Mary Kay Learns "What Women Want" - Part 6

05-29-2009 12:57 PM

Here we are again, revealing what women around the globe told us about what they wanted out of life in today's world. In addition to the five things we've already discussed, women want to have their own personal, disposable income.  At this point in time, some do and some don't (have it).

Women in the United States are very familiar with having disposable income, and are finding themselves coming to terms with their personal financial security issues, given the recent and continuing economic conditions.  They want to be in control of their money and they want to contribute to the security of their family.

Latin American women are very good planners when it comes to their finances.  Because personal credit is uncommon, she cannot overextend herself; she can only spend what she has, so she plans carefully.

For women in China, discretionary money is still a relatively new phenomenon.  No matter how well she is cared for by her husband, she still wants to be able to spend "her own money".  In Korea, most of a woman's disposable income goes directly toward educating her children.

In Eastern Europe, money management is a new skill.  Most Soviet-era parents didn't have the money to need the skill, so this was not something that they passed on to their children.  Today, many of these women take pride in their ability to restrain themselves, but for the majority, the temptation of shopping is too new and too wonderful to resist.

The interesting thing about this global desire for personal income is that it's not really about the MONEY at all.  And it's not about the STUFF that the money can buy.  You see, it's all about the INDEPENDENCE and AUTONOMY that the money allows. It's about the empowered feeling that comes from sensing that you are in control of this important aspect of your life.  It's about the FREEDOM to treat yourself, if that's what you want to do, or to treat someone else, or to give to your favorite charity. 

When I ponder my own thoughts about having money to spend, I recall times when I didn't have much, as almost all was going to pay bills. Seems like that was the time that I had the strongest desire to shop and buy things. (Why is it that we always want what we can't/don't have?)  Now, with my children out of the house and supporting themselves (OK, mostly!) and my husband retired, I find myself with more discretionary money, but interestingly enough, no desire to shop.  Don't get me wrong here, I do like nice things, but there are other things I like better.  Like no stress from trying to pay for those things.  Less stuff in the house means less to have to clean around (Yes, I have always and still do clean my own house). Perhaps I've reached that magic moment in life when I've finally received the wisdom that happiness doesn't come from stuff.  While I'm no longer interested in acquiring stuff, however, I can tell you that having discretionary money is very important to me, for all the same reasons that we heard from other women.  You see having the ability gives me the freedom to choose if I want to give extra to my church, help my parents with their medical expenses, pay off my mortgage early, or give to political candidates that support issues I feel strongly about.  

One of our Mary Kay Independent National Sales Directors, Linda Toupin, from Kentucky, is famous for saying that "money buys you choices".  I agree.  And apparently the women of the world agree, and they like the choices that come with having their own personal disposable income.