The topic of women and finances is complex. From the gender pay gap to the traditionally male-dominated financial industry to the cultural cues painting money as a masculine topic, there are many factors that have negatively impacted women’s relationship with money on a broad level.
It shouldn’t be this way. Money, for better or worse, is part of everyone’s life. Women have just as much right and responsibility to control their wealth as men, so an overhaul of how women and money interrelate is long overdue.
Here are 3 ways you can shift the conversation about women and finances.
- Talk more and talk openly
Women in Canada have never had as much financial power as they do today. According to a 2018 study by CIBC, Canadian women control a lot of wealth – specifically, $2.2 trillion in personal financial assets (excluding their family homes).
However, the same study found that only 41% of women in Canada have full control over their finances, and only 22% of married women report being their household’s decision-maker when it comes to investments.
While there are many factors that may be holding back women from taking charge of their financial lives, one of the solutions to this is clear: women need to talk more about money.
This means talking openly about your financial goals, expressing your financial worries and asking your financial questions. By having frank conversations with friends, family and trusted advisors, you can start breaking down the barrier of money as a taboo subject and ensure your voice is heard.
- Be proactive in learning
Financial literacy is an important skill for everyone. Unfortunately, it is also an educational gap for many women.
Whatever the reasons for this educational shortfall, overcoming it starts with women being proactive in building their financial knowledge.
If you feel your financial know-how is lacking, there are many ways to start learning – such as watching business news, taking free online courses, reading personal finance books or speaking with people in your life who know more about financial matters.
Ignorance isn’t bliss if it means missing out on important opportunities or being forced to give up control of your financial future to someone else. You don’t need to become an expert to start making smart financial choices, but you do need to build a solid foundation of financial literacy so you can participate in the conversation.
- Start early to benefit more
As with financial literacy, starting early with financial planning is a good idea for everyone. However, for women there are some extra reasons why getting a head start is beneficial.
For example, the gender pay gap means that women are unfortunately (still!) earning less than their male counterparts, which means it can take women longer to build the same wealth. And since Canadian women have a longer average lifespan than men, they need to stretch their money across more years.
Add to this the fact that many women take on responsibilities for raising kids and caring for elderly family members, which can reduce their lifetime earning potential, and it’s not hard to see why women need to hustle that much more to meet their financial needs.
The good news is that starting early with a financial plan can pay off enormously in the long run. Why? Because it gives your money more time to grow, it lets you lock in lower insurance premiums and it can help you proactively steer clear of costly financial mistakes rather than waiting to learn from bad experiences.
Build a better financial future
At Rubach Wealth, we want every woman (and man) to be financially independent. And we believe this starts with open conversations, clear explanations and earnest guidance.
If you would like help navigating toward financial independence, contact us at (647) 349-7070.