First of all, the following is not a moralizing paper for women whose income is below the poverty line, quite the contrary! Far too many people live in poverty in this country. And the phenomenon is now affecting employees, who are increasingly likely to use food banks. We live in a neo-liberal era and equal opportunities remains a cruel joke. And even when he has favored us, the spell can turn against us at any moment. All of this deserves a whole article, but that is not my point today.
No, I want to talk to you about “financial illiteracy,” which is more prevalent than we think in what we might call the middle class. It is not possible for everyone to understand how credit and interest rates work. Many do not have the time to manage loans and credit cards and are not sufficiently wary of the infernal spiral of credit. Yet, spending money that is not equivalent to giving oneself, bound hand and foot, the masters of the world. It is not because financial institutions give us credit that we have the means, on the contrary.
And paying dozens, even hundreds of dollars in interest every week/month, is fattening the hard fat of this world while you have nothing left in your pockets to save. For example, if you are able to pay $200 a month in interest on a credit card or an unpaid personal loan, without these debts, it is $ 2400 that you would save at the end of the year, this is not nothing. But no, instead of going to an RRSP for your old age (for example), your money is flying to the hands of those who already have too much and want more.
This is where feminism and voluntary simplicity meet in my vision of things. This is a practice I have adopted in recent years. I reduced my needs at the source, decided to dress in thrift stores, reduce my groceries by buying wholesale and cooking a lot, ride my bike eight months a year, the rest of the time. public transportation, to opt for more affordable restaurants, to have dinner with friends at home or at home, to prefer humble taverns to trendy bars, etc. All these decisions, philosophical and ecological, have also had a beneficial effect on my portfolio.
I was able to “pay off my credit cards”, my student loan and I managed to save enough to make a down payment and become a homeowner. To date, apart from the mortgage, I have no debt. Financially, I am not “at the mercy” of my spouse and I manage to complete my budget even if I am a small employee who works in the community.
All this to tell you that the attainment of financial freedom for women seems to me a vital life goal, to cultivate at tender age.
I believe that in order to cope with all situations (career change / return to school, break-up, retirement, etc.) and to have the means of their ambitions, not only do women have the advantage of investing in the labor market, but it is also necessary to get out of the consumer society and get rid of the hell of debt as much as possible.