And your money like that, Bibiana Steinhaus-Webb ?: Referee Steinhaus: “I bought shares out of frustration – it was worth it”
She was the first referee in the Bundesliga to referee a men’s game. In the interview, the newly married Bibiana Steinhaus-Webb talks about her relation to money, why she is not interested in millionaires on the field and how she regulates financial matters with her husband.
FOCUS Online: German Fifa referees receive a basic salary of 80,000 euros per year, also per use in the Bundesliga 5000 Euro. A lot of money for a normal employee. How has money been an incentive to your career?
Bibiana Steinhaus-Webb: Money has never been a driver for me. The path from the district league, which has an expense allowance of 18 euros, to the Bundesliga is long, hard and also associated with many hardships. Not every referee will make it to the Bundesliga and benefit from this remuneration. It’s like in any other job – first you have to position yourself through performance and that’s what I focused on.
What role did money play in your family?
Steinhaus-Webb: My parents made sure I knew what money was worth at an early age. When I was 14 I had my first jobs – delivering newspapers, filling the shelves in the supermarket. I appreciate money.
What about your money, Bibiana Steinhaus-Webb?
The first 1000 euros – given or earned?
Do you prefer cash or a card?
Savings book or stocks?
You are a police officer, so you are employed by the state. Are you therefore treated and released as an athlete like numerous Olympians?
Steinhaus-Webb: No. According to the Sports Promotion Act, referees are not athletes because we do not fight for medals. I do my sport in my spare time. Nevertheless, I am grateful that my employer gives me the opportunity to compensate for my commitment with overtime, to invest in private vacation or to take unpaid vacation. A full-time job was not always possible for me. This gap in my retirement provision needs to be closed.
Steinhaus-Webb: That didn’t cross my mind for a second. We have different tasks in the field and I don’t measure a person’s worth by their net income. How do we deal with one another, how do we talk to one another – the working level that we find together is decisive.
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You have been with Howard Webb since March married – the two-time world referee of the year. How should one imagine the Steinhaus-Webb family playing football? Are you also watching the game or just looking at the referee’s performance?
Steinhaus-Webb: We can’t get out of our skin – we’re fans of the referee, that’s our team. We tremble with our colleagues.
How difficult was it for you to gain a foothold in men’s football? Weren’t there colleagues who said that Bibiana should rather whistle with the women and not take our seats?
Steinhaus-Webb: We are in sporting competition with one another and define ourselves through performance. Among other things, about fitness, about rules. The norms are the same for everyone and are based on the affiliation to a league. Not according to gender, religion or origin.
Achievement is one thing, but you mixed up a man’s world and that was also accompanied by media interest. And there weren’t any stupid sayings?
The referee career on the field ends at the latest at the age of 47. How do you prepare for having less money afterwards?
Steinhaus-Webb: Dealing with money is a very personal matter. Everyone has to decide for themselves what they want to spend money on. I’m not someone who defines happiness in terms of material purchases, and I don’t have any unfulfilled wishes either. My resilient income is the salary of a police officer. That is my predictable size, I base my livelihood on it.
How do you otherwise invest your money?
Steinhaus-Webb: Closing my pension gap is important to me. I also make perspective investments, including on the stock exchange. But basically I’m a classically conservative civil servant. Rather moderate on the way.
Not even a little thrill or foolishness?
Steinhaus-Webb: I don’t just invest in funds, if that’s what you mean. My “gaming area” also includes individual stocks and I am not afraid to take profits and sell them. Would you like to briefly hear a story about it?
Steinhaus-Webb: Last summer I wanted to get an electric scooter, I found the combination of getting around by battery “green” and good. But there was resistance in the family, so I refrained from investing and, out of frustration, invested the amount saved in the company’s shares.
Steinhaus-Webb: Was worth it.
What else do you pay attention to when making an investment?
Steinhaus-Webb: Renewable energies are important to me, we have a responsibility for the next generation. That’s why I mostly travel by train and avoid domestic flights. How much one’s own behavior is reflected in the stock business became very clear during the pandemic: tourism stocks have completely collapsed, delivery services are booming. This is a very simplified representation, but it should encourage us to want to understand the market.
The example with the e-scooter also fits this.
Steinhaus-Webb: As a matter of fact. It is important to me that I can imagine something among the products when I buy the company’s shares.
So if the youngsters are into iPhones, should they also check out Apple shares?
Steinhaus-Webb: We should bring financial knowledge closer to our youth, reduce fear of contact and create positive encounters. Which products do I consume, where are they reflected, how do I invest? It can’t be that no high school graduate learns like him a tax return must fill out.
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I agree that financial education in Germany can be greatly expanded. What interests me at the end: You emphasize your independence in financial matters and you recently got married. Has that changed anything in your claim?
Steinhaus-Webb: The phrase “a man is not a pension plan” is still true. Of course we are a team and plan together. But it must also be taken into account that we started a life together with different prerequisites.
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