Stepping Up to the Financial Plate
Stepping up to the financial plate
According to a new national survey conducted on behalf of the Financial Planning Standards Council, women are significantly more likely than men to lose sleep over financial worries. While the study found that 42 percent of Canadians rank money as their greatest source of stress. Fifty one percent of women versus 40 percent of men are more likely to stay awake at night mulling over their financial woes.
So why are women stressing more? Because they're earning more and living longer and more often than not she's becoming the primary money manager in the household. All of this stress can take its toll. Women today as a market are actually a pretty big deal. It's estimated that by the end of 2024, Canadian women will control approximately three trillion dollars or 46 percent of total personal wealth. That's up from 33 percent today. But when she's stepping up to the financial plate, she's not always as confident as she could or needs to be. There are a number of books and studies that reveal that women are very competent when it comes to financial matters, but they're not always very confident. This can cause them to be too cautious, not take enough investment risk and not negotiate their salary. And this latter mistake could cause women to leave hundreds of thousands of dollars on the table during her working lifetime.
What can you do about this? Start with incremental tasks that build what psychologists call self-efficacy. Self efficacy is built by the actions you take, whether big or small, that lead to your success and are within your control. The easiest step is to get up just five minutes earlier each day and Google some simple financial terms such as what is a TFSA? What should or shouldn't be on my credit report? And how do capital gains differ from interest income? Once you've taken some small steps to build your financial vocabulary, you can move on to a personal finance book and perhaps even a course or seminar in your area.
Think about your own level of financial confidence. Is strong, weak or somewhere in between? Take a few minutes now to write down 3 tasks that could improve it. What about getting your paperwork in order or making a list of your debts and investment accounts which will give you an accurate snapshot of your current financial situation? Or maybe it's time to speak to a financial adviser or call up your existing one for some help.