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Memo No. 29 From the National Welfare Desk of Men

In Financial Matters Don’t Play Hero For a Woman

I think it is time we ended Financial Abuse from women.

{Cue: This article is for men. Women do have their platforms where they can air their grievances against men. I hope this is as clear as distilled water.}

It is 2021 and every man here need to learn that the common line women use: ‘his money is our money; my money is my money’ is actually financial abuse. You may want to check out The Nairobian’s Cover story of this week, coming to an end tomorrow.

Financial abuse is common especially in marriage. More so, among married, working class couples, where men typically shoulder more financial responsibilities than women. Often, most men have no clue where their wives’ money goes. Most of the time, it is invested in her chama, in her family, or in fun. Even in a situation where a man earns Sh 90,000 and a woman earns Sh 150,000, it is not uncommon for a man to shoulder more responsibilities than the woman. Sometimes out of foolishness. Sometimes out of naivete. But far too commonly, because they are shamed by their women into an unequal arrangement, just because of his sex.

Most men still stuck in the ‘men must provide’ era don’t care much how their wives spend their money. This scary carelessness. Unless you are a billionaire with zero likelihood of ever going broke, quit this attitude pronto. Many men who have played strong cry the bittermost tears when things go south, and believe you me, few women will care about your plight, should your fortunes change. You be called abusive, narcissistic, toxic and any adjective that women keep inventing as a justification for leaving a broke man in Nairobi.

I am old now, and I spend my evenings in bars talking to men in their late 30s and early 40s, and their common regret is how their first marriage or first serious relationship set them back a good one. Fair enough, they didn’t know. Now they know better. Those who adjusted well, went on to build even bigger empires. Sadly, for some men, they have sunk into despondency and it is just sad.

The biggest trouble of advising men is that few care to listen as each man thinks on average he is smarter. We only learn from hindsight, which is pretty useless. If you care to listen, today’s memo is brief and goes straight to the point.

Here are 15 Points to Remember. I ask men to feel free to add their lessons.

1. Don’t be tricked, manipulated, or lied into ignoring her income even as you shoulder the financial burden of your marriage. Most corporate working-class women insist that the man has to take care of rent and school fees and more. This is the bulk of most bills.

2. Women sitting pretty after a drink as men split the bill is financial abuse. Unless she is a young, jobless woman, any woman with a job MUST participate in paying a bar bill. This is the worst financial abuse in Nairobi and we have let it go on for far too long. Unless she is your guest. Having mutual fun and shouldering that bill doesn’t cut. Unless you receive a part of the Sh 2 billion…

3. Your wife keeping secret assets is financial abuse. Most men presently don’t what their wives possess. They don’t even know how they made it possible for the wives to own all that. And they are not part of the equation. Once they lose their jobs or income, they will be kicked out and the wife will shine like the brightest star, even as the man sinks into depression.

4. Unless agreed upon, taking care of most bills in the house is Financial Abuse. Agree how to share the bills in an equitable way. Everyone should be accountable. Refer to point 1.

5. If you going out with your wife or a friend(s), male or female, know the maximum you want to spend. If you max, go home. There is always a next time.

6. If a long lost female friend hits you up, and you go for a date, or an evening drink and when it comes to the bill, suddenly, she has to go to the loo, or has to pick a call, it is financial abuse. Don’t enable that.

7. Don’t take a girl to school hoping she will stay. That is inexcusable and stupid. Unless you are super rich or whatever paper she earns will be an equivalent of you have or higher, don’t take the risk. That is her father or parent’s job. If you want to do it for altruistic reasons, do it. But if she leaves, don’t kill her or kill yourself. Or cry. It is 2021’s for Christ sake!

8. It is OK to use money to get laid. It is lame. But sometimes, that is your only leverage. But always know, alphas out here get what you pay for premium, freely. You can be an alpha. Or you can be the guy who rents a bedsit or pays rent for a slay queen, for you once-a-week romp in Roysambu. In this, do as you please. No judgement.

9. Have a joint account for domestic bills. And have separate personal accounts. And I want all men here to know, you must be super discreet with your financial dealings. Your wife ordinarily should be the last person you trust 100 percent. Talk to your uncles and older aunts on this.

10. Pick a lifestyle that you can afford. Review it every six months. And adjust accordingly. Remember, you must offer leadership. It is your way, or the streets.

11. Every man must have an email signup of their bank/MPESA statements. Read and audit them. Take at least one money class, even if it is an online one. Pay the small fees or the many free ones available.

12. Downgrade your life at the earliest convenience than living on the edge. I can’t emphasize this enough. Better to downgrade and rise fast as soon as possible. Than to insist on a lifestyle you can’t afford, and sink for good. Again, I insist, offer leadership. If she can’t follow your wise and considered judgement, give her back to the street. And trust you me, ten years from now, you will thank God for the move. This is a proven thing.

13. Stop being overly generous with money. As Africans, we pay too much black tax. It is OK to help. But know when to be selfish. When to put your needs first.

14.Whatever you do, always, have some savings. Even if it is just M-Shwari.

15. Lastly, for men, learn simple domestic skills. Most women hide under the cover of domestic skills to hide their money. As a man, learn how to wash dishes. Learn how change that diaper. Learn how to cook. As frequently as possible, participate in all these activities. Don’t ever let this be the excuse she uses to hide her money. Pay the househelp. Step up. Use tech (washing machines), eat out. Whatever. It won’t make you less of a man if you participated in house chores as much as possible to ensure that your share financial responsibilities equally.

In 2021, I insist, unless you are a drug lord, a tenderpreneur, a billionaire who can outsource labor, should you opt for marriage, ensure that you pay your dues and insist the woman has to pay her dues too.

Men playing heroes is the reason why men think divorce laws are unfair. Remember, should she kick you out and she may, you will lose a lot. In divorce, most men lose more than their family. You can mitigate this, by ensuring that that all financial and social responsibilities are shared equally.

The Kenyan DAILY POST.

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  1. Thats good and seriously,,, without that,, brokers and yourths we will remain without wifes,,,,’money is like a soap everybody likes to bath with it,, like i,, im in need of ‘partiner’ but coz of above statement, im single as now hahahahahaaaa

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