Welcome to the "no coupon zone"

Photo courtesy of: Flickr/Stockmonkeys.com

Photo courtesy of: Flickr/Stockmonkeys.com

If you are an avid reader of personal finance blogs, you might notice that there are some gender differences in the subgenres. Guys tend to write about investments and retirement and gals tend to write about couponing and deals on consumer purchases.  You could even go so far to say that men talk about building wealth and women talk about spending it (responsibly).

 

Here are 4 of the top 6 personal finance blogs according to Wise Bread (Wise Bread and Consumerist.com round out the other top 2):

Money Saving Mom - Focused on deals and coupons

The Krazy Coupon Lady - You guessed it. Coupons.

Get Rich Slowly  - Founded by a guy, although it has staff writers that include men and women.  Focused on building wealth.

Money Crashers  - Founded by two guys.  Focused on a wide variety of money topics, but includes real estate, business, and investing.

I don't want to unleash a fight between the sexes (and I may have just done that), but I wish women spent more time thinking about building their wealth and the wealth of their families.  I can't think of a single female friend or acquaintance that has an expressed interest or some serious knowledge about investing, asset/business-building, or retirement planning.  And that's a shame.

While I hope that all of my married friends stay married, divorce rates in this country are high and no one should leave it up to their spouse to "take care of" all the financials.  And for all my single ladies, there is no time like the present to start on the path to changing races, and leaving the rat race behind. 

Can guys learn a thing or two from the ladies about keeping household budgets trim and finding good deals? Absolutely.  But in the grand scheme of the pursuit of financial independence, spending several hours a week calculating coupons, finding sales, and stocking up on consumer-junk you don't need isn't going to get you to an early retirement.  It might be something you could spend your time doing after you retire as a way to conserve your wealth (but I hope to have enough wealth to not have to think about coupons), but spending money doesn't usually make you money.  You will probably never hear me talk about couponing again on this blog because I almost never use them. (I don't buy stuff that coupons are for- usually processed "food-like" substances, harsh chemical cleaners, and disposable items that can easily be almost free by reusing items around the house.)

So what's a woman to do? (And guys, this advice can apply equally to you).
If you are single, start by reading some of the financial blogs and books I have listed under Resources for Race Changing.  Find a mentor who is financially savvy (it will probably be a dude) and schedule some meetings to learn how he (or she) has become financially successful.  Ask a friend to hold you accountable for meeting monthly or quarterly financial goals such as keeping to a budget, paying off debt, and investing.

If you are married, you need to spend some time getting on the same page with your spouse.  Sit down together and go over all of your accounts, assets, and liabilities.*  If you don't have a written budget, get one.  You also need to build your personal finance knowledge by reading blogs and books.

*If he doesn't want share information or give you access to accounts, then you have a serious problem. Time to see a marriage counselor, even if he won't go.