A Twitter Party with Scottish Widows

This Wednesday evening (16th December from 8pm to 9pm) Scottish Widows will be taking to Twitter to celebrate both their own 200 year anniversary and the 200th year of Jane Austen’s novel Emma using the hashtag  #200yearsofemma

At first this may seem like a slightly odd combination – money and literature?  However when you look further into the campaign it all makes perfect sense.  200 years ago Scottish Widows was launched to support women left widowed after the Napoleonic Wars (who knew?) yet 200 years on women are now more empowered and influential than ever.  We no longer need to rely on men to survive!  Emma Woodhouse, is the first Austen heroine with no financial concerns and therefore, to her mind, no reason to marry.  This latest Scottish Widows’ campaign pays particular attention to comparing the financial situations of women now and 200 years ago.  Of course celebrating the role that Scottish Widows has played in supporting women’s financial independence. 

I find it really interesting to consider the financial implications of marriage both historically and for modern day women – questions such as does money still matter when finding a potential partner or should we feel comfortable marrying someone who was not financially stable?  I’d like to think that money didn’t really matter when it came to who I fell in love with – it’s hardly a romantic outlook on life is it but I suppose it is something that people do consider.  Dave and I have been equally rubbish with money in the past so perhaps that made it all ok for us! 

Photo Credit – Sally Langstaff

Prior to having children both Dave and I were completely financially independent.  We paid halves on the bills, the mortgage etc and whatever was leftover was our own.  My Maternity Leave with Ben came as a bit of a shock, suddenly it didn’t seem fair any more.  I was only earning enough for my half of the bills, I had nothing left over.  Why should I be left skint because I was at home looking after our baby?  We had to readdress our situation and Dave used to give me what I suppose would have been comparable to my Mum’s “housekeeping” back in the day.  Six years later, three lots of maternity leave and a complete change in my working arrangements have meant that there is little financial independence for either of us these days.  Our money is shared.  Every penny we earn goes into the pot and we budget carefully for every expense.  

In the future I think we would both like to have a little pot that we could call our own – money to treat ourselves, to save for surprises, to be independent.  But for now, there is no financial independence in our house.  We do not earn equally any more but we are a team.

I’d love for you to join the discussion on Wednesday night – the chat will be hosted by Jackie Leiper (@ScottishWidows) and Tots100 (@tots100) with contribution from Lucy Mangan (@LucyMangan), columnist and writer at The Guardian.  Make sure you use the hashtag #200yearsofemma


*Disclaimer – Post in collaboration with Scottish Widows* 

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