Women’s relationship with money is changing

Nicole Ingram of Cary, North Carolina is a single mother of four children ages 12-19. To support her family, Ingram runs her own business as an interior designer.

Although successful, she faces the effects of being a female business owner.

“When I go to vendors to buy items wholesale, they give me a decorator discount instead of selling me wholesale,” she says. “They think I’m here decorating as a hobby, but that’s not the case. I’m an interior designer. I run a business. It’s not a hobby.

Luckily, not being taken seriously never had a negative impact on Ingram’s company finances. But she says she has seen other women’s businesses suffer. Although she is seasoned in her industry, she always strives to be her own biggest advocate and keeps a watchful eye out for misleading pricing or contracts.

As she says, being a woman can make the job a lot harder.

At the end of the day, she goes home and puts most of her profits back into her house. With four mouths to feed, her eldest daughter’s Georgetown University tuition bill to pay and the rest of her children getting ready for school, she says she is constantly stressed about the silver.

Women’s relationship with money is changing

Ingram’s experience is not isolated. It’s a well-known problem — women face adversity when it comes to their financial well-being.

Women earn 80.5 cents on the dollar compared to their male counterparts. At the current rate, it will take until 2059 for women to earn as much as men.

The pay gap has serious consequences. Women find it difficult to save for their retirement. They are more likely to live in poverty than men, especially the elderly.

But the aspect that we don’t often talk about? As the pay gap reduces women’s earning potential, women simultaneously become more responsible for their household finances.

Recent research reveals that women are increasingly becoming breadwinners. Today, 42% of women with children under 18 are the main or majority source of household income.

A Pew Research survey also found that middle-aged Americans balance work, children and caring for aging parents – part of what’s been called the “sandwich generation”. In addition, the cost of maternity is increasing. The cost of child care has doubled since the early 1980s.

Women are juggling more financial and social responsibilities than before, leading to increased pressure, stress and anxiety.

Women experience more financial stress than men

Suicide rates among women are rising. Researchers have not identified a major cause, but speculate that increasing stress from finances, children, marriage and aging parents could be the cause. It is a daunting reality that cannot be ignored.

A recent Bankrate survey found that the majority of Americans who lose sleep over financial stress are women. they represented 57% of the cohort.

From 2008 to 2017, money was the top source of stress in the country, according to the American Psychological Association. Dr. Mary Gresham, Ph.D., acknowledges that financial stress in America does not discriminate between genders.

But she agrees that women experience this stress differently than men.

Gresham says women tend to internalize their money-related stress, which translates into a manifestation of anxiety.

“Women worry more, or don’t talk about it, but think about it again and again, because they’re afraid of upsetting the people around them,” Gresham says. “So they just keep it to themselves.”

Gresham notes that this anxiety is tied to the gender roles that society imposes on them. Women are more communal and tend to prioritize giving back and caring for loved ones, while men often seek progress towards their own status.

Ashley Bleckner, Certified Financial Planner, agrees. She sees the difference in perspective impacting on the financial management of her clients.

“Primarily, I’ve seen men see money as a measure of their power, while women associate finances with a way to save for their families and their security,” Bleckner wrote in an email to Bankrate. . “Demonstrate their love in one more way, by sacrificing current personal consumption/spending, for shared future consumption/spending.”

Gresham adds that women tend to associate money with everyday tasks, which society has long expected them to be responsible for. For this reason, women tend to have difficulty planning for their financial future, such as retirement.

How women can manage their financial stress – and what can be done to prevent it in the future

The disparity in equality varies widely by race and ethnicity. The Institution for Women’s Policy Research reports that Hispanic women will not see equal pay with white men until 2233; black women will not see equal pay until 2124.

At this rate, the wage gap should not disappear for four decades. But with a shift in perspective on women and money, conversations around the issue could be more productive — and women could potentially feel less overwhelmed.

“Nobody wants to talk about money, but they should,” Gresham says. “Especially women.”

You do not know where to start ? Gresham says that expressing anxieties and worries can help women ease their stress. She recommends women look for other women to talk to, ones they trust and can relate to.

From there, you can start the conversation small and then expand it to bigger topics, like salary, raises, and retirement savings.

Ingram wants his kids to “know their worth.” She’s already struck up a conversation with one of her youngest daughters, teaching her to ask important questions like, “How much is my experience worth?”

“It’s never too early to start teaching them these things,” Ingram says. “The conversation should take place as soon as possible.”

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