Man to Man Financial talk from
one man to
By Keith Rawlinson
What do real
sure I don't have to tell anyone that men and women are wired very
differently. We men are designed to conquer, overcome,
protect and provide. God designed us that way so that
would be protected and taken care of. So, do real men still
these things today? Well, they should. Although
some men in the world whose culture and environment still require them
to fight off marauding animals or enemy tribes, or to go out and
literally kill something to drag home and feed their family, most of us
men accomplish those things by going to work. By earning
we feed our families and protect them with clothing, shelter and
medical care. If we men find our families threatened by an
intruder, natural disaster or other dangerous situation, it is natural
for us to want to do something about it. If we see a
problem, we want to fix it--we are men--that's what we do.
don't make you a man:
for far too many of us men, this innate drive to conquer, overcome and
provide, turns into an arrogant desire to control everything around us
and to appear as though we can do everything ourselves. We
after all, manly men who don't need anyone else's help. This
attitude is really just a description of pride applied
specifically to men. A small amount of controlled pride is
beneficial and positive. We men take pride in caring for our
families (or at least we should). We take pride in how we
to others. We take pride in being successful in business and
finances in general. The pride to do these things, and do
well, is part of what drives us on to success in our lives, financially
One of the biggest problems we men
have is that
our pride doesn't stop there. Our pride can become something
makes us mistreat our families in an effort to control them or to prove
that we know everything and are in control. Our pride can
shape our self image to the point that we are unwilling to admit it when we are wrong, or when
something is out of our hands. Dominating everything and
around us does not make us men. It makes us egotistical and
demanding, but does not make us men. Trying to convince others that
are independent, need no one else's help, know everything, and that we
can handle all situations by ourselves does not make us men.
makes us men is being able to admit to ourselves that we are not
all-powerful and we don't know everything. What makes us men
being willing to set our pride aside for the good of our families and
go out and find the help and knowledge we need. What makes us
is the willingness to to accept input from our spouse and our
children and consider their needs and feelings ahead of our own.
What makes us men is being willing to say "I will worry
my own needs only after
the needs of my family are met." A real man should be a leader, not
a dominator--at least when it comes to his family.
most men let their pride get in the way of the things that actually
make them a man--not just some
men, but most
men. Being in debt and having financial problems is
That's how most people are. A man letting his pride
get in the way is also normal. That's how most men are.
trick, for real men anyway, is to get their pride and ego out of the
way so that they can truly be effective in making life better for
themselves and for their families. Being stubbornly prideful
not make us a real man. Our pride and ego should be a tool to
used when we need it, pride and ego should not be a way of life or a
way to define ourselves.
does all of this
What this all really means is that we men have to learn how to not be
men. Like I said, our pride should be a tool to be pulled out
only when needed. Our pride drives us to do a job well.
drives us to want to be successful. It drives us to want to
good about how we care for our families. Those things are
examples of using our pride as a tool. We can't afford to
our pride to get in our own way. We can't allow pride to cause
be unfair and dominating toward our families. And pride most
certainly can never be permitted to lead us into any kind of abuse
toward our spouse, children or others. For more about the
of pride, please read my article "The Three Things That
Commonly Get In Your Way."
it comes to finances, far too many men think that it is an insult to
our manhood if we get help or advice from others. If that's
way you tend to feel, then think about it this way: If your
spouse, or one of
your children, is seriously injured, or is terribly ill, you take them
to a doctor, right? Why? If you're a man, shouldn't
able to take care of everything yourself without someone else's help?
Of course not! You take them to a doctor because
has education, knowledge and experience that you lack. If you
take your spouse or child to a doctor instead of treating them
yourself, did you
fail to act like a man? No, you did not! You saw a
you stepped up and got your loved one to someone who could help them.
You admitted your limitations, you were wise enough to know
you needed help, and you made sure your loved one got the help they
THAT, is being a man! Well guess what?
Taking care of
your family by means of the family finances is exactly the same.
You realize your family is threatened, you recognize your
limitations, you find someone who knows more about finances than you do, and
you get the help your family needs. THAT, is stepping up.
THAT, is being a man! When your family is in
trouble, you need to recognize the threat and find someone who has
education, knowledge and experience in finances that you lack--someone
who can help you to take care of your family. That's what a
man does when his family is threatened by financial danger.
Getting help from a financial counselor, or from
Eclecticsite.com's Financial Page,
not make you less of a man, it makes you more of a man. Why?
