Times have certainly changed, and although we’ve long been in the era of personal and financial empowerment – especially for us women – one crucial area is still largely being ignored: money or personal finance.
For women, taking control of our personal finances and educating ourselves about what’s out there can go a long way towards ensuring a happy and comfortable life.
Thanks to career advice for women early on in our lives, today the workforce is made up of a large number of highly skilled, professional women who are doing extraordinary things in their sectors and enjoying the many benefits of a working life – meeting new people, advancing personally and making money.
We all know how to save money, but putting it to work for ourselves is another matter entirely. There are numerous financial products and instruments that can offer big payouts later on in life, when you retire and need it, but deciding what to do can often be overwhelming. So for many of us, it’s just as easy to do nothing.
One such survey, from the OECD (the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, an international body with 34 member countries) unearthed an astonishing statistic: almost half of all women in the UK do not know how compound interest works, compared to three-quarters of men.
Obviously, that puts these women at a disadvantage when they want to take out loans or seek savings products for their money.
Yet (as if to prove that a little financial education does indeed go a long way – compound interest is simple to understand when you know what it is.
It is the interest calculated on the initial sum invested, whether savings or a loan, and the interest earns interest from there onwards, that is what’s known as compounding. Different rates of compound interest are therefore what set financial firms and their various offerings apart.
Financial empowerment or literacy is so essential to everyone today (particularly women), that it should be taught in schools, and there are growing calls for that to happen.Financial empowerment or literacy is so essential to everyone today - particularly womenClick To Tweet
That’s not going to help today’s professional women, so we’re going to have to learn for ourselves. But the good news is that it’s hardly rocket science to learn about better investing and other financial issues.
If we thought the problem of money management among women was bad, it’s actually far worse. Another survey of women in the UK found that more than half didn’t think they could ever afford to buy property and only 39% were happy with the amount of money they were regularly saving.
It can be too tempting to do nothing, to just muddle through and hope for the best. But with people now living healthier and longer lives, retirement may not last a few years but decades.
Retirement is a time to really enjoy life, not scrimping and saving, and it starts now, with financial empowerment through education and planning.
How important do you think financial education is for women? Join the conversation and leave your comments below. We’d love to hear from you!