Socially-acceptable planning (fuck that)
I this piece, I wrote about how unfair it is that it is socially unacceptable for single women to actually plan for marriage or children (for those who want those things) the way you would plan for, say, graduate school. If you were to see a cute baby outfit on sale, buy it, and store it in your closet thinking that you’ll probably have a baby in the future, you are, according to society, batshit-crazy and undateable, which is weird, because if you brought home some skis from a garage sale thinking you might someday learn to ski, that would be totally cool, and if you bought some books about how to learn French and then never really bothered, you’d be basically just like everyone else.
Just as I think it’s totally fine to stash away baby clothes should you come across a good deal, I also think it makes good sense to plan how you would live should you get really sick or become disabled. I mean, you’ve probably put some thought into how you would live if you won the lottery, and this is a lot more likely.
As I wrote in Bullish: Should You Slow Down Your Career For a Guy?
I wrote (semi-satirically) in a column about financial planning for motherhood that one needs to make twice as much as one needs to live on — in some kind of flexible and self-directed career — so that when you have a baby, you can make half as much and be okay.
Now, I’m not assuming that you want to get married and/or have kids. I’m just saying that there’s a reason I’m always trying to convince young women of the urgency of making more money, and that reason is to have options and freedom. (see Bullish: How to Ask for More Money Part I and Part II.)
It’s hard to know exactly what your future gentlewomanly self will want, but she will certainly want to have choices, which money helps provide. Life is also full of emergencies and loss. Having money helps you to not have to think about money during times when you need to fix an emergency, care for someone, or deal with grief. Or, if nothing bad happens to you, you can endow a scholarship somewhere and die a saint!