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Women and Money: Busting the Money Myths

While perceptions of women and money have certainly changed over the last few decades, many false money myths persist. You’ve probably heard some of them, or maybe you’ve even grown up believing a few of these money myths. Ideas like all women enjoy shopping, women are too risk-averse to make money in the stock market, or women just aren’t interested in money matters. Not true! 

In this article, we bust some of the common myths around women and money and shine a light on what is really going on. 

3 Myths About Women and Money

Here are three common myths about women and money that just aren’t true.  

1. It’s rude to talk about money 

Many women grow up being told, “It’s rude to talk about money.” To this day, money is considered one of the more taboo topics, right up there with sex, politics, and religion. A study for Merrill Lynch found that 61% of women would rather talk about their own death than money.

Money is a personal and often intimate topic. It can also be used as a measure of power and worthiness. For those that don’t have a lot of money or have debt, this can lead to feelings of shame and unworthiness. For those that do have a lot, it can lead to feelings of guilt. But this is why conversations about money are so important. Any topic that is kept in the dark and off the table, can lead to people feeling alone. 

How do you learn about money as a child if you can’t ask questions? How do you know where your partner stands on issues of money if you don’t talk about it? How do you pass on money lessons to your children if you teach them that money is a secret?

To overcome this myth, it’s necessary to start money conversations. If you’re a parent, share your experience around money with your kids, good or bad. Learn together. If you don’t feel confident in your ability to teach them about money, find resources to help them.

If you’re in a relationship and you’re considering buying a home together or getting married, make sure you have a conversation about your personal finances before you proceed. Discuss topics like budgeting, debt, your saving goals, and how you plan to split the bills. Money is one of the top reasons couples get divorced. So try to get on the same page and then continue to talk often. 

2. Women aren’t good with money and can’t manage finances 

“Oh, those silly women, always spending their husband’s money on clothes and shoes.”

You’ve likely heard someone make a joke or a comment about how men work and women spend their money. It’s an old trope that won’t go away. But, it doesn’t represent modern reality for several reasons.   

First, if a woman is going to spend money on clothes and shoes, it’s probably her own money. As of 2021, 68% of Canadian women aged 20 to 54 were employed full time. This number is even higher (80%) for those with a bachelor’s degree or higher. For context, men sit at a full time employment rate of 81%.

Second, women are good with money. Research shows that women are better investors than men. A 2021 study by Fidelity found that women outperform their male counterparts by 0.4%. While this might not seem like a lot, it certainly proves that women know what they’re doing. The reason women are better investors than men comes down to their investing strategy. Women tend to buy and hold, while men like to buy and sell more frequently.

3. Women find finances boring and complicated and don’t want to learn  

In the past, women didn’t participate in the finances. This wasn’t because they weren’t interested, it was because they weren’t allowed. Up until the 1970s, women couldn’t get a credit card or secure a loan without the support of their father, brother, or husband.

When it comes to money being complicated, this can be true. The financial industry is riddled with unnecessary jargon, making it inaccessible to many people. This is another trend that is starting to change as many fintech companies aim to provide simple and accessible financial education to customers and help to improve financial literacy.

Let’s also point out the financial industry has largely been designed by men and for men. This persists today. Only 15% of wealth advisors in Canada are women. 

The Future of Finance is Female 

The financial landscape for women is changing. More women are taking on the role of household breadwinner and reporting higher earnings than their partners. By 2028, it’s estimated that women will control $3.8 trillion, or one-third, of financial assets in Canada.

While we can debunk many of the money myths around women, it is important to recognize that women continue to face unique financial challenges compared to men. Women take on a greater portion of childcare responsibility, taking them out of the workforce and often slowing their financial trajectory. Despite making progress, women still haven’t achieved equal pay, earning 89 cents to a man’s dollar. And women have a longer life expectancy than men, which means they need to support themselves financially for a greater period of time. 

The bottom line, things are moving in the right direction, but there is still work to do.

Reach out for help today!

If you’re struggling to manage your finances or you’re experiencing significant debt, it’s time to have a conversation about money. The sooner you reach out, the sooner we can find the help you need and start working towards a brighter financial future. You don’t have to navigate this alone. Visit us online to book a risk-free 30-minute call with one of our experts to discuss your needs, or give us a call at 1-888-371-8900. 

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Francyne Myers, JD, CIRP, LIT

Francyne spent many years in senior positions with the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy. During the course of those years, she also found time to study Accounting at Saint Mary's University and attend the Schulich School of Law (formerly Dalhousie Law School) to earn her degree in law (J.D). In 2012, Francyne left public service life and joined Allan Marshall & Associates Inc. where she completed her education becoming a Licensed Insolvency Trustee in 2013. She is actively involved in her local Trustee Association and enjoys helping others find solutions to their financial problems.