Why Do Women Lack Confidence with Money? And how do we unwind that?Mar 10, 2023
In the week of International Women's Day, I thought it was a good time to talk about women and their general confidence with money and investing.
According to Fidelity's 2021 survey, only 33 percent of women felt confident in their ability to make investment decisions, and only 42 percent felt confident in their ability to save for the long term, including retirement.
Well those aren't very encouraging statistics are they? It just tells me I've got a lot more work to do....Margarita Monday's is going to have to wait a few years ☺️
If you fall into the other side of this statistic, which statistically speaking, the odds are you do - have you ever considered where you're lack of confidence comes from?
Let me lay out a couple things that are important to ponder. If we can know where we've come from and why, it's easier to make the mindset shifts that we need to make.
The first one I'm going to talk about is generational. If you are somewhere between the ages of 35 and 50, then you were raised by parents that were raised by parents that went through the great depression. And what that generally translates to is a scarce mindset.
Because the great depression! There was very little food. There was war. Resources were scarce. So our grandparents, god love them, passed on this scarce mindset to our parents who were told - money doesn't grow on trees, you've got to work hard for it, there is no free lunch. And this was then passed on to you. Most of us formed the basis for our money mindset by the age of 7, as this is when our nervous systems imprint everything! So if money was stressful in your house, you felt that, and as you got older, your internal wiring just told you that money was a stressful thing.
To add to all this scarcity that was going on in the 1900s, your mother and your grandmother were also subliminally being told that they could not be trusted with money.
You're probably like, what do you mean by that? By who?
Well, women in North America could not get their own credit card or credit product until 1974! 1974!!! That was not quite 50 years ago. They needed a man to co-sign. So what kind of messaging does that send to women? And of course your parents grew up with that, and subtly passed it on to you (back to that generational thing along with the scarcity!).
It might have sounded like this: Be careful with money honey. Make sure you save some. Don't spend too much. Your father manages the money, we better ask him.
Well that's a lot to unpack in your psyche!
And the byproduct of these events above - like the Great Depression and the lag for women to be trusted with money is that the media is still rife with gender stereotypes, when talking about money.
Go read some headlines in some women's magazines. And then go read some in men's magazines.
Women are told to stop splurging on things, while men are spoken to about investment strategies and how to make more money.
Starling bank conducted a study analyzing the difference between how male and female-centric media outlets speak to their readers about money.
"The study looked at 300 articles and researchers found that women were defined as "excessive spenders" across 65% of the articles aimed at them."
There are no articles written for men about how much they spend. The media talks to them about how to invest, how to make more money in order to have power, and "be a man". Well it's no wonder men are more confident managing and investing their money. They've been conditioned to do it for longer and they are encouraged!
So, the first step to changing our mindset is awareness of what we are telling ourselves and how we got here. When you flew out of your Mama's womb, ready to take on the world, there was no part of you that lacked confidence about anything. So it's time to unwind our conditioning ladies.
Because there have also been lots of studies done that show that women are actually better investors than men! We are less impulsive, more patient, we will ask for help etc. This means, that when you can get out of your own way and dispel the lack of confidence you feel - you're going to be a financial force to reckon with, and I can't wait!
Here's a tip for you. Start using the word "yet" on a regular basis. I'm not a confident investor yet. I'm not great with money yet.
Nothing is permanent. We are all constantly growing and evolving as humans and becoming financially fierce is in you, you just have to keep learning! See how far you've come in a year. I think you'll be surprised.
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Much love, gratitude and money xx