Women and Money Matters

Women and Money Matters
Lois P. Frankel, author of Nice Girls Don’t Get Rich-75 Avoidable Mistakes Women Make with Money addresses the issue of women and money. She notes that in the past, women were often taught some odd notions about money. Old and outdated financial myths have negative impact on how women perceive money and financial matters. What you were taught can have a positive or adverse affect on the information you pass on to your children.

My mother always told me to save something from my paycheck every time I was paid. Her theory was even $2.00 in the bank every week is better than no money in the bank. Of course I ignored her advice, at that time I would have never considered depositing $2.00 in my bank account. Years later, my first real job was for stock brokerage firm, wealthy people brought their small dividend checks to me to place in their stock accounts. Some checks were far less than my mother's advised $2.00; I finally got it, any money not spent is money saved. Mom was right, and, I learned to invest money as well as save it.

Mom was not so forward in her thinking when I changed jobs several times. Her thought was stay in one place, work hard and your boss will recognize you for the gem you are; raises will follow. However, we know that raises and recognition do not always come to those who work hard and wait for good things to follow. Frankel’s book addresses these two pieces of advice, which are basically good, but do not help to make you rich. Two misconceptions are to save money instead of investing it and the notion that if you work hard, you will be rewarded financially.

In Nice Girls Don’t Get Rich Ms. Frankel offers tips on how to get on the right financial track. You have heard some of the advice below, but should you believe it?

It’s just as easy to marry a rich man as it is to marry a poor one. Many women were told or taught to rely on marriage for financial security in the past, Frankel says. She says marrying rich is just not something you can count on, and even if you do, divorce and/or other factors could threaten your financial health. You can't rely on marriage alone for your financial stability.

You don’t need to focus on your career or earning power, because you will only be earning a second income when you get married. While that may be true for some women, you never know what life will throw at you—and you need to be well prepared through education, etc., to empower yourself financially.

Women aren’t good with numbers—or money. So the man handles the finances. Even though this may seem like an outdated idea, many women were raised with this belief and are still affected by it.

Money can’t buy happiness. Frankel says that if you believe this you need to be reminded that poverty will not buy happiness either. Money doesn’t guarantee happiness, but it does allow for many choices that are not options if you are poor.

It’s better to do good than to do well. Not so true—because the assumption in this myth is that these two things are mutually exclusive. Rich people can do, and have done, many good things for society.

Chapter One of Nice Girls Don’t Get Rich, titled “Women and Wealth," has a self-assessment chart that makes 42 statements. Answer the statements true or false, look at your score, then read the interpretation of your score. Finally, take positive action to become money-savvy because the bottom line is you are responsble for your money.

For more on a woman's personal/financial success, see my review of Frankel's, Nice Girls Don't Get the Corner Office You can find Nice Girls Don't Get Rich: 75 Avoidable Mistakes Women Make with Money at Amazon.com.

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