woman empowered at the top of a cliff

The Curse of the Entitled Woman

Why empowerment, not entitlement is what women need

Here’s something you might not have heard of: wife bonuses. Yes, you read that right.

A wife bonus, apparently, is a negotiated payment that a well-off woman has with her husband as compensation for “how well she managed the home budget, whether the kids got into a ‘good’ school,” according to The New York Times article, “Poor Little Rich Women.”

For other women, such as Polly Phillips, these bonuses are “entirely dependent on how [her] husband does at work, and how well his company performs.” If the price of oil goes up, she’s in the money—well, her husband’s money. If it goes down, she’s out of luck, and cash.

Alyssa Rosenberg, writing for The Washington Post, took up the story, publishing a piece, “ Women shouldn’t get ‘wife bonuses.’ They should get salaries .” She writes:

Housework and child care are work, or at least they’re treated that way when someone other than the person who lives in the house or gave birth to the child in question does them. If one person in a marriage is going to take on these responsibilities, which rightfully belong to both partners, then maybe they should be paid.

Her conclusion:

But if she’s going to be paid for managing her family’s home and doing child care, Phillips should be getting a set salary that reflects the value of her work, rather than a cut of her husband’s bonus.

These two stories come at an interesting time. Just a week or so ago, Robert and I discussed on the Rich Dad Radio Show what we think the next major bailout will be —chronically unfunded public service union pensions.

I won’t dig into them here, but the numbers are staggering. I encourage you to listen to the show, “Pension Tension,” to get an idea of how gargantuan this problem really is.

A huge takeaway for me from that show was the issue of entitlement. We live in a society where everyone feels they deserve money and wealth. People want money, but they have no idea how it actually works or how to make it work for them. They simply believe that if they do a job, they should be paid—sometimes ridiculously—for it, no matter what.

My issue with wife bonuses is that it perpetuates a culture where women are completely reliant on a man for provision. And my problem with wife salaries are that they take a husband and wife relationship and turn it into an employee-employer relationship, which is not healthy. Either way, the wife still relies on the husband.

When I met Robert, we were both broke and full of ambition. The most important thing to me was to be with someone who would be my partner, both in life and in business. It didn’t even cross my mind that I could use Robert like a sugar daddy. Frankly, the idea is distasteful.

I’ve been privileged to grow as a person and an investor with Robert for decades. I’m proud of what we’ve built together, and I’m also proud of the success and wealth I’ve built as an independent woman. And at the end of the day, I’d rather be poorer and making my own money, than richer and relying on a husband. Thankfully I don’t have to make that choice.

If you’re a woman reading this, I want you to understand one thing—you aren’t entitled to anything.

As many women have discovered, the cushy life of a kept wife and mother can vanish in the blink of an eye—and the wink of one. I’ve known too many women who were ruined financially when their husbands of many years traded them in for newer models.

The good news is, while you’re not entitled, you are empowered. You can own your financial future. You can learn how money works and become an expert at investing. You can start a business. You can call the shots.

And you can do so while being a great wife and a great mom. Then you can go ahead and pay yourself a bonus.

Did reading this give you a different perspective? Join other like-minded individuals in our free, online Rich Dad community here.

Original publish date: June 11, 2015

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