Women have fought for years to gain equal footing to men and with many becoming the primary breadwinners, being in charge of paying the bills and gaining new confidence in career pursuit you would think that personal finance would be dominated by women.
However women still have the role of cutting the coupons, coming up with the money savings recipes and making pretty beach wood ornaments. When it comes to things like 401ks it’s time the men take over, the hard graft of reading the fine print, getting the best products and keeping the families finances for the future in working order.
Men run the world of insurance, retirement, banking. They do the advising, the selecting and the explaining. When women do want to understand they need a man to explain.
Of course I think this is all utter nonsense but it is an attitude that exists and affects the confidence of women, especially when with a male partner from stepping in and taking charge of certain financial matters. As this article on women’s financial literacy confidence says, women typically have less knowledge too. However women are no less capable of dealing with this important stuff and seeing as women statistically perform better at academic subjects maybe they are better suited. It wouldn’t take long for almost any women to brush up and get understanding these products, what they and their family need and how to implement it.
So where should a woman start to get in control?
In all honesty these tips work for anyone, male or female, who needs to get their backside in order and take control of their finances. This post is targeting women because women are particularly subject to being pushed out of financial decisions.
The guide from Genworth (linked in the banner to the left) gives some advise on finding and picking out a financial advisor who could start to help you out. Of course they are often commission based so you need to be sure they have you and not their commission in mind so seeing a few and working via referrals could be a good place to start. Even if you don’t use an FA they are good people to talk with and will explain plans to you insurance types and why they think you need certain things.
The internet of course is an essential place for education these days. The realm of personal finance blogs, many ran by very competent women, is every growing and you can find information and opinion on all sides of every single financial subject. I myself still need to learn a lot and often turn to the blogging community when I need to work something out.
Of course this learning doesn’t get to the core of the problem but it can help a bit.
Even loaded with knowledge women can find themselves locked out. You need to be forceful and if pushed away insist of dealing with your own finances. Ope your own bank accounts, find your own personal insurances and if you want to invest there is nothing like a little personal competition with your partner. Eventually you will show you can do it and those surrounding you will not push you around so much. The world as a whole has a long way to go in this area but women can start changing that household by household.
Do you have any thoughts or tips to add? If so please leave a comment below.
Supported by Genworth but this post is the personal opinion of Forest Parks.