Where are women in the world of finance? The place seem to be dominated by men and women are considered less skilled in financial issues. Women earn less, have more breaks in their career and live longer. There are much more women than men who are dependent on their partner’s earnings. The problem occurs when a woman becomes a divorcee or a widow, thus, women should become more engaged in finances. In fact, they are already engaged by paying bills and making any financial decisions concerning their household, yet still, regardless of their good education and great competence in many areas, they treat finances as men thing. Their lack of confidence and knowledge in this area is visible also among women on higher positions and with good careers. What is interesting, this problem is present in the case of younger women as well as women in their 50s or older.
Of course, not all women are less literate in finances than men, as not all men are so confident and knowledgeable in this topic. However, researches show that women are just much less interested in financial matters. What is more, women are not individualists in this case, they tend to choose educating about finances in groups of those similar to them, than spending time alone and gaining knowledge from books. A study from 2007 by Tahira Hira of Iowa State University and Cäzilia Loibl of Ohio State University has shown that women find investing rather complicated, time consuming and too stressful. Furthermore, these are some important events in their lives (marriage, maternity) which ignite saving and investing for them, whereas men get into investments step by step. Women seem to do it when they have to and treat it as obligation concerning the welfare of their family.
Surprisingly, despite lower enthusiasm and lack of interest in terms of investing, women may be better investors than men. The reason of this is women’s ability to see what they do not know and to accept their lack of knowledge which, along with lower confidence, saves women from too risky decisions.
Depending on what kind of knowledge sources you prefer, choose one most appealing and start entering the world of finances for your own good. Below you can find some useful suggestions.
Visit LearnVest.com. This is a website about personal finances which is directed mostly to younger women (in their 20s or 30s). The website’s aim is to get to women using more “female” language for finances. Here you can receive a personalized action plan which helps organize your financial life better. Another option for you can be, for example, Mint.com.
“Shoo, Jimmy Choo!” by Catey Hill is a book about finances “coloured” in pink and presented in a girlish style. If you have nothing against some fun and silliness included in the topic of finances you can find this book very interesting. For those who do not want serious topics presented as covered in sweet frosting “Hot (Broke) Messes” by Nancy Trejos may be more appropriate.
Face to face
A discussion group is a good option for women who need some personal contact with the others. Check out what already exists (for instance: Women&Co., WISE, Down-to-Earth-Finance) or just… start your own group!