Before women could have the choice to pursue a career that they want to ensure their financial security on their own, they were limited to having to go for men who can provide them just that. It is undeniable that the negative connotations brought about by the then heavily patriarchal way of things still affect the way many people think about how women and their capability to handle finances and to secure themselves financially without the help of a male partner.

The idea of 5 C’s are very much rooted in these stereotypical, phased out, and somewhat sexist notions on women and their ability to achieve success and financial stability on their own.

While first popularized as a joke, the 5 C’s seem to reflect something about women and their finances. It also shows how the problems of women in financial management are still heavily influenced and affected by the then heavily patriarchal way of things. Brought about by progress and modernization, many women today are finally starting to take charge of their finances, with or without a partner.

That is why, instead of looking for a man with 5 C’s to provide financial security for them, modern women should opt for something better, beyond the materialistic, and something they can achieve on their own: the 6 F’s.

The 5 C’s

What are the 5 C’s? They are the 5 things women supposedly should look for in potential partners. The first C stands for Cash; this does not only mean having a few thousand in the bank but having a great purchasing power. It means the man should be able to secure you financially; sometimes, people push it as far as being able to sustain a luxurious lifestyle.

The second C is Car. This reaffirms that the man you should go for, at least according to the Five C’s, should be wealthy enough to have a private vehicle. In Singapore, not many could afford to have one, with the government taxing car buyers at least 100% of the car’s market price.

In fact, only 1 out of 10 Singaporean residents owns a private car. The last three are Credit Cards, Condominiums, and Country Club, representing symbols of high social status and extreme wealth.
Now that we got the 5 C’s out of the way, let us move on to the replacements, the 6 F’s. Let’s take a brief look at each of them.

The 6 F’s

1.Finance

By finance, we do not just refer to having a job with a good pay or a stable source of income. We also mean being well-educated on things that matter when it comes to financial decision-making. The lack of education is among the main reasons why even modern women prefer to depend on their male partners when it comes to financial management instead of taking it head on by themselves.

How do you know you have achieved this? Some would say it’s subjective, but here are some of the basics you should aim for:

  • Emergency funds enough for at least 6 months
  • Easily payable amount of debts, or better yet, debt-free
  • Sufficient savings for retirement
  • Investments in a good market/with high potentials

How much of these you need will, of course, depend on your circumstances. If you are in a family of with children or another extended family as dependents, you will also have to consider their financial security.

So if you want to achieve the first F, our advice to you is: never stop learning. Go to seminars on different helpful topics like proper budgeting, efficient time-management, leadership, and entrepreneurship or business. You could push it further by consulting a financial advisor and/or applying for graduate school, if you have not yet already.

More than that, put what you learn to the test and do not be afraid to explore and try new things. Sometimes, it takes you more than one, two, or even three times to find the right investment for you, and that’s totally okay.

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2.Family

Success & happiness in life is not ultimately defined by how much money you have, how many properties and cars you own, or basically your net worth. This is what makes the 6 F’s a much better ideal than the materialistic 5 C’s. Of course, one of those things that money cannot buy is family.

This does not mean, of course, that you have to find a partner or have a child to be happy and fulfilled in life. In these cases, you do you, as the popular expression goes. You can take “family” to mean many things; having a husband and/or a child are only some, but it can also be your mother, father, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, or even those best friends who are almost like your brothers and sisters from another mother. You can even include pets here; they are part of the family after all.

It is not enough to simply have them; it’s more on the quality of the relationships and bond that you have with them. Gifts and financial security are one thing, but time and attention are of greater value by far.

3.Fashion

Instead of looking for a partner that possesses the 5 C’s, you can channel all your attention on perfecting your wardrobe. And the motivation is not limited to looking good alone. There are evidence that show that to dress better is to work better. In other words, putting more effort on the way you dress up for work can lead to success in many aspects of your life, even your career!

According to studies, dressing nicer can boost one’s confidence. This also impacts the way one is perceived by others, which may be essential during meetings and interviews. In other cases, channeling your inner fashionista at work can also improve your abstract thinking. A case of men in suits vs. men in sweatpants in selling a hypothetical factory, found in the same study, prove the importance; predictably, those who wore formal attire did significantly better than those in casual clothes.

This is because  “in competitive, winner-take-all situations, wearing more formal attire can send others a signal “about you being successful and real confident in whatever you’re doing.” Those more casually dressed, on the other side of the table, tend to back down more easily[.]”

4.Friends

The philosopher-theologian Thomas Aquinas phrases the value of friendship in one’s life perfectly: “Friendship is the source of the greatest pleasures, and without friends even the most agreeable pursuits become tedious.” After all, even Sherlock Holmes has John Watson.

While it’s more quality over quantity when it comes to friendship, it would truly help to be learn to be respectful and show proper manners to other people, even to acquaintances. That would definitely help you build a strong, big network.

This actually goes beyond being a cliche advice on friendship and success. Various studies demonstrate how the former can help lead to the latter. This covers many different aspects. For instance, friends are shown to help “reinforce [one’s] willpower” to overcome addiction, to push through a particular diet, or to finally go to the gym and work out regularly.

5.Fun

Tired and all stressed, you need to take a break from work from time to time. While many tend to worry too much about the message taking a leave for vacation would send to their managers, the management usually encourage employees to make use of their leaves. On top of that, many remain unaware of the benefits of taking a break and how it can positively impact their work performance and overall health.

In case you are thinking of ways to increase your productivity, taking some time off your work laptops and having some fun are some of them. Just like in working out, you need to take a few seconds or minutes of break in between exercises to avoid injuries and to keep and prolong your pacing.

You need to recharge your body; you need some time to rest your mind from the worries and stresses brought about by work. Go out of town, or you could opt for something simpler like going on painting dates with friends or visiting a theme park with your family.

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6.Food

How people treat their bodies affect many aspects of their lives; it only follows that the way you care for your body is critical to your success. We see this even in the simplest, ordinary cases; not having enough sleep can make you feel groggy throughout the day and thus affect your performance, and skipping meals can lead to stomach pains, headaches, and lightheadedness, all of which can delay your work progress.

It is for this reason that you also make it part of your goals to eat the right food. This is basic science; what we eat affect our thinking abilities, physical capacities, and overall well-being. Aside from devising and following a diet and food plan as well as the “brain foods” that are shown to sharpen one’s mind and memory, timing also plays an important part in eating healthy.

 

 

 

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C.E.O @ The New Savvy
Anna Haotanto is passionate about finance, education, women empowerment and children’s issues. Anna has been featured in CNBC, Forbes, The Straits Times, Business Insider, INC and The Peak Singapore. She was nominated and selected for FORTUNE Most Powerful Women conference in 2016 (Asia) and 2015 (San Francisco, Next Gen). Anna has 10 years of experience in the financial sector and is currently a Director in Tera Capital. Her previous work experience includes positions at Citigroup, United Overseas Bank, a regional role in Business Monitor and a boutique private equity firm based in Shanghai. She graduated from Singapore Management University (Finance and Quantitative Finance).