Why we need to sort out our mindset around money as women.
A guest blog by Pamela Rae-Welsh, founder of Worsley Creative Services.
I planned to start this post with saying about how bad I am with money. Then I paused. It would be easy for me to say that I am terrible with money, that I find it almost impossible to save and the idea of planning for my retirement seems like an incomprehensible minefield that I would rather run away from than tackle head on. I know that making such a statement would have a lot of other women nodding their head – because we have, whether we choose to acknowledge it or not, been conditioned to think this way. I’m not about to start on some feminist rant here don’t worry – but it is a sobering truth that as women we are not expected to educate ourselves on money management, financial planning or retirement matters. It is more than acceptable to defer to our “other halves” or our parents if we are not in a relationship, and even though this sounds really outdated, it is a reality. So rather than saying that I am bad with money, I will say that I have not yet learned how to take control of both my mindset around money, or educated myself on financial planning so that I am able to make informed decisions about my future – and this is something I plan to change in 2020.
Why financial planning for women is important in 2020
There are a few reasons why as women we need to take control of our money situation and future plans (not least because we are intelligent people and should take ownership of our lives!)
- We are living longer. The average life expectancy for a woman is 82.9 years (source: BBC) which is an increase of 10 years from 1951! This means we have at least another decade to live, love and laugh for – which requires money!
- We are living more independently. With 42% of marriages ending in divorce and The Independent writing about the lowest marriage rate on record, it is clear that we women are pursuing more independent lives, which means we need to be able to make good decisions about our financial wellbeing and planning for the future.
- There are more options than ever. Historically you banked where your parents did, until you got married and then you banked where your husband banked. Your local high street bank which had served multiple generations of the same family was really the only logical choice and the limited number of products and services they offered were your only options. Fast forward to 2020 and there are now so many products and services available that the choice is incredible.
We are living longer, living independently and have so much choice – I feel like I should be doing some sort of bra burning dance around some handbags or something! There has never been a better time for us as women to be educating ourselves, getting expert advice and making the best decisions for our future. Heck it can feel daunting though. With so much choice and so much advice out there it can be difficult to know how to navigate it. The other element to think about when it comes to tackling this issue is the overwhelm. When there is debt to consider, or faraway concepts like retirement to think about these are really emotive topics and tackling them can feel really overwhelming. For me, it's important to get clear, direct and trustworthy advice from someone I can connect with. I don't really respond well to jargon or lengthy descriptions - is anyone else the same?!
As a creative designer my default is to not be interested in numbers – I am too busy doing the creative things like crafting beautiful branding designs or building websites for other busy entrepreneurs, but since taking the money mindset mini-quiz by Rebecca my conscience has been more than pricked! I came out as The Hustler – I love to take risks and invest when I can see it will clearly add value, but I am not good at saving. This really made me think, because I know that in the back of my mind, the retirement planning niggle is strong! I have made a pledge in 2020 to become more proactive with my monetary health, and make some decisions which will benefit me and my family in the long term. My core purpose in life is to be a strong role model for my girls Felicity and Francesca, and if I continue to be flaky with my finances and sticking my head in the sand that it will all be ok in the end then I doing them as much of a disservice as I am myself.
What we can do to take control of our monetary wellness.
- I think the first point has to be what we’ve been discussing throughout the whole post – actually acknowledge that it is our responsibility and that we have the power to influence our financial health and wellbeing, just like we do with all other areas of our lives.
- We can definitely invest in our financial planning education. The evo-grow membership programme is a great option for women who are looking to understand financial planning on a deeper level to be able to make decisions for themselves. There are other free options as well – Rebecca runs a free Facebook community which shares helpful tips and articles. Be careful of the myriad of free advice you may find on the internet. As an online visibility specialist I am always needing to advise my clients that operate in the Health, Wealth and Life sectors that the scrutiny that Google gives to these types of websites is more intense than any other industries – so make sure you get your information from qualified experts who can demonstrate their qualifications and credentials.
- Change one thing. This is something that I have made a personal goal in 2020. Rather than trying to boil the ocean and overhaul everything to do with my finances, I have started with one thing – which is to put money into a savings account that I cannot touch on a daily basis. We can all commit to changing one thing, and the cumulative effect of the little changes can have a dramatic compound effect overall.
We all like to feel in control and that we have a clear direction don’t we? It’s part of our core make up – we desire stability and security. Taking control of our finances and our money mindset can be such a powerful shift for us as women that it is something I am going to be talking about to my entrepreneur group this year for definite.
Cheers to money!
Pamela Rae-Welsh is a leading online visibility specialist and branding designer based in Manchester helping entrepreneurs across the UK and beyond with crafting their brand strategy and online presence to allow them to operate at the top of their field. A busy Mum and fitness enthusiast, Pamela shares a love of horses with Rebecca. This article was written as a genuine review and endorsement of the services available from Rebecca Robertson Evo and is not a paid advertorial.