One of the things that hold people back in business is having a poor relationship with money. It affects our money-making abilities, our likelihood of holding on to and very definitely affects our negotiating skills and our sales skills.
It also has a traumatic effect on our relationships too. 70% of marital breakdowns are in some way related to finances. The US Sociological Association proved recently that the more economically dependent a man is on a female, the less likely they are to cheat, but with women, it is vice versa.
We now make up 47% of the workforce. Wealth and power are forecast to continue towards female control and dominance. But that is all going to be a bit of a disaster if we don’t learn to have a better relationship with money.
There are lots of reasons that women have worse financial relationships than men. It is partly a lack of knowledge and that stems back to childhood. T Rowe Price Ltd carry out annual surveys on finances relating to parents and children.
They are finding that still nearly half of all parents avoid talking to their children about money and an astounding 28% admit to lying to their children about it. 87% of them suggest that finances should be taught in schools rather than in the home. They also found that boys were more likely to get an allowance, whereas girls while receiving equal amounts of financial benefit, had things bought for them.
The Money Advice Service last year found that only 4 in 10 children aged 16/17 were getting financial education. 59% could not even read a payslip. Increasing knowledge in the schools is something the Enterprise Agencies are currently working to address but we are a long way off at the moment.
The result inevitably is that in adulthood, women are very far from confident with money with only one in 5 saying they would be comfortable investing in the stock market, and only 33% thinking they could get higher returns for investment in comparison to 61% of men.
We are also natural nurturers. We know that. We love to give and look after others. The problem is we are very poor at setting boundaries and will go on doing this when we cannot afford to do so, be it emotionally, physically, or financially. We are conditioned to put ourselves last and that applies to money too.
We also still suffer from the inbuilt conditioning that we must be sweet, good girls, as described so well by Rachel Simmons in The Curse of the Good Girl. Nice girls do not push themselves forward, they defer to the males. They certainly do not push over money, traditionally a boys arena anyway. We find it very hard to push forward and be aggressive. It goes totally against our natural instincts and we think if we do, we will be disliked and unloved.
In the States, there is a huge growth of financial therapists, so strongly now is it accepted that money-making abilities are hampered by our inaccurate beliefs about money. In addition, much of our self-esteem can be tangled into our financial worth and that can generate a lot more strange behavior and anxieties and stress. Too many of us feel held back when it comes to finances.
Money comes with knowledge
Luckily there are some good web sites now, specifically aimed at the female market, such as SavvyWoman and Boring Money. There are also financial advisors that specialise in helping other women such as Miss Lolly and Mrs Moneypenny.
Negative beliefs are something I talk about a lot, not least because of their impact on business success. My three top tips would be
- Learn about finance to take back control
- Remember that with the right attitude, virtually anyone can make money these days.
- Stop making the biggest mistake of ruining your health and or your quality of life by undercharging for your time. You are literally, as worth it as the next man.
Another place for further help and advice if you are finding yourself getting into debt is Rob and John’s the Money Nerd, a blog started to help people with their finances in difficult times.
You might also like this piece on poor financial habits