How many times have you religiously checked your bank account before payday, hoping you have enough to make it till then? Or reviewed your budget and realized that your savings account wouldn’t be able to cover an expensive emergency? And don’t get us started about trying to save money for retirement.
Being a woman in charge of her money can be stressful. In fact, 51% of women (vs 41% of men) feel financially stressed. This stress can cause very real financial anxiety about if we’re doing the right things with our money and an overwhelming fear that we’ll never be able to afford expenses like a down payment on a home or being able to retire. What causes these stresses and how can we start fighting back to be more confident with our money? Let’s find out.
Causes of Financial Anxiety
Multiple Money Priorities
We have a lot of goals. We want and deserve it all, but how do you save when you want to afford a new home, a new car, save for retirement, invest, AND pay off current debts. The amount of goals we have can become overwhelming and it’s hard to get started.
“Money is for men”
From a young age, girls are often told they aren’t good at math or that it’s not important for them to know. HERdacity Program Directory, Lorelei Gonzalez, shares her experience.
“I remember being in Algebra class in high school, I don’t remember which Algebra it was, but I remember my super old-school, algebra teacher who was an older white male. He would not call on the girls in the classroom for questions. He would tell the boys to ask questions and answer their questions, and it was almost like this reinforcement that our questions weren’t going to be important enough to answer, they weren’t going to be intelligent enough for him to even waste his time on. And that sent such a powerful message to me that I really never was able to fully assess until I became an adult and to see the ramifications of having such a negative experience in the classroom that really turned me off of math.”
There is a bias that women are worse at math than men and studies show that men will be hired for mathematical positions, even if women outperform them.
The Pay Gap Is Real
It’s no secret that the pay gap is real. Women are consistently paid less than men, while women of color are paid less than white women. This means that the 41% of women who are the main breadwinners for their family can struggle to make ends meet paycheck-to-paycheck.
So How Do We Start Addressing Our Financial Anxiety?
First, we need to realize we’re not alone in our fear. Since women tend to not talk about money, we don’t realize that other women feel this exact same way. Most of us are struggling with these same financial fears, and there’s power in that.
Next, we need to start educating ourselves. Anxiety can make any task seem daunting and terrifying, to the point where we never start at all. Take it in small chunks. Don’t think you need to start all your goals at once. Read articles, attend webinars, take courses. Learn the different things your money can do for you, and decide on the best course for yourself.
Our third piece of advice is to take initiative! Just by reading this article, you’ve started your first steps to fighting your financial anxiety. Take your goals one-by-one and don’t compare your journey to someone else’s. There are no hard set times you need to complete something.
If the fear is really gripping you, start with a small goal, like saving $500, or paying off a credit card. If you’re able to, consult a professional. A financial advisor can help you with your specific money situation and put you on the right path for your future.
You Deserve Better
Recognizing our financial stress and knowing how to start fixing it is the first step to having financial peace. You deserve to have less stress and you deserve to feel confident about your financial future. Check out more of our resources below to start taking control of your money.
Budgeting for Women (article)
Ready to keep learning? Join our newsletter to stay up-to-date on our blogs, webinars, and podcast!