Money matters, it’s cool to be good with it

After season one of Netflix’s Drive to Survive, ESPN saw a fifty percent uptick in the number of people watching Formula One. We were two in that camp, addicted to the drama, humanity, David and Goliath battles, and an anomaly of the sport that makes your teammate your biggest competitor.

How is F1 relevant to an article about money? Because they both suffer from unfair stigma. Ask us five years ago what we thought of the sport, and we’d have said, ‘it’s a bunch of cars racing around in a circle’. How wrong we were. And how wrong you are if you, like 45% of women, think money isn’t for you.

Women are socialised to avoid money

Over the last 100 years, women have gradually been granted access to the financial systems that rule our world. The right for women to work, earn equal pay, apply for credit, and be a financial decision maker, are all relatively new. These rights were hard won – the patriarchy didn’t roll out the red beige carpet, throw a welcome party, or hand over the jargon-riddled user manual.

We may now have legislated equality, but laws alone don’t change deeply ingrained money biases. Girls receive less pocket money than boys, and parents are less likely to teach girls about investing; we pay a 50% ‘pink tax’, and so on. This probably explains why the finance world still feels so foreign for many of us. That’s even before considering the myths about women and money, myths that have prevailed despite being well and truly disproven:

Women are big spenders: despite earning less, we save more.
Women aren’t good investors: we outperform men.
Girls are bad at maths: there’s no cognitive difference between sexes.

Women are actually excellent at money 

In a Drive to Survive style revelation, it turns out that women are very good with money. We are so good at it that we’ve managed to earn, save and grow it despite the lack of access to financial systems. Throughout history, we have found creative ways to build financial security. Here’s to the spinsters taking on low-paid labour, the hidden brains behind some high-profile male investors, and the well-accessorised who use jewellery as a source of accessible wealth.

Turns out, most of the things you believe about women and money are probably incorrect – unless you already think that we are better than men when it comes to saving and investing. Because we are, it’s there in the research. We avoid silly risks and take a curious and pragmatic approach to achieve money goals over time 📈. 

Let’s get greedy 

The word ‘greed’ has come up a lot since our PowrUp episode on negotiation. When we’re socialised to ‘take one for the team’, it’s easy to feel selfish when we demand what we deserve. 

The gender pay gap is still a defining feature of modern economies, so damn right, we should want more. We still don’t have enough. Congrats to the handful of women who tuned into the podcast, then immediately put their mouths where their money should be and negotiated your pay. You’ve already increased the earnings of this community by tens of thousands of dollars, and we applaud you #WomenOfAction. 

If you’re concerned about being perceived as greedy when negotiating, pause to remind yourself that you’re the gender at the wrong end of the pay gap. Then take a deep breath and do it for yourself and the sisterhood. 👊

It’s time to take control

Taking control of your money means taking control of your life. Too many women still waive their participation in long-term financial decisions, and in a surprising twist, millennials are even more likely to hand the reins over to their husbands

We fought hard for those rights, and half of us abdicated them. 

We’re not trying to make you feel guilty, but opting out has long-term consequences for your financial security, especially when life takes a surprising turn. Learning the basics takes so little time. It’s worth handing over some household load, so you have time for finances. Sound familiar? Yes, how we operate in our houses mimics the workplace; we get stuck with invisible work when we should be contributing to strategy. 

Progress, not perfection

It really, really doesn’t matter what money mistakes you’ve made in the past, what opportunities you’ve missed, or how little you know; money is one of the few things in life that rewards you threefold for whatever effort you put in. 

It’s never too late to start learning how to take control of your finances.

30 second action:

Organise a money date – it takes 30 seconds to send out a calendar invite to some friends. Then all you need is yummy food and drinks and these free conversation cards we helped create, to get the conversation flowing. Already good with money? Great, you’re perfectly positioned to shortcut the journey for other women.

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