In the last few decades women have made strides in almost every facet of life — from politics, to education and the workplace — no longer content to sit in the background; we have seen women in general come to the fore in the global arena.
There is one area, though, where women still fall victim to being labelled — that being their finances. It is often a common stereotypical belief that the female population has a lack of financial savvy in planning and saving, and the propensity to overspend.
Is there any truth in this?
It has been statistically proven that women spend no more than men — in fact, the difference doesn’t lie in the amount that is spent, rather just in what it is spent on.
One area where women are falling behind, however, is when it comes to saving for retirement.
Despite the fact that women tend to live longer, are likely to take more breaks from the workplace to raise families and in general still tend to earn less, the study shows that overall women tend to not plan enough for the future relative to men. A recent study conducted in the US supports this claim.
Even though women have been managing household financial matters for years — it seems that the general trend is that, on average, females tend to be less involved when making investment decisions.
Research shows that one of the primary reasons women may fall behind when it comes to financial planning is simply that they lack the confidence when it comes to making financial choices.
One of the core factors that have been identified as contributing to this lack of confidence is that women, historically, are less likely to be socialised in financial matters than men. Where men may start dabbling in investments and thinking about saving from a young age, it often takes a big event or goal to encourage women to invest and save.
It seems that cultural messages and antiquated belief systems have managed to create "psychological" barriers — where many women are still taught that they do not have to take care of themselves financially. So, while we still aim for the good jobs, somewhere on a less conscious level this type of old-fashioned thinking prevents us from fully utilising our salaries and planning our financial futures adequately. Even though it appears that over the last few years women are starting to have a more active approach to their finances, these imbedded traits still provide something of an obstacle.
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