BETA
Close

How To Improve Your Relationship...With Money

Career

Valentine’s Day is fast-approaching, and there’s one relationship that most people could stand to make improvements to – their relationship with money. Many people’s relationship with money is wrought with stress, confusion, anxiety, and poor communication. Here are some helpful tips for how to turn your negative relationship with money into one of positivity, motivation, and control.


Get Serious About Your Future Together

Money (and often debt) will always be a part of our lives. So where do you see your future together? Like any relationship, it is important to consider your long-term goals and aspirations. Goal-setting is a vital part of figuring out what you want for your future and how to adjust your financial decisions accordingly. Without goals in mind, it can feel like you are stumbling through life a little blindly. How else would you know how much you should be saving and whether you are making the right decisions for your future. Just like any romantic relationship, you could spend time with someone who is fun and makes you happy now, but are you really compatible together down the road? Consider where you want to live, your career path, your debt repayment strategy, and lifestyles choices when thinking about your financial future.

Communicate

People are afraid to talk about money. They don’t talk about how much they earn, how much they spend, or how much debt they owe. And often they don’t even talk about it in their real relationships, which can lead to big trouble. Bottling up our fears and anxieties about money can often do more harm than good, especially when more than one person (such as a spouse) is involved. It is important to remember that debt is not a 4-letter word and it is ok to talk about it with your spouse, a close friend, or a family member. Often just being able to express the reasons for our stress can take a weight off our shoulders, and they may be able to offer some advice. If you aren’t comfortable talking to others about the sources of your financial stress, consider keeping a journal where you can write down what you’re feeling and why. Bottom line? Communication is an essential part of any healthy relationship, including your relationship with money.

Often just being able to express the reasons for our stress can take a weight off our shoulders, and they may be able to offer some advice.

Take Time to Relax

Everyone needs a little break sometimes. While it’s important to develop responsible spending and budgeting habits in everyday life, letting yourself get obsessive about it can just lead to more stress. The intent of a budget is not only to allow you to save and pay debt, but also to allow you to live a little and still do the things you enjoy. Make sure you have some “fun” built into your budget, even if it’s just as simple as treating yourself to lunch once a week. It is also important to find ways to take care of yourself and find ways to alleviate your financial stress. Think of it as taking a night off from your SO to take time for yourself or hang with friends.

Get Professional Help

If your relationship with money has just gotten so bad that you aren’t sure how to begin even improving it, perhaps consider talking to a financial advisor or an attorney who specializes in debt resolution. Depending on your financial situation, these experts can suggest various ways to get your finances back on track. You can think of it like couple’s counseling – it’ll force you to think about what you want from your money and how to get there.

As you can see, there are a lot of parallels between romantic relationships and your relationship with money. And just like romantic relationships, the best one is the kind that makes you feel motivated, in control, happy, respectful, and excited for your future together. These tips can help save your bad relationship with money and turn it into the type where you grow old together.

Culture

A Modern Day Witch Hunt: How Caster Semenya's Gender Became A Hot Topic In The Media

Gender divisions in sports have primarily served to keep women out of what has always been believed to be a male domain. The idea of women participating alongside men has been regarded with contempt under the belief that women were made physically inferior.


Within their own division, women have reached new heights, received accolades for outstanding physical performance and endurance, and have proven themselves to be as capable of athletic excellence as men. In spite of women's collective fight to be recognized as equals to their male counterparts, female athletes must now prove their womanhood in order to compete alongside their own gender.

That has been the reality for Caster Semenya, a South African Olympic champion, who has been at the center of the latest gender discrimination debate across the world. After crushing her competition in the women's 800-meter dash in 2016, Semenya was subjected to scrutiny from her peers based upon her physical appearance, calling her gender into question. Despite setting a new national record for South Africa and attaining the title of fifth fastest woman in Olympic history, Semenya's success was quickly brushed aside as she became a spectacle for all the wrong reasons.

