Women have come a long way in the money-management department, but we still face unique challenges that make planning for our financial futures difficult. According to recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median income of women still trail men. Women earn 82.1% of what men do. And sadly, that gap widens as women get older.
But instead of focusing on those obstacles, I encourage you to focus on becoming financially educated and empowered so you’ll be better equipped to make smart money decisions for yourself. Here are some ways that every woman—no matter what stage she’s at in life—can embrace her money.
Understand that a man is not a financial plan
There have definitely been times in my financial life when I wanted someone to swoop in and save me. But the challenges and obstacles will always be there, so instead of banking on the thought that someone will come save you from your financial woes, realize that you have the ability to overcome any financial challenge that presents itself.
Stop comparing yourself to others
The “keeping up with the Joneses” mentality is one that many women fall victim to as they work on their financial goals. The grass always seems greener on the other side, but everyone faces financial challenges. Instead of comparing yourself to others—or, worse yet, comparing your situation to preconceived ideas of where you “should be”—focus on all the good you’ve done up to this point. Then commit to a lifetime of constantly growing, learning and improving your finances.
Understand that money is emotional, but you control those emotions
I find that women tend to project emotion on to their financial lives. So many feel shame or guilt about their money, and no matter how savvy and successful they are, many wrap up way too much of their self-worth in their financial statuses. But remember that you have the power to change your financial life. You are not a bad person if you have debt, are clueless about budgets or don’t have any retirement savings yet. Just acknowledge where you currently stand in your financial life with a loving and compassionate point of view—then do your best going forward and give yourself credit for it.
If all else fails, repeat these words: “I am a financially wise woman”
You are a financially wise woman, and you are smarter, wiser, stronger, and more powerful than you think. Don’t let your financial past dictate your financial future. Stay present and grounded, and know deep down that you have the power to have anything you desire. If one woman can do it, so can you.
What in this post do you relate to most? Leave a comment below to help inspire other women.
Brittney Castro, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, entrepreneur and personal finance expert for women, is the Founder & CEO of Financially Wise Women, a Los Angeles based financial planning firm for women. She specializes in working with busy professional and entrepreneurial women who are passionate about life and want to gain clarity around their money. Brittney’s mission is to help women plan and create the life of their dreams, free from anxiety about money. She is known for her innovative, non-judgmental, compassionate approach to financial planning. She has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, CNBC, Financial Planning Magazine, Investment News, and Registered Rep Magazine. Away from the office, you can find Brittney working out, drinking green juice, reading, playing at the park with her dog Arya and of course dancing. Sign up to receive your Financially Wise Toolkit jam packed with great tools and resources to help you on your financial journey at www.financiallywisewomen.com. Follow her on twitter at www.twitter.com/brittneycastro.