A Woman’s Relationship With Money is Unique
Do women relate differently to money from men? Yes.
Meriflor Toneatto, an author, life coach, and the founder/CEO of Power with Soul, a company that works with female entrepreneurs to help them improve their relationship with money, says that for women, money is emotional currency. Money forms the basis of a woman’s self-worth and self-confidence. Because the relationship is emotional, when she has money she is happy and when she is lacking money her overall satisfaction with life diminishes.
In Dr. Dianne Ealy and Dr. Kay Lesh’s book, Our Money, Ourselves, they write that “for most women money is not just a tool for achieving goals; it’s an emotional issue—elusive, sacred, risky and downright scary.” They also point out an interesting correlation between math comfort and money comfort—young girls tend to have anxiety over learning math in school while boys do not. Later in life, this anxiety translates to women avoiding the task of financial planning.
The irony is that now more than ever before in history, women are in control of the money. According to an April, 2015 article in Business Insider, 51% of America’s personal wealth is in the control of women and 40% of women are the primary breadwinners of the home. Yet, women still earn less than men and when they retire they have as much as one-third less in their bank accounts than their male counterparts.
Tips for Developing a Healthy Relationship with Money
Stop now and do a quick assessment. What is your relationship with money? Do you love it? Hate it? Afraid of it? Ashamed of it? Do you obsess over it? How can you improve your relationship with money? There are many great resources on this topic. Below are just a few simple thoughts to help you begin the process of formulating your own personal plan for building a better relationship with your money.
- Set your personal goals and align your money goals accordingly. If they are not in sync you will never be happy with your success nor ever happy with your money.
- Speak positively about money. How you speak about money reflects your inner thoughts and will actually manifest in the thing you are most worried about. If you want to increase your wealth, speak and think about increasing your wealth. Feel happy about your goal of increasing your wealth. Words impact on our emotions and our emotions impact our behavior, which in turn becomes our reality.
- Think of your relationship with your money as you would your relationship with your spouse or significant other: pay attention to it. Check your bank account balances; track your income statements from investment accounts and retirement plans; if you are vested in your company, analyze the portfolio’s performance; open your bills on time and pay them right away.
- Know how much you are worth. Before you go on the job interview do research so that you know what should be the salary for the position. Set your expectation accordingly and when the interviewer asks you what level of salary you are seeking, do not be afraid to state your expectations.
- Move away from a place of fear. Many women, no matter what they earn, have an underlying fear that one day they will be penniless. If you allow this fear to drive you, then it will be a limiting control on everything you do, from the jobs you take, businesses you fail to open, investment decisions, even hoarding. Fear causes you to dream small.
Like every relationship, your relationship with money requires analysis, constant review, commitment to change and honesty. Like a marriage, if you see that your relationship with money is in trouble, seek professional help. And remember, dream big.