We ran the “Nixing the Money Taboo” post a while back, discussing how it can be tough to talk about money with your kids. We pointed out that it can be difficult for some people to even think about money without some trepidation. But the taboo on money conversations is a big problem, and not just for kids.
The issue of women engaging effectively with money is a real one, and a dangerous one. Women earn less, save less, and are twice as likely to retire below the poverty level. The deck could be seen as stacked against the female gender with the gender wage gap, less historical experience in the credit and financial markets, and frequently more responsibilities with child and elder care.
But all of these issues make it even more critical for women to engage with money, become financially educated, work with experts they feel comfortable with, and effectively manage their financial lives.
In that spirit, we are re-running the “Nixing the Money Taboo,” this time focused on women. I hope you enjoy it:
Money can represent so many different things — power, success, even love. Or on the flip side, the subject of money can evoke feelings of weakness, failure, or anxiety. But like most things we don’t want to talk about, avoiding money conversations can be dangerous.
- Not talking about money can be the difference between a healthy retirement fund, or a financial crisis at the end of a work life.
- Not talking about money can mean not knowing how to negotiate a salary that compensates fairly and brings financial independence.
- Not talking about money can mean crushing credit card debt and a credit score that makes necessary borrowing expensive or impossible.
- Not talking about money can mean missing out on investing and earning the supplementary income needed to support life and retirement.
While these ideas may feel like fear-mongering, the fact is that money — whether you love it or hate it — has a profound impact on all of our lives. Education and engagement with money sooner rather than later, is critical to financial independence and success. And we all want that.
Education about money can lead to healthier financial behaviors, which means learning how to make money work for you. Money does not have to be an uncontrollable force, waiting in the wings to wreak havoc. Money does not have to be anything more than a tool to provide for oneself and one’s family. It’s that simple. But that control likely will not happen without understanding, and the sooner we start educating ourselves the better.