It’s actually not your fault.
The chances are, you didn’t get any specific education around money in school, so that knowledge foundation simply isn’t there.
It’s likely that you didn’t talk to your parents about money, you probably didn’t know how much they earned, how much they owned or owed.
You probably don’t talk to your friends now about money. It’s quite taboo, isn’t it? After surveying 15,000 men and women, researchers from University College London found that people are seven times more likely to tell a stranger how many sexual partners they’ve had than have a chat about their income.
It’s all jargon
If we then throw in the way that financial services speak to its audience, with a focus on growth, returns, jargon and products, they aren’t really talking to women at all, are they?
Many believe that financial products are “gender-neutral” since they are open to both men and women. What financial institutions often don’t realize is that “neutral” products were often designed with men’s needs in mind — and unintentionally put women off.
Combine this with attempts by the financial services industry to focus on the female market, then the chances are you just see zero relevance. Caroline Criado Perez, author of “Invisible Women” calls it the “pink it, shrink it and make it a bit crap” approach.
So when/if your other half was happy to pick up this part of the daily workload, it was just a fair and logical division of labour, efficient, and it suited you both. When you’re got that many plates to spin, then sharing them out makes sense.
Where that leaves you now is without a foundation of knowledge, without recent exposure or experience, unaware of what your peers do and uninspired by what financial services offer.
Yet, if you’re getting divorced, you now have some of the biggest financial decisions of your life to make.
On your own.
What I want you to know is that all the above can change.
You are capable, you’ve just not had to do this yet.
Some tips to get you started:
Break the money silence. The more you can start to talk about money with your peers, the more your exposure and confidence will grow.
Knowledge is key, but you don’t have to know EVERYTHING. As women, we can fall into the trap of thinking we need a PHD in a topic to be competent. That is simply not the case.
Be inspired. Until you really feel that there is a deep-rooted benefit to you owning and managing your finances, they will always be on the side lines. Inspiration comes from having purpose for your money. Working with a financial planner who can help you really move from thinking about your money as a pot and start to think about it as your future.
Good luck, you’ve got this.Ceri Griffiths – Willow Brook Lifestyle Financial Planning