Not that long ago, women were considered “not credit-worthy”.
And in many countries this is still true today, even if it’s more convention than anything else.
On a household level, women have been dissuaded from handling money matters and the awareness about investment decisions has been minimal.
Women have a long history of being relegated to dealing with the household and running it on an allotted budget while the menfolk go out to earn an income and participate in the decision-making.
It isn’t enough for women to have representation in parliament.
We need access to finance and to have the tools that will help us make financial decisions independently.
For you to have your own money, as a woman, is important because that gives you a voice in the world and allows you to invest in what makes sense to you.
Women can change the world with their money choices.
Have you ever considered that how you spend your money has a broader impact on the world?
Claire Costello, Managing Director of Philanthropic Solutions at Bank of America, and Jackie VanderBrug, Head of Sustainable and Impact Investment Strategy in the Chief Investment Office for Merrill and Bank of America Private Bank, published a paper called How Women Give—and Invest—for Change.
In the paper, Costello and VanderBurg explain that women want to use their money for good.
When women have financial power, they tend to invest about 90% of their income back into their family – by comparison, men typically invest around 44% of their income back into their families.
When women have and make money, their families are eat better, have better healthcare and get better education.
Women recognise that reinvesting back into their family creates more sustainability – not just within that one family, but within their community and society at large.
And why shouldn’t they?
Women make 90% of household financial decisions.
Whether single or with a partner, women are making the financial decisions, not just related to buying groceries or financing home improvements, but also about investments and which charities and organisations to support.
According to the paper, the vast majority of women care about giving back – whether that’s their time or money.
Up to 93% of women volunteer or donate to a charity.
And women are more likely to favour causes that support women and girls, which means that the more there are women donating to charity, the more support girls and women around the world will receive.
Whether women are aware of it or not, we have major financial power and ample opportunity to make an impact that resonates around the world.
By 2025, women will hold over $100 trillion in assets.
We still have a long way to go before we reach true parity, but we’ve made tangible progress.
There’s a lot of power in holding trillions in assets because how we conduct our businesses and manage our personal wealth literally shapes the world around us.
According to the paper, women approach investing with their own goals in mind.
Women don’t invest to play the game, they invest to build wealth and tend to lead with a broader set of goals for their family and for the world.
Women see building wealth as a means to articulate their own values.
Why every woman needs her own money.
It doesn’t matter at what point in life you are, every woman needs her own money.
Your own money is money that is tied to your independence and comes to you from your work, your entrepreneurship, your investments or independent ventures.
Money that is given to you by your husband doesn’t qualify.
And I’m not talking about cultivating a negative or abrasive attitude towards independence here. Angrily declaring things like “I don’t need a man!” isn’t feminism or financial independence, it’s fear talking.
That kind of disruptive energy that dismisses men as valuable contributors to society isn’t a sustainable way forward.
To build a better world we need eveyrone.
And we need everyone – women, men, people with disabilities, minorities, LGBTQ+ and BIPOC to have an equal say and a voice in the world.
Financial independence means that you don’t only consume resrouces but contribute your own to the whole. It means being an asset to your family, whatever your family looks like.
It means being able to withstand unfortunate life circumstances without becoming vulnerable.
It means being able to do what you want, when you want to do it.
It could mean small things, like buying some new clothes or treating a family member to an afternoon shopping. It can also mean big things like travelling overseas when you want or need to.
And it means being able to do it all without having to ask for it or explain to someone why you need it.
Too many people are trapped in horrible jobs.
Being stuck in a job you hate at best and that’s downright bad for your health at worst, is true for too many people all around the world. When you’re entirely dependent on a job, you’re thrown into financial crisis if you’re fired.
Being smart with your money is especially important when you’ve got a small income.
And it’s exactly then when it can be the hardest to be smart with your money.
But look at it this way: if you come out of a situation that you don’t like with financial freedom, you’re the one coming out on top.
Getting smart about how you think about money is the first step towards financial independence.
Don’t become a victim of circumstance.
Marrgiages end, people die and women find the courage to walk away from unhealthy relationships every day.
The only constant is change.
The more you rely on other people to finance your daily life, the more vulnerable you are when those people can no longer support you.
Relying on someone else to pay your way in life also makes you vulnerable to abuse.
Many women are stuck in a bad relationship because they don’t have the means to move out on their own. This is even worse if their children are at risk and they can’t get away from a dangerous situation due to lack of funds.
Having your own money builds your confidence.
When you take charge of your own financial future and educate yourself about money, you can start building multiple income streams, saving money, investing and building on your own.
You don’t have to strike out on your own and build a business to do this.
You can have a regular day job or even be in a relationship where your partner is responsible for the main income.
But nothing should stand in your way of contributing to the financial health and abundance of your family.
When you have your own money, you’ll also be in a better position to help others.
If you need to travel or contribute financially to help someone you love, you should be able to do so.
And you’ll be able to donate funds to the kind of charity or community building you believe in.
Responsible financial management includes your partner.
Even though you should be financially stable yourself, have the tools to be smart about your money and make good money decisions for you, no financial management is complete if it doesn’t include the people you life your life with.
When you’re in a relationship, you have a chance to pool your resources (this doesn’t mean join if you don’t want to) to do something bigger than you could achieve alone.
Ideally, every person in a relationship is able to contribute to the whole.
Which can’t happen if you don’t talk about it.
And if you think having your own money in a relationship is unromantic, consider that limiting your opportunities as a family or not being able to weather bad times is even less romantic.
When you’re abundant in our own right, it’s your prerogaative to share as much of that as you want.
There’s just no sense in giving it up simply because you’re sharing your life with someone else.
The road to a wealthy life is paved with a good money mindset.
True abundance always starts with you.
You can have a lot of money and a lot of stuff and still have a disastrous money mindset.
The most powerful tool you have for creating your reality is your mind. And the beliefs you have about money and what you’re worth all reside somewhere in your subconscious mind.
When you want to become truly abundant, the first thing you need to do is to uncover those and do the deep work it takes to reach truly awesome financial goals in life.
When you want to do the deep inner work to increase your earning potential and break through your income plateau, sign up for The Money Mindset Workshop.
It’s a 25-day program with real talk about money that includes daily exercises and journaling prompts that will help you completely transform how you think and feel, not just about money, but about how you measure your own worth.
I designed this workshop for women who’re ready to do the deep inner work that’s required for you to be able to fully step into your economic power and create a life for yourself that’s in alignment with your personal values and aspirations.