Too many women bury their head about money matters
Guest Contributor | Stacy Francis | @FrancisFinance
Thursday, 19 Nov 2015 | 7:00 AM ET
I have banged my head on my desk over and over again, just not understanding why women still place money on the back burner. Overall, women just don’t make money issues a priority in their lives.
As a financial advisor and a woman, I feel it’s important to empower women through free financial education. Along the way, I have discovered that it’s a huge challenge to try to convince women that they need to know more about their money.
Don’t get me wrong. Women do think about money. Our gender is very good at worrying about it all the time.
According to the American Psychological Association report “Stress in America,” women are much more stressed than men, and our biggest stress is money. Dr. Helen Coons, president and clinical director of Women’s Mental Health Associates, explains. “It’s the socioeconomic and relational context of women’s lives here in America,” she said. “A high percentage of women have dependent children, work outside the home and then come home to a second shift, often with inadequate support.
“We still see gender inequity,” she adds. “Women earn less, and if they’re employed part-time, they’re less likely to have health benefits and financial resources.”
A recent Prudential study on the “Financial Experience & Behaviors Among Women” shows, unfortunately, that women have not come a long way when it comes to money. Women feel no more prepared to make smarter financial decisions today than they did three years ago — or even a decade ago.
When asked about their confidence in themselves to achieve their financial goals, women had responses that startled me. This so-called “confidence gap” has not improved over the past 10 years, either. Really? No improvement?
“Women have been disenfranchised,” said Dr. Kate Levinson, psychotherapist and author of “Emotional Currency: A Woman’s Guide to Building a Healthy Relationship with Money.”
“Society doesn’t empower us,” Levinson said. “We’ve been acculturated to stay dumb about money — legally, and culturally, for generations.”
After reading these studies, I was quite shocked.