To become a financially empowered woman, it is best to be a financially empowered girl. Let’s talk about talking about money with our daughters.
In many families, money is a topic to be avoided – like politics or sex or religion. Too many parents never teach their children how to think about and work with money, mainly because we think children are too young to understand financial matters. Yet, when they start earning their own money, we expect them to be good at managing it.
With girls the problem seems to be bigger than with boys. A study published in America in 2022, found that:
- 31% of women want to talk about money, but aren’t sure who they can discuss it with.
- Women are significantly more likely to report being uncomfortable managing their finances than men.
- One-third of the financial literacy gap can be attributed to women’s lower confidence levels.
- If women don’t believe they are good at money, they often behave as if they aren’t good at money. This can have lasting effects on their financial outcomes.
- Women are three times more likely to say their savings are inconsistent and based on what they can afford, than men.
- Nearly 1 in 3 women are taught early on that talking about money is taboo.
A truly startling finding was how the financial industry talks to women:
- 73% of financial literacy articles for men are focused on creating wealth.
- Articles focusing on women mostly talk about spending less.
- A staggering 90% of financial literacy articles aimed at women classify them as “splurgers”.
- 65% of articles aimed at women portray investing as complex and difficult to do.
(And we all know that when you hear something long enough, you eventually believe it…)
Let’s use these findings to give us some clues on how to have money conversations with our
- The first and most important lesson for us as parents or caregivers, is to talk about money. Make it a normal topic of conversation in your home, and not just something you fight about every few days. Invite your children (daughters specifically) to ask questions, share their observations and help with practical money-related tasks such as meal planning and grocery shopping.
- Don’t make assumptions about your daughter’s attitude towards and knowledge about money. Let her tell you where she is and take the conversation from there. Even better: assume that she’s good with money and you just didn’t know it.
- Help your daughter to find a money-management system that works for her. Just because you use Excel to budget and track expenses, it doesn’t mean she has to. The app she finds might even work for you too!
One of the best ways to become comfortable with something is to talk about it openly and honestly and often. This is true for money too.