How to Recapture your Financial Power

How to Recapture your Financial Power

You’re bright and capable.  Over the course of your marriage, you’ve let your husband handle all the finances.  Now, as the marriage unravels, you realize you’re back at Square One in terms of personal financial power.

My friend Susanne Scaldino sent me the link to a brilliant article, written by author and journalist Eilene Zimmerman and published yesterday in

It reflects everything I’ve been hearing from women on money disempowerment … but Eilene fights her way back to recapture her financial power.  It’s such a great lesson, I simply had to share it with you …

It’s entitled:

I shouldn’t have left the finances to my husband

I’m a business writer and a feminist. But when it comes to my own money, I made a big mistake


Published in

Wednesday, Mar 9, 2011 22:30 ET


As much as I’d love to reproduce it for you here, and even went back and forth by email with Eilene, when I read the footer on the Salon website I realized I don’t have that right.

So the best I can do is send you there with as much enthusiasm as I can muster.

Go on, now.  Go read it!  Click on the article title above, or here, then come back to this page to comment on what impact it had on you …


  • This is priceless and generous knowledge, Sharon… I was captured by Eileen’s article from beginning to end, challenged to dig into my own feminine mindset concerning money. Yesterday a thought floated through my mind, “Money doesn’t matter” and I realized it was coming from beliefs I adopted as a young person that would later come to haunt me throughout my life as a young mother when I allowed my (ex)husband to control all the finances. Eileen made a quick recovery through professional counsel, advice, and implementation… she’s a great example for us all. I’m so glad Susan forwarded the article and that you have shared it with us! You are creating a wonderful community here, Sharon!

    • Anonymous

      Sharing resources is a critical part of building community, Susan, and together we can take on the ol’ bug-a-boo called “personal finance” … 😉

  • What a story! My education in taking control of my finances came at an early age, unexpectedly. I was widowed at the early age of 19 1/2. Left with maxed out health insurance plans, two of them, and medical bills in the hundreds of thousands, I was on my own after my husband of two years died. Young, inexperienced and naive I simply recoiled to the comfort of a bottle! Thank goodness for good friends who were watching out after me. The finances came to the front of the line when the hospitals wanted their money. I had none. So began my lesson in how to deal with life, finances and living. After getting remarried I never did relinquish the check book for fear I would find myself in the same boat, a sinking one. Now, years later, I’ve gone on to build a successful auto transport business and have IRA’s for both my husband and me. Hopefully we can all inspire each other to put one foot in front of the other, encourage each other to take our finances seriously and be involved.

    • Anonymous

      You’re so right, Carla. Every inspiring story moves us forward towards greater control over our futures. And what a great one Eilene Zimmerman’s is, eh?

  • Rachelle

    I think you found someone who echos what you are saying to women today. I think it took courage to send everyone to another site, and you did it. You are a true champion for women.

    • Anonymous

      Rachelle, Eilene’s story is different from mine, and someone will resonate with it who may not resonate with mine. In my mind, the ultimate goal is to empower as many women as possible, whatever it takes … and she’s a fabulous resource!

  • Thanks for sharing this with your readers, Sharon. Financial matters are not easy for many of us, especially for one (like me) that have made bad investment choices in recent years. Eilene Zimmerman’s story is truly valuable.

    • Anonymous

      I know it’s a little unusual to share someone else’s work like this, but I really thought her message was valuable. Glad you thought so too, Claudia! Please be sure to share it with anyone you think could benefit from it …

  • Sharon, I just read Eilene’s story. It is amazing. I grew up where the man worked, was the provider, (Jewish princess told marry a doctor or lawyer–not my case) and stay home with the kids. I almost lived the way my mother did–depending on others to support her Today I am learning to create my own destiny or live on crumbs even though married. My wonderful hubby has different eyes then me. I know I have to do it for me and he is 100% included, but depending on him will be financial nightmare to embrace when he stops working his “6 mo. season business” that doesn’t produce much extras to live on for 6 months of down time. Sometimes our past can mold our future, but I am in a different mold seeing the power of money. I am willing to do whatever it takes to create my own destiny as seen in my dog blog. Great post!

    • Carol, you’ve done the healthiest thing we can all do: you’ve taken responsibility for yourself, which is where it ultimately belongs. But that’s not what many of us are taught … especially Jewish princesses!

  • Anonymous

    Sharon, Thank you for sharing this important info! Your willingness to do so shows the depth of your passion to help other women! Great story so brilliantly told with a powerful message all women should read.

    • Anonymous

      Some things “just gotta be shared,” Denny! 😉

  • Great advice for all women – no matter what their marital status is currently! Thanks for sharing.

    • You’re right, Carol. Eilene got lots of flack (in the comments section under her article) for staying “disconnected” for so long. What those critics don’t realize is that too many of us are told that’s how it’s supposed to be. We lucky ones find our financial footing in a less jarring way …

  • I was shaking my head like a little bobbing doll on the dash board. I was one of those women…but of course when we got married I was 16. I knew nothing about life much less about a checkbook. When I finally figured out that he was “stashing cash” in places I had no access the ” S ” hit the fan and our troubles begin. Up to that point life was pretty good – he did and got what he wanted and I looked like and orphan child with less than a dollar in my pocket most of the time. We all learn the hard lesson…and I have not made that mistake ever again.

    • Angela, if we didn’t grow up “knowing” things, usually because we just weren’t taught, we have to learn them the hard way. So if we have to go through a learning experience, better early than later. Sounds as if you learned early!

  • So important for so many women. I’ve been fortunate in that in my (ex) relationship, my partner was more than happy to hand over the financial planning and management tasks to me… which was a whole other issue, but at least I had some control! ;o) He was quite happy that way – I kind of wished he’d had a little more interest. I guess there’s a happy medium somewhere in between the two extremes that we never did find.

    • Victoria, I think that “happy medium” comes from both people taking personal responsibility … in order to take joint responsibility. The tough part is finding people who take personal responsibility … but it sounds as if YOU had …

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  • What an article! I’ve sat here reading her words and thinking this is me, but without the divorce….It’s funny because we always did our personal finances together, but I think when kids came along, DH moved into the role of overseeing our finances. For me, it was just one less thing I needed to think about. Although in saying that, he has been asking my for a while now to make some time and re-look at how we can do this jointly. Maybe it is time!! Thanks for sharing this article, Sharon.