Have you ever heard someone say, “Finances are a guy thing, let them handle the money?”
Umm, I don’t think so. This sentiment is just so wrong.
Women are more than capable of managing their own money.
Unfortunately, the myth that “men are better at money than women” is still around, and it’s one of the main factors contributing to why women struggle to achieve financial equality.
Are men born with a personal finance gene?
Imagine you and your male partner are in a meeting with your financial advisor. Your advisor starts talking and within 30 seconds you feel totally lost.
But, what about your male significant other?
You look over and he just seems to “get it.”
Have you ever wondered, “why?”
Why does “he” seem to get it while you’re sitting there struggling? Is there some sort of personal finance gene that’s only on the Y chromosome — something that gives men the innate ability to understand money better than women?
If you’ve ever gone down this rabbit hole and wondered why you, a smart and accomplished woman, are struggling while your male partner isn’t, you’re not alone. Unfortunately, this is an all-too-familiar scene, and it needs to stop.
Women as Better Money Managers?
The truth is there is no “finance gene,” and men are not inherently better at managing money than women.
Despite this evidence, the majority of financial advisors are men. Financial services is an industry built for and dominated by men. Men who’ve been taught to “sell” to the male ego and the way men think about money. Consequently, there’s a lot of posturing, one-upmanship, and an obsession with “performance.” It’s aggressive, competitive, and numbers-driven.
In other words, the language of finance was created by men for men. Is there any wonder why men “get it” and women so-often don’t?
But … what if the language of finance was created with women in mind? What if the financial industry encouraged women to believe they could be competent and valuable managers of their own money? What if women felt they were just as capable (if not more capable) and had just as much at stake as men?
If women had all of this working for them, do you think that maybe women would start to “get it?”
Wealth is Shifting from Men to Women
Despite decades of under-serving women, the financial industry is slowly changing as the wealth in this country is shifting from men to women.
Women have held the majority of college degrees for four decades. Women account for 50% of the college-educated workforce, and it’s becoming increasingly common for women to be the primary household breadwinners. There is no reason to believe women are not capable of making their own money and then managing it successfully.
But, there also needs to be a culture shift. We need to see more women in finance, specifically in leadership roles. We need women to feel confident and capable. The financial industry needs to start appealing to women.
On the other hand, women need to stop turning over major money decisions to men as if it’s their birthright. Remember, you are one hundred percent capable of managing your own money.
Yes, the financial language barrier is real, the jargon used by financial professionals makes everything sound far more complicated than it needs to be. Don’t let this get in your way. Your ability to manage your finances is too important. After all, no one cares about your money more than you do.
It’s time to put an end to the myth that “financial planning is a guy thing” because it’s Just. Not. True.
How to Take Control of Your Money
- Believe you can. One of the main reasons men seem to just “get it” when it comes to money is because they are confident in their own abilities (sometimes for no good reason). It’s time women claim some of this confidence — start to believe you are capable of managing your money because you are.
- Become financially literate. Knowledge breeds confidence, so start to learn as much as you can. Yes, there’s a lot of financial jargon that makes things difficult to understand, but you can overcome it. There are plenty of financial resources available to help you learn financial concepts — you just need to find them. And let us point out you’ll find a lot at enlightenHer.com! We’ve created a learning environment built specifically for women and how you think about money.
- Find experts that speak your language. A good financial planner can help you cut through the financial jargon and explain things in a way that makes sense to you. She will increase your knowledge and confidence when it comes to personal finances. If you’re interacting with a financial advisor that only speaks to your male partner or makes you feel silly for asking a question, it’s time to jump ship and move on. There’s plenty of good advisors out there, but you might have to “date” around!
Financial Planning is a Guy Thing, But It’s Also a Gal Thing
If anyone ever tells you that financial planning is just for men, be sure to give them an education and bust that antiquated myth. Financial planning is about you. It doesn’t matter if you’re a man or a woman. It’s about creating a plan that allows you to achieve your dream and your goals.
So, start to take charge of your finances. Take one small step today — read another post on our blog, take out a personal finance book from the library, or listen to a financial podcast. Over time these small steps will add up, and your financial knowledge and confidence will continue to grow!