Women lack confidence handling money but a financial plan can help eliminate those weaknesses.
When it comes to nurturing kids, planning playdates and keeping the household up, most women excel. When it comes to handling financial matters, confidence levels drop considerably – and if you’re irked by those statements, unfortunately it’s is not just a sexist opinion. That’s actually how women responded to a recent survey by Forbes and Northwestern Mutual.
Since the beginning of time a woman’s place was thought to be in the home rearing children and taking care of the household. While strides for equality have been made, it appears that these gender barriers have affected our way of thinking so much that they’ve followed women into the 21st century making them feel more confident in “raising happy children” than in “achieving money/wealth.”
In the survey women were asked what they really wanted to achieve, how confident they are in attaining those goals and what makes them feel the most empowered. It turns out women are:
- 75 percent confident that they can foster close and fulfilling relationships
- 71 percent confident that they can raise happy children
- 71 percent confident in pursuing social values
- 27 percent confident that they can attain money and wealth
- 26 percent confident in leaving wealth for future generations
While it isn’t overwhelmingly surprising that women are not confident they will achieve wealth which coincides with their lack of confidence in leaving wealth to the younger generation, it’s fascinating that women feel more confident in something they have no control over (their children’s personalities) than they do about something within their control (their finances).
As with everything else a good plan regardless of the circumstances, can yield incredible results if executed properly. In fact the poll found 46 percent of women who are “highly disciplined” with their planning think they’ll do well financially, while those who are “informal planners” don’t think they will.
Women and mothers are no strangers to planning – from playdates, to planning out meals for the week to coordinating all the household’s busy schedules. If women apply these same planning practices to their financial life, there is no doubt that they will become effective money managers. Beth Rodenhuis Senior Vice President of Northwestern Mutual agrees.
“We see our clients become more confident when they identify their goals and put a plan into action to achieve them,” she says.
Luckily financial education eliminates financial fears and financial planning elevates financial confidence. When asked “Who is confident about having wealth?”
A novice in financial knowledge feels 12 percent confident that they will one day have wealth; an intermediate is 24 percent confident while an advanced or expert in financial knowledge is 45 percent confident they will have wealth in the future.
This further supports the notion that knowledge – and a little help – holds the power in empowering women to become more confident in attaining their financial goals. Sixty percent of women who work with a financial advisor say they are more confident about reaching retirement goals compared to the 34 percent of women who don’t have a financial advisor.
April Lewis-Parks, Consolidated Credit’s Director of Education and Public Relations, says you can change your financial destiny with good money habits such as:
- Creating a financial and spending plan and budgeting
- Using the expertise of a financial planner/advisor to help you plan for future events like retirement
- Taking advantage of free financial education workshops, seminars and webinars offered in your community and your workplace
- Learning the ins and outs about investing
- Seeking and reading financial literature – books, newsletters and taking online courses from reputable financial organizations
A good resource is Consolidated Credit’s section on Women and Money. If planning and learning on your own prove daunting, dial to speak with a certified financial counselor for free or request help here for a debt analysis.