What you need to tell your daughters about money

August 23, 2017

The odds are still stacked against women. What you can do to give your daughter the best chance of beating them.

Women have come a long, long way since the women’s rights movement began in the late 19th century, and Kiwi women have come a long way since they were the first in the world to win the right to vote in 1893.

But when it comes to finances, there is no doubt there’s still a gap.

Try a few of these statistics on for size:

  • The gender pay gap in New Zealand is 12%
  • Mums get paid about 17% less than Dads
  • There is only 1 female CEO among the top 50 listed companies, she’s the first in a decade
  • Women are 2 times as likely to retire poor – and of course tend to live longer
  • 90% of women feel insecure about their finances

With all of that in mind, is it any surprise that money is the leading cause of insomnia in women?

I tell my 4-year-old daughter ‘life is going to be harder for you than for your brother, because you’re a girl. But don’t worry because you’re also just a little bit better .. so it’s all going to be OK’.

Your daughters will likely face more financial challenges than your sons will: but you can prepare them for this and you can model the behaviour they will need to succeed.

Here are a few things to think about, that I write about in more detail in my book “Pocket Money to Property: How to create financially independent kids”.

If you are the kind of woman who puts everyone and everything before yourself, often at your own expense, this can extend to how you handle money. Learn to look after and value your money, just as you must learn to look after and value yourself.

Similarly, women are often ‘givers’, which is a nice quality, but if you consistently give more than you can afford to, that’s stupid. Many of my clients say they feel guilty giving less, but too many women go through life trying to be pleasers. Re-evaluate why you give, how much you can afford to give, and make sure it’s coupled with a good dose of concern for yourself.

80% of women spend to feel in control or when they’re stressed, and then feel guilty about it afterwards. If this is you, consider whether this is teaching your kids that the only way to be happy or deal with stress is to spend money.

Studies show 23% of parents take time to discuss investing and finances with their sons, but only 13% do that with their daughters – what sort of lessons start in your home?

Learn to fight for your own worth. Negotiating a pay rise isn’t easy, but it’s something you need to learn to do if you want any chance of being paid what you’re worth.

You can’t just tell your daughters these things, you need to model that behaviour for them. So have a think about it – is your own financial house in order?

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