We possess a bunch of qualifications and skills, work hard to juggle careers, kids and elderly relatives, but when it comes to women and money in terms of being rich (or at least financially secure), women lag way behind men.
Just 12% of British millionaires are women and this unbalanced trend is replicated around the world. Women continue to fall behind men in terms of individual wealth, even though we work just as hard.
Which begs the question: Why aren’t there more women millionaires?
It’s true that motherhood and caring responsibilities have a huge impact on women’s ability to earn the big bucks. After all, once you fall off that career ladder it’s much more difficult to climb back on and reach the top rungs.
But we can’t use the motherhood penalty to neatly tie everything up with a bow. It’s a fact that some women become millionaires and have kids.
Could the very way we view money be hindering our ability to create wealth? Here we look at some of the financial issues that hold women back.
Women and Money: Reasons Why Most Women Don’t Get Rich
1. We Are Often Not Money Oriented
Many women leave personal finance issues to their other (male) half.
A survey by American Express has found that more men than women handle the ‘financial chores’ such as applying for loans, sorting out the bills and making credit card payments on behalf of their households.
How much do you know about your household’s finances? What would happen if your partner died or left? If you aren’t attached, are you clear about where your money is going and if it’s working hard enough for you?
Taking the financial bull by the horns puts you in control of your money and shows you where you can take steps to increase your wealth.
It will also make you less susceptible to falling into debt. So, log on to your bank account now and face your money head on.
2. We Never Really Learn to be Financially Literate
Time grows money. We often think about the money we have now and neglect to plan for our future.
Women are significantly less likely to make investments in stocks and shares and other assets than men. Women also wait longer to start making contributions to a pension pot or accrue savings.
The key to this is knowledge.
Women are warier about investing simply because of a lack of female-centred education about what’s out there. Gaining knowledge and making smart financial decisions will help your money grow.
3. We Don’t have a Financial Game Plan
“This time next year we’ll be millionaires, Rodney.” Even a wheeler dealer like Del Boy had financial goals.Ok, you may not be a millionaire by next year.
BUT, having some clearly set out goals about where you want to be financially in 5, 10 and 20 years will help you work out how to get there.
Sit down and plan how you want your financial life to play out. How can you make your money work for you in that time?
It may mean changing your job, starting your dream business or making shrewd investments, but having some long-term goals will help you reach financial security.
But don’t include winning the lottery in this plan; it will most likely NOT be you!
4. We Short-Change Ourselves
Unless a super-rich relative dies and leaves us a big bag of cash, our main source of wealth comes from the daily grind.
When it comes to work, women are slowly cracking that glass ceiling.
But let’s be honest, sometimes we women are our own worst enemy. Whether it’s the way we are socialised, our family circumstances or an innate fear of failure, compared to men, women undersell themselves at work.
Research shows that women are far less likely to go for the top job than men because of self-doubt. Or we eschew leadership roles for fear of being branded a ‘Nasty Woman’ (see Hillary Clinton) and not being up to the job.
Are you languishing in a lower paid role because of fear?
Boost your confidence by acquiring the skills you need for that high paying job through re-training. Women make strong leaders; we just need to believe that fact ourselves.
5. We Don’t Spend Smartly
Both women and men spend money they don’t have.
However, women are now more likely to fall into personal insolvency or bankruptcy than men.
Women also carry more credit cards during their lifetimes than men. It’s not all of us, but some of us like to spend, spend, spend like there’s no tomorrow.
That sneaky handbag or new coat you don’t need? It will deplete your income in the long run.
To grow your wealth, get your spending habits in check. Living within your means now will mean you have more to invest in money-growing assets.
6. We Have Little or no Financial Safety Net
The importance of emergency fund cannot be cannot be over-emphasized. The path to financial security relies on being able to bail yourself out in bad situations.
Being able to fall back on your own money – rather than borrowing – means you have more financial power in the long term.
Start building your emergency fund today, whatever you can afford will boost your financial future.
Over to you!
Are you being held back financially? What do you think are the reasons behind it? Add to our list here – we’d love to hear from you.