JL Winters Mysteries


The Biggest Lies Women Are Told About Money

In the realm of personal finance, women have long been subjected to a barrage of stereotypes and systemic challenges that perpetuate harmful myths. From media portrayals of women as shopaholics to ingrained cultural biases, these misconceptions contribute to the perpetuation of gender-based financial inequalities. Here are some of the biggest lies women are told about money:

You're a Shopaholic Who Spends Too Much Money on Lattes.

The media is constantly sending women messages about money assuming they are excessive spenders, while men are more financially responsible. Most articles written about money are written by men, for men, and are constantly reinforcing the negative stereotype that women are loose with their money. We are advised to restrict, limit, and maintain control when it comes to our spending. They tell women to cut coupons, comparison shop, purchase items on sale, find the best discount, and save as much of their money as they can. Would you ladies please just stop buying all of those lattes?

Society tells women that our earning should be small, and our spending should be small, while at the same time, men are encouraged to spend, invest, and take financial risks if they want to achieve wealth and power. Why are women told to shrink when it comes to money, instead of encouraged to expand their capacity for wealth? Are we really asking for too much?

You're Not Good With Math...or Money.

From the time we are little girls, society tell us that we are bad with numbers compared to our brothers. The boys are told to go out and make money and invest, they are taught how to build wealth, while girls are told about budgeting and saving. And it doesn’t get better as we get older. Financial advice for women tells them that managing money and financial planning is difficult, that they don’t have any self-control when it comes to money. We’re made to feel shame for having debt, shame for spending too much – even shame for earning too much. The result is that the majority of women don’t feel confident in their ability to manage their money and make financial decisions, so they mistakenly hand the reins over and let their male partners make the important financial decisions. I’m here to tell you that no one is born being good with money. It’s an acquired skill. You can learn how to manage your money, make financial decisions, and calculate risk. Stop giving away your power.

You're Too Emotional to Be a Good Money Manager.

As if having emotions is considered a personality flaw or a shortcoming tied to being a woman. We are told that our financial goals are too big and we are inadequate to accomplish them. That we are too scared to take risks and invest. That we are too impulsive to save. That we’re asking for too much. That other women are the competition. That we can’t be good at our careers and be good mothers. It’s the fact that women are emotional that makes them such good stewards of money. It’s a fact that when women have access to wealth, they thrive, their households thrive, and their communities thrive. Recent studies have found that female investors regularly outperform male investors, and when it comes to spending, they are often more selfless with their money and frequently use their wealth to make the world a better place for their children and grandchildren.

While both our own society and the male-dominated financial industry are skewed against us, the real truth is that women are just as capable of being financially savvy and successful as men, if not better. Men have been in control of the world’s wealth for centuries, while women have only started gaining more rights in the last one hundred years.

Women weren’t allowed to vote until 1920, and that was only white women. Until the Voting Rights Act in 1965, most black women and other women of color couldn’t vote. The Equal Pay Act was passed in 1963, and sixty years later, women still don’t earn equal pay for equal work. It wasn’t common for a woman to have a bank account without her husband, father, or brother until the 1960’s. Even then, women did not have access to credit, nor could they get a credit card without a male cosigner, and single, divorced, or widowed women were denied credit altogether. The Equal Credit Opportunity Act was passed in 1974, finally granting women equal access to mortgages, credit cards, and loans.

That means that women have only had access to the financial instruments men use to generate wealth for less than fifty years.

So, while men (mostly white men) have had centuries to build wealth and power, women have only had fifty years. Your mothers and grandmothers couldn’t pass their knowledge of wealth and money management down to you because they weren’t allowed to have any. Women have been systematically disadvantaged and discriminated against when it comes to building wealth. Now, it’s up to us to learn what our mothers didn’t have the freedom to learn. We need to make our daughters feel powerful when it comes to managing money, because women with economic power will be able to change the world and make it a better place for all.

It’s time to rewrite the narrative, empowering women to redefine their relationship with money on their own terms. It’s time to stop accepting less money for your work or giving your skills away for free. Don’t worry so much about everyone else’s needs and start focusing on your own. It might be uncomfortable to say ‘no’ or enforce your boundaries. You might worry about disappointing people, but what about all of the ways you’re disappointing yourself? Stop listening to the advice that tells you to scrimp and save and give up your favorite morning latte. Instead of thinking you have to settle for less, start focusing on all the ways you have the potential to be earning more money. Because you’re worth it.

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