Because you stepped up and took care of your family in a way
most men wouldn't have. You showed wisdom that far too many other
How should we apply this
men should apply these things to our lives by doing the things that
real men do--especially when it comes to finances. Not the
that most men would do, not the things that society thinks makes us
men, and not the things that the media tries to convince us that men should
do. So, when it comes to finances, here are the basic things
real men do:
men are designed to work in order to provide for our families--that's
the way God made us. The mistake that many men make is
that this means that the man has to have a job and be the only bread
in the family. For many families, that arrangement works out
best, but there are exceptions. If, for whatever reason, the
the bread winner, then the man works by caring for his children, and
doing it well. He works by making sure the home is well taken
care of, after all, it is the family's shelter. A real man
understands that the man and wife are a team, and just about all men
understand the concept of working as part of a team. If the
is disabled, or otherwise physically or mentally limited, he is still
a man as long as he does the most he can with whatever he does have.
The trap that many men fall into is thinking that they should
the sole provider and then letting that thinking get them into fights
struggles with their working spouse. Remember, the man and
are a team. As long as the man is doing his part to care for
family's present and future, he is being a man. If, however,
is sitting around the house and not really contributing while his wife
works, or while the family finances are falling apart, then that is a
entirely different story. As long as
the man is
working to better his family's situation, whatever that work may be,
he is indeed being a man. And don't forget, that if a man
loses a job for whatever reason, he is still working if
putting in long, hard days looking for a new job.
much all men are driven to achieve. It's built right into us.
A real man, however, knows how to define achievement.
Achievement doesn't have to mean that you have an ultra-high
paying job and a high-ranking position within the company. Doing any job well is still
achievement no matter what society, or the media, tries to tell you.
Besides, if a man has led his family in making such good
financial decisions that the family can get by on a relatively lower
income, that is certainly achievement. There are many men who
do have high-paying jobs and still their families are struggling
financially because the men refuse to get help and refuse to make the
decisions and sacrifices necessary to get ahead financially.
and the media, will tell us men that we need to have the expensive car,
the big house and the respect of everyone around us no matter what it
takes. A real man, however, can see through this lie.
A nice car or big house is fine if you have done all of the
things learned on eclecticsite.com's Financial Page, and can
afford it. But to be honest, very few real men can afford
those things and still be able get their families ahead financially.
A real man is willing to make the financial sacrifices
necessary to provide for his family's future.
Understand that achievement can't always be measured in dollars.
A real man
can think far enough ahead to know that knowledge can also lead to
achievement. Increasing one's education in order to qualify
for higher-paying jobs in the future, or learning new job skills to
further one's career, are very valuable achievements. The
media will tell us that a man is one who rules his family, forces his
will on others, gets what he wants when he wants, and impresses others
by his material possessions and accomplishments. Don't fall
for the things advertisers try to tell you makes a real man. A
least a real man--is not defined by his car, his clothing, his
house, how many expensive "toys" he owns, etc. A real man is
one who is constantly striving to improve himself, his family and his
a man has determined his, and his family's, destination, he
needs to figure out what steps will be necessary to get there, right?
Well, it's no different with finances. If a man
family to become debt free and financially better off, he must plan
some steps to reach those goals. Only 8% of Americans even
specific financial plan, and only 3% have a financial plan and have
taken the time to put it in writing. In finances, this plan
called a budget.
In order to
get ahead, a family must have a detailed, written plan, or budget, and
follow it. A man needs to have the discipline and leadership
necessary to guide his family in creating a plan and following it. If a man
budget, and then puts it in writing, he has already taken steps that
97% of other Americans haven't. A man cannot expect his
willingly and faithfully exhibit the discipline and determination to
follow a financial plan unless those behaviors are first being
demonstrated by the man of the family himself. A real man
coerce or force his family to comply--he leads his family to want to
comply through setting a good example himself.
man protects his family by making sure that they are taken care of now,
as well as in the future. This does not just mean protecting
family financially, it also means protecting them physically and
emotionally. A man protects his family by not being immature
foolish with money. If a man is foolishly wasting money on
immature, and unnecessary purchases, then he is risking his family's
financial future for no good reason. A man protects himself
his family by preparing for financial emergencies before they even
happen. This is done through wise planning leading the
save money for emergencies.
And, of course, a man protects his family by knowing when
are out of his hands and then getting help and guidance from qualified
individuals when needed.
Provide As has already been pointed out, a real man provides.
may directly provide money by working, or he may provide by caring for
the home and children in order to allow his wife to go off to a job
each day. In addition to providing financially and
real man provides for his family emotionally. That means
leader for his family and not a dominator or dictator. A real
makes time for his wife and children, and makes sure that everyone
knows they are loved and cared about.
a man, plan for yourself and for your family, make sure things are on track, get help when
needed, be tough enough to make sacrifices and to stay with it, be
ready to react to
emergencies (especially financially), prove you're a man by leading
your family to being better off.
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