Why women need to talk about money
Most women love to talk………about work, children, childbirth, relationships, gin, sex, periods……the list is endless! However, many women would never dream of talking about money, and I think that’s causing some of the financial problems that women have.
Why is it that we are happy to talk about our most intimate moments and problems, but not talk about money? Is it because we have been brought up to believe that talking about money is rude, or crass or just not the “done thing”? Or is it that because we find money confusing or difficult, and therefore we prefer to ignore it? Or do we feel some shame or guilt about money, and would prefer to suppress these feelings, rather than discussing them over coffee with friends?
It could be any of these, but it’s vital that women get over these issues, and start to make conversations about money commonplace and cool! There is even Talk Money Week now, part of the Financial Capability Strategy for the UK, encouraging us all to do exactly that!
Because it will help us to learn new skills, help us to save money and to become much better at managing our money. The way that men and women view money (and life!) is very different, Men tend to be more concerned with the practical parts of money, but the way that we feel about, and deal with money, is totally different. For us money is about so much more the numbers and the notes; it’s about emotions, feelings and mindset. And, like everything else in life, we cope much better with it if we are able to talk about it.
I can still vividly remember the day I admitted to my friends that I was finding being a mum to 3 young kids really hard. I had put a brave face on for so long; said “thanks” when anyone said how well I was coping. I smiled when I met people; said “fine, thanks” when anyone asked how I was.
Was I fine? NO, I WAS NOT!
I was stressed, shattered, sleep-deprived and fed up of looking after 3 wee kids. There were numerous tears and temper tantrums at home (and that was just me!) and, honestly, there were times that I wanted to run away and NEVER came back!
One day, I was at the end of my tether and it all came tumbling out to my friends! And guess what………………my friends nodded, they smiled, they nodded some more, they said “yes” and “I know” and they nodded again! Suddenly, miraculously I could feel the stress levels decreasing there and then. We all felt the same, but as new mums, we had all been looking at the others and thinking that they were all coping so much better than we were.
When I left my friends that day, not one thing had physically changed in my life – I still had 3 mad, boisterous and bonkers children who woke me up at 5.30am EVERY day. However, I can honestly say that I felt like a different person.
Because I no longer felt that I was doing this alone – I knew I had my friends with me every step of the way. And 16 years later, that is how we are all surviving parenthood – we are all brutally honest with each other about the trials and tribulations of parenting. We are united against the enemy!
But, what on earth has that got to do with money?
For me, the big lesson is that getting our feelings out in the open, and discussing things with friends is cathartic! It’s also how we learn. Imagine trying to get through teething, potty training or rampaging teenage hormones, without endless discussions with friends. It just doesn’t bear thinking about does it?
If we think about money though, it’s often discussed in hushed tones, or worse still, not discussed at all. If it is never talked about it, then we can’t compare notes, we can’t learn from others and we will never realise that our feelings are not unusual.
My plea to you is to take action today. Strike up a money conversation with your partner or friends about how you feel about money, about how you deal with money and about your attitude towards money. Even better, grab a bottle of wine and have a Financial Friday with friends!
Just discussing your feelings about money and getting them out in the open will be a help in recognising your feelings about money and a step towards creating a healthy and happy mindset around money.
Why do women need to talk about money?
For me there are loads of reasons that women should get into the habit of discussing money, but these are some of the most important ones below:
Being able to chat about money with friends means that you will pick up hints and tips from them, thus expanding your financial knowledge. Women often realise that they lack knowledge about money, but feel intimidated and scared to seek help, Pensions, and a lack of knowledge about them, is a major problem for women, and this means that many women are woefully unprepared for retirement. Discussing and learning from friends, could really make a difference to your future, and is a much more positive experience, when done in a relaxed and positive environment.
Make better decisions
Learning more about money will help you to be able to make better financial decisions. Chatting about interest rates, mortgage overpayments or which is the cheapest way to buy a new car, can help you to consider different possibilities. Using this to make solid financial decisions can lead to you having more money in your pocket, and feeling more secure and happy in your financial life.
Some women have no control over their household finances, with partners making all the financial decisions. I have friends who have lost their partners, or split up from their partners, and have been absolutely clueless about the financial situation. The feeling of helplessness about the situation they found themselves in was not helped by the fact that they knew nothing about how to manage their finances. We must not let this happen. In today’s world, it is vital that we all have some degree of control over our finances. The more knowledge you have, the better your financial decisions will be, and the better able you are to handle your money. This will leave you feeling empowered, in control and much more confident in your dealings with money.
I believe that chatting about our money, and our feelings about money is good for the soul. It helps to remove some of the stress associated with money and helps us to feel better in ourselves. Imagine being able to chat to a friend, openly and honestly about that credit card debt that keeps you awake at night. How much of a relief would it be,to be able to chat to someone about it? And who better, than one of your friends, who loves and cares for you, and will be willing to do anything to help to support you. (That does not include lending you money to pay it off though! That’s a recipe for disaster on most occasions!)
So, how about it?
Are you willing and able to strike up a money conversation with friends? Be brave and go for it!
If that seems like a step too far, why not come along and join my women’s only Your Money Sorted group? It’s a private group, designed to be a safe space for women to chat and learn about money, in a supportive and friendly atmosphere. We run monthly free challenges, designed to help you save money, make more money or learn how to make the most of the money you have. I would love to see you in the group, so please feel free to pop along and join.
Mel, who runs the fabulous More Organised, says ” I love how this group has enabled us to talk openly with each other about money. I have used the confidence gained here to start small conversations about money with my girlfriends, and it is is amazing how more in control I feel knowing that we all share some of the same hopes and dreams, fears and challenges. Thank you x”
I would love to help more women to feel calmer, more confident and more in control of their money, so please feel free to join.
I would love to hear how your money chats go, so reply below and let me know how it goes!
I hope that you enjoy this selection of blog posts and are inspired by these other women who are making a difference to the financial lives of many other women! #WomenRockMoney