Who is smarter with money – men or women? I don’t think this is exactly a fair question. Women and men have different feelings when it comes to money and handling finances. No matter how practical we may be, at least a small part of our financial decisions are based on emotions rather than logic. Hence, a better question to ask is how each sex needs to deal with money and why.
The modern woman wears multiple hats – from a wife to a mother, to a caregiver and an employee or a business woman. And yet a large majority of women tend to shy away from the most important thing – managing their personal finances and growing their wealth. If there is a man in their life, they delegate it to them and if no man, they ignore it as long as they can!
Both men and women spend money both for emotional and practical reasons. If we know we spend money when we are emotional, it is all the more important to address it and make sure this doesn’t become a habit for us.
Wealth management is especially important in a woman’s life because:
- Women tend to be responsible for the household budget particularly in regards to caring for their children
- Women usually live longer than men and hence need to have enough savings to support themselves after retirement.
- Women tend to move in and out of jobs frequently than men (having children, care givers and so on) and hence feel a greater need for financial stability in the form of a savings account.
If you think you can manage your finance and become rich, ask yourself how well is it going for you – right now? The truth is, sometimes you may not even know the financial problems you have or not know how to grow your money or wait till it is too late. It is always good to take the first step by knowing your budget (what comes in Vs what goes out); if you think it’s too hard, talk to a finance professional that can help assess your spending habits and then create a plan for you to improve your financial situation.
The primary thing to remember here is that your goal is to be able to make your money grow as opposed to living from pay check to pay check. Making ends meet is a good thing but you need to make sure that you also have cash for emergencies and future investments.
As wealth accumulation is the goal of wealth management, you have two options - learn different ways to grow your money or leave it in the hands of a good financial planner. With option one, you need to make sure that you choose the right projects that you will invest your money in. Otherwise, you will end up wasting money, time and effort.
The second option may sound better because there is someone to guide you, to help you grow your wealth, make sure you are well protected with insurance and suggest different investment options and even do it for you. A serious level of discipline is required for wealth management. Your finance professional may teach you some ways to handle your day to day budgeting; you will need to practice these principles religiously because if you slip up a few times, it becomes a habit! Remember that time when you said you will buy only one pair of shoes and ended up with a matching dress and a handbag!
Talk to a financial expert today. Understand that you only know what you know. As women, we need to take control of our financial lives. To become wealthy, accept the challenge and change that financial experts may bring! You can dramatically make a positive change in your life if only you are open to help.
Obu Ramaraj aka 'The Mortgage Angel' is the Director of Smart Money Solutions, a mortgage broking firm helping female professionals with their home loans. She is also the author of "Smart Women, Smart Home loans", blogger and a speaker.
Twitter: @smartloanbrokerWebsite: www.smartmoneysolutions.com.au