make more money and to be considered equal.
“I used to feel bad about it,” she wrote. “Only recently, in the past year, have I been honest about the fact that no, actually, I want MORE than just enough for x, y, and z. For a long time, I thought that it was materialistic and selfish of me and that it conflicted with my spiritual beliefs. I started questioning why I wanted more money. I want more money so that I can take care of the people I love, so that my husband can concentrate on the things he enjoys, so that we can spend our time together on food and adventures and a beautiful home.”
Wanting more money so you can support your loved ones, cross trips off your bucket list, go back to school, or retire early is not something to be ashamed of.
“I believe, as women, it's important that we teach others how to treat us, while recognizing that cultivating fulfilling relationships of any kind — where open, judgment-free, dialogue is the foundation — also takes time and effort,” another FGB'er wrote. “If your girlfriends don't ultimately respect your choices, you may want to be more selective about who you spend your downtime with, or at least, how much time you spend with them. Look to expand your network to include women who share your vision.”
Have a question? Ask the FGB Community.