Semenya's gender became a hot topic among reporters as the Olympic champion was subjected to sex testing by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). According to Ruth Padawer from the New York Times, Semenya was forced to undergo relentless examination by gender experts to determine whether or not she was woman enough to compete as one. While the IAAF has never released the results of their testing, that did not stop the media from making irreverent speculations about the athlete's gender.

Moments after winning the Berlin World Athletics Championship in 2009, Semenya was faced with immediate backlash from fellow runners. Elisa Cusma who suffered a whopping defeat after finishing in sixth place, felt as though Semenya was too masculine to compete in a women's race. Cusma stated, "These kind of people should not run with us. For me, she is not a woman. She's a man." While her statement proved insensitive enough, her perspective was acknowledged and appeared to be a mutually belief among the other white female competitors.

Fast forward to 2018, the IAAF issued new Eligibility Regulations for Female Classification (Athlete with Differences of Sexual Development) that apply to events from 400m to the mile, including 400m hurdles races, 800m, and 1500m. The regulations created by the IAAF state that an athlete must be recognized at law as either female or intersex, she must reduce her testosterone level to below 5 nmol/L continuously for the duration of six months, and she must maintain her testosterone levels to remain below 5 nmol/L during and after competing so long as she wishes to be eligible to compete in any future events. It is believed that these new rules have been put into effect to specifically target Semenya given her history of being the most recent athlete to face this sort of discrimination.

With these regulations put into effect, in combination with the lack of information about whether or not Semenya is biologically a female of male, society has seemed to come to the conclusion that Semenya is intersex, meaning she was born with any variation of characteristics, chromosomes, gonads, sex hormones, or genitals. After her initial testing, there had been alleged leaks to media outlets such as Australia's Daily Telegraph newspaper which stated that Semenya's results proved that her testosterone levels were too high. This information, while not credible, has been widely accepted as fact. Whether or not Semenya is intersex, society appears to be missing the point that no one is entitled to this information. Running off their newfound acceptance that the Olympic champion is intersex, it calls into question whether her elevated levels of testosterone makes her a man.

The IAAF published a study concluding that higher levels of testosterone do, in fact, contribute to the level of performance in track and field. However, higher testosterone levels have never been the sole determining factor for sex or gender. There are conditions that affect women, such as PCOS, in which the ovaries produce extra amounts of testosterone. However, those women never have their womanhood called into question, nor should they—and neither should Semenya.

Every aspect of the issue surrounding Semenya's body has been deplorable, to say the least. However, there has not been enough recognition as to how invasive and degrading sex testing actually is. For any woman, at any age, to have her body forcibly examined and studied like a science project by "experts" is humiliating and unethical. Under no circumstances have Semenya's health or well-being been considered upon discovering that her body allegedly produces an excessive amount of testosterone. For the sake of an organization, for the comfort of white female athletes who felt as though Semenya's gender was an unfair advantage against them, Semenya and other women like her, must undergo hormone treatment to reduce their performance to that of which women are expected to perform at. Yet some women within the athletic community are unphased by this direct attempt to further prove women as inferior athletes.

As difficult as this global invasion of privacy has been for the athlete, the humiliation and sense of violation is felt by her people in South Africa. Writer and activist, Kari, reported that Semenya has had the country's undying support since her first global appearance in 2009. Even after the IAAF released their new regulations, South Africans have refuted their accusations. Kari stated, "The Minister of Sports and Recreation and the Africa National Congress, South Africa's ruling party labeled the decision as anti-sport, racist, and homophobic." It is no secret that the build and appearance of Black women have always been met with racist and sexist commentary. Because Black women have never managed to fit into the European standard of beauty catered to and in favor of white women, the accusations of Semenya appearing too masculine were unsurprising.

Despite the countless injustices Semenya has faced over the years, she remains as determined as ever to return to track and field and compete amongst women as the woman she is. Her fight against the IAAF's regulations continues as the Olympic champion has been receiving and outpour of support in wake of the Association's decision. Semenya is determined to run again, win again, and set new and inclusive standards for women's sports.