Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Why Nice Girls Don't Get Rich
I am on a mission to help mid-life women (myself included) improve their financial smarts!
Some stats for you. According to 2001 census, women in every age category exceeded men for living in poverty. The older we got, the more the gap increased.
And, men outstripped women in earnings $35,000/yr and above. In other words, the further up the income brackets you go, the further behind we fall. You can check it out here.
Dang! That is just not good!
I have a handful of friends who are very smart about money, they have made the most of their money. The stats and my experience say that many women aren't thinking about and, more importantly, behaving like my money smart friends. I've thought alot about this as it relates to mid-life.
There are many contributing factors but I think a couple of things can be said. First, being exposed to how money smart people think about and behave with their money helps one develop habits conducive to being money smart.
Second, I think it requires focusing attention and time on the many choices we make about money every day. Do we thoroughly research our cell phone plan to get the best deal? Do we stay with our car insurance agent because we've known them for many years rather than researching whether there are better deals to be had? Do we think "Oh, it's only a couple of hundred dollars a year"?
My money smart friends always consider the opportunity costs. Letting $200 go to overkill phone plans is $200 that isn't available to put in our IRA. Saving $300 on our home insurance means $300 we can use to pay down a credit card on our way to credit card debt free living.
I certainly could be much better with my money. I've committed to changing my own relationship to money this year, and I'm going to be sharing it as I learn it.
In that spirit, the first resource I've found that I found so very useful is:
Nice Girls Don't Get Rich: 75 Avoidable Mistakes Women Make With Money by Lois Frankel
I like this because it delves into the ways women THINK about money which of course dictates how they BEHAVE with their money. She has some probing assessments to help you understand your underlying attitudes about money that may be affecting you more than you know. Give some thought to your response to:
I'm not rich because...
And that's because...
Being rich would make me feel...
A rich woman makes me feel...
This is just a small sample of the assessments and coaching tips she has for you.
Look forward in the coming weeks to more on mid-life money smarts.