Women and money – why we need money confidence!
Government data shows that, in 74% of UK firms, women are paid less than men. This is a shocking statistic, but not one that surprises me. For years women and money has been an issue, and it is great that it is now being addressed in so many places.
Women and money
Women are also more likely to take time out of the workplace to have children, and many women return part time after starting a family. The impact of this is that a man, currently aged 65, is likely to have a pension pot worth five times more than a woman of 65.
When we consider that women are likely to live longer than men, the impact of this reduced pension pot is even greater. It’s worrying to think that, as well as getting paid less during their working years, many women may be struggling for money in their later years too.
It’s therefore vital that women gain confidence with money, as early as possible in life, so that they can make informed decisions both now and in the future.
Part of becoming more educated and confident with money, lies in talking about it more.
Women are happy to talk about all sorts – from sex lives to shopping, childbirth to cooking and periods to parenting. These conversations are often cathartic, enlightening and full of tips and advice from the other women.
However, with women and money it’s different.
Often when conversations about money do happen, they are based around inadequacies with money, further compounding the thought that women are “hopeless with money” or “know nothing about money” or “can’t control spending.”
This must stop.
There is no reason why women cannot be knowledgeable about money, confident in handling money and able to make great financial decisions.
It’s vital that women begin to discuss money more openly, more often and in a much more positive light. Stop adding to the myth that women are less skillful, when it comes to money, and start empowering women by having meaningful, useful conversations about money.
Get to know interest rates, mortgages, pensions and the power of investing, by reading about them, and discussing them with friends.
Social media offers the opportunity to join communities, where discussions about money, and improving money skills, are taking place every day. Some women may find this easier than talking to friends and family about money, and that’s fine. The important thing is that these positive conversations are taking place, because they are a great way to help women become educated, empowered and even excited to learn about money.
If you would like to start becoming more empowered around money and finance, then come along and join my Your Money Sorted group where we talk about money every day, with no financial jargon in sight.
It’s a sorry state
A survey by the Financial Conduct Authority shows that 53% of women over 50 will retire on only the state pension, which is currently around £8700. Very few people will be able to live the retirement they choose on that, so it’s vital that women take control of their retirement plans, sooner rather than later.
Many women have done nothing about their future, because they lack knowledge, feel fearful and don’t know where to start. But action is needed, and it is needed now. There are 4 steps that every woman can take today, to start to prepare more effectively.
- Picture the ideal retirement. When will it be? Where will it be? What will you be doing? If this ideal retirement is to become a reality, then women must act to make it happen.
My Finance for Freedom coaching booklet will help you to get started on this.
- Calculate how much this ideal retirement will cost. Which? and the Money Advice Service both have great information to help with this.
- Calculate likely retirement income. Gather information about private pensions, and any investments, as well as getting a state pension forecast. Then use the calculator on the Money Advice Service website to calculate likely retirement income.
- If you discover that there is a shortfall, then now is the time to take action. Check out my Finance for Freedom course, and get started on your journey right now.
Too far away? Too scary?
Planning for the future can seem so far away, that it’s tempting not to bother. Some women are scared to even think about it, because they feel they are “failing” with money and looking that far into the future is just too difficult.
If this sounds like you, then why not adopt some of these simple tips right now to help you win at money. Once you begin to feel better about your ability to handle money, then you can start to look forward, with more confidence.
Four simple tips
- Check through your previous 3 month’s bank statements, allocating each spend to separate areas, so that you get a clear picture of your spending. Although it might seem a little daunting, it is one of the biggest things you can do to help you become awesome at managing money.
- Always shop with a list and never deviate from this. It doesn’t matter if it is food shopping, clothes shopping or online shopping. Create lists of things that you need, and only buy if it is on the list. This can help you to avoid unnecessary purchases and will help you to feel more in control of your spending.
- When you do spend money, always get the best value for money, by using price comparison sites, cashback sites and voucher codes. Getting into the habit of this will not only save you money, but will help you to feel proud of your ability to get a good deal, and maximise your money.
- Be very aware of the language that you use around money. If you notice yourself talking about money, or your ability to handle money, in a negative way, then catch yourself doing it, and make a change.
Instead of “I can’t afford it” try asking “How can I afford it?”
Change from “I just don’t understand pensions” to “Where can I find help to learn about pensions?”
These are just a couple of simple ideas which will help you to get started on becoming more confident with money, and more confident about preparing for your future.
Please see my other free resources, which will help you to gain confidence with money and start your journey to becoming more financially resilient.
I am Eileen, Financial Coach and money blogger, recently shortlisted for Best Personal Finance blog in 2 national blogging awards. I am passionate about empowering women to become calm, confident and in control of their money. Helping women to become excited and educated, through encouraging them to talk about money, I am helping them to lead lives which are happier, healthier and wealthier.