I will level with you. Having me write about money is a bit like having Britney Spears write about parenting. I love my money dearly, but, because of some poor choices, I’ve temporarily lost custody. How often have I found myself buying a new sweater or pair of shoes that I can’t afford and thinking afterwards, “Oops, I did it again?”
Choosing how we spend our money is very subjective. Studies consistently show that there are differences in how men and women handle their finances. For example, women tend to be more nurturing in their financial instincts than men. We want to make sure our families are taken care of above all else. This is probably why I don’t have children. I see a Sophie’s choice-type situation in which I’d have to choose between a cute dress marked down 75 percent, or diapers. New blouse or new binky? I’m not saying I’d be a bad mother, but most of my unconditional love is already directed at Cole Haan.
That said, I’m not completely hopeless. I recently had knee problems and bought a cane. It’s black and quite chic-an accessory with perks and not a bad investment for $100. I also just purchased a $400 handbag, and while it’s also black and quite chic, I’m pretty sure it’ll never prevent me from stumbling.
I think money is an emotional issue for both genders. Men probably tend to show off and are more open to gambling with their money and investments. One man I know has no problem rolling out of bed in the morning and saying to himself “I don’t care who gets my money today, as long as it’s not me.”
From where I stand, the biggest difference between men and women in terms of money is probably how and why we ultimately invest it. For me, investing and choosing where I put my hard-earned money is very personal and political. Bottom line? If I do invest, I like knowing that my money is working for something in which I have a personal interest. For example, I just invested in Kotex. They’ve just introduced a new line of sanitary napkins designed specifically for the plus-size woman, which will appeal to a whole new market, of which I am part. I’ll be honest, at first I was offended; I may be fat, but my vagina is not. In fact, the size of my vagina is the one thing I have in common with Heidi Klum and I dare anyone to take that away from me. On the other hand, I’m savvy enough to see an opportunity to make some of my already sizable 30-year investment back.
No matter your gender, in the end, it’s all about financial security. In my never-ending quest towards this ideal, I recently discovered the laws of wealth and attraction as described in the best-selling book “The Secret.” It says you can create financial wealth and prosperity if you only envision it for yourself and believe it to be true. I’ve taken this challenge to heart and have been actively journaling about money and doing daily affirmations stating, “I am rich and I have everything I need.” As a result, I now have more laundry quarters than ever, and apparently, all I need are some strawberry pop tarts, a couple of boxes of macaroni and cheese and some cat food.
If it’s true that you can never be too rich or too thin, I’m doomed.
Jodie Maruska is a stand-up comedian in the Twin Cities