When it comes to women and finances, it’s almost never been an even playing field.
Setting aside the wage gap and the often-unfair distribution of work that women encounter between their professional life and being a caregiver, let’s talk about the little things that women are told over time that can undermine their confidence when it comes to finances.
As a woman, how many times have you read or heard something along the lines of, “Well, if you just stop shopping so much (or don’t buy that latte or whatever the overused example is), it will make a huge difference in your finances”?
And how many times do you think someone has said that to a man?
Let’s be honest. Here’s what men often hear: “You need to get that promotion and make more money if you want to save more.”
“You need to stop buying so many shoes.”
While budgeting is an important part of financial planning, it’s unlikely that stopping your Starbucks habit is going to bring about the financial change you’re looking for. Shift your mindset to something that looks a little bit more like this:
I want to spend more. I want to save more. Therefore, I should make more.
As women, we’re often in situations where we can speak up…but we don’t. Many of us have been raised to put the comfort and needs of others before our own and that can hurt our chances of getting what we want. However, that’s doing ourselves and possibly the company a disservice.
“If you feel uncomfortable asking for more money, remember that unapologetically requesting the money you deserve is providing a service to yourself, your employer, and your community,” says Prism Impact Founder Mari Geasair. “When you are clear about the value you offer and the money you need you can show up and do your work with less stress, distraction, and potential resentment. You are also paving the way for other women to receive the compensation they deserve and for employers to recognize what it takes to hire and to retain the best talent.”
Mari offers this tip: “When it is time to discuss money matters with your employer, frame the conversation as working together to solve the challenge of getting you the compensation you need so that you can consistently bring your best talents and focus to the job. You are doing everyone a service when you thrive financially.”
“Four out of five women get a wage increase after requesting one, according to a new survey by job postings website Indeed…. But less than a third, or 31 percent, feel comfortable asking for more money, and only 46 percent of women have requested a raise throughout their careers.” (Source)
Before you decide to change jobs, it could be time to discuss a raise or at least a game plan with your management. Here’s a series you can take a look at for some inspiration:
If it’s time to make a change altogether, tap into resources that might help you land that dream job – and dream salary. For example, you might want to talk to a career coach as I did in this interview with Emily Frank.
Think it’s too late to make a major change, like starting your own business? Think again. “Research shows that entrepreneurs in their 50s and over are twice as likely to be successful as those in their 20s - something that can be put down to one main factor: experience.” (Forbes)
This could be a major swing for you, or it might be something you ease into. Here are a few things to consider from ZenBusiness if you’re thinking of starting your own business:
One of the best things about getting older is we know what we want. Now we need to do what’s necessary to get it. While you might have been thinking about making some changes for a while, I know that it can be scary to ask for that promotion or start that new business.
Working with a financial advisor who will not only guide you toward the future you envision but who will also encourage you along the way could make a big difference. They can also help you look at the situation honestly so you can make educated decisions about your next steps.
However, if you find yourself in a financial advisor’s office who is encouraging you to give up happy hour with your friends as a means of financing your financial goals, run.
And then call me.