5 important financial literacy lessons you can learn from womenJul 26, 2021
Is financial literacy the answer to improving your relationship with money? As Canadians continue to deal with the financial crisis brought on by the pandemic, it’s important for women, who already have more financial challenges than men, to view their situation through a different lens. Seeking out the advice and unique perspectives of women personal finance experts can help.
Many women are living paycheque-to-paycheque and unable to save, which is one reason that more women than men are unprepared for retirement. Another big contributor is the gender pay gap that makes it harder for women to save. According to Statistics Canada, women, on average, earn $0.87 for every dollar men make. Maternity leave, longer life expectancies and the need for more retirement savings complicate things further.
Now, well over a year into the pandemic, personal finances are an even greater concern for many Canadian women. With job loss for women as high as 85 per cent at some points in 2020, the threat of debt is real. Now more than ever, in the midst of a she-cession, it’s important for women to understand how to use available resources to effect change and protect their own finances.
5 financial literacy lessons you can learn from women personal finance experts
Let’s be honest, there’s a great deal of online content about personal finances. It can be difficult to see how certain concepts relate to everyday savings and spending habits. The following women are compelling precisely because they advocate for financial literacy as a lifestyle essential. They encourage women to consider their overall relationship with money in a holistic way.
1. Improved financial literacy can help you survive financial setbacks
Golden Girl Finance is a website worth bookmarking and checking regularly because it includes the advice and viewpoints of an entire team of women with backgrounds in wealth management, financial literacy, and publishing. This article by personal finance expert Rubina Ahmed-Haq speaks to the financial realities of the pandemic gender gap. Her opinion: the only way out of a she-session is a “she-covery” that focuses on getting women back into the workforce and back to pre-pandemic financial status. Well-known financial educator Kelley Keehn speaks candidly about her experience with money and the importance of financial literacy, and why women need to be the decision makers in their own financial lives. COVID-19 has caused us to reconsider how we view money and what we value. Barbara Stewart gives an honest account of the impact of the pandemic on her life and how it forced her to reconsider priorities and financial values.
2. Focus on money management basics
You might recognize Melissa Leong from her guest appearances on radio and TV. Leong has been steadfast in her financial advice to focus on what you can control, even in uncertain times. While everything might feel unstable, certain tried-and-true financial behaviours, like adding to your emergency fund and following a realistic budget, will go a long way towards protecting your financial health in times of crisis.
Leong’s down-to-earth money management strategies provide people with the perspective they often need. When it comes to the universal question — Can money buy happiness? — Leong shares a meaningful truth that she found: money can give us time, and time can help you find or experience happiness more often. If you’re making or saving enough money to give you the time you want (and need) to function with greater health and peace and joy, then in a way, money does help bring you happiness.
3. Learn how to tackle debt repayment
The Budget Mom, Kumiko, went from being a stressed-out mom with a pile of credit card debt to an accredited financial counsellor with a mission: to help as many women as possible find the same success and peace that she has found. She walks you through her own debt repayment journey in a very honest, open and instructional way. Her video tutorials cover topics like how to pay off your debt, and how to budget for monthly expenses and savings goals.
4. Look for honest, inspirational debt and savings advice
Gen Y Money is a personal finance blog that doesn’t engage in any sugar coating. For millennials that feel they need a wake-up call, GYM’s no pain, no gain attitude might provide the inspiration they’re looking for. Reading this blog unleashes a healthy competitiveness within yourself with respect to your savings and net worth. The frequent posts are to the point and helpful. She’s disciplined, yet very accessible. Her post about how to calculate your net worth is ground zero for understanding her money management philosophy. Her recent post about how to negotiate with your internet provider can save you hundreds a year—a real benefit if you’re struggling to get your finances on track.
5. Raise financially literate children
Author Robin Taub tackles the sometimes challenging topic of teaching children about money in her book, The Wisest Investment: Teaching Your Kids to Be Responsible, Independent and Money-Smart for Life. For many women, the pandemic has highlighted the importance of basic financial knowledge like managing debt stress, budgeting on a reduced income, and dealing with a financial emergency. Passing this knowledge on to our children is more important than ever. But knowing what money lessons to share at what age is not always easy or straightforward. Taub’s book covers the why, the how and the what of raising money-smart kids: why we need to talk to kids about money, how we can begin, and what key financial literacy topics to focus on at each age.
How the COVID-19 she-session left you needing debt help? Reach out to a Licensed Insolvency Trustee for a free consultation to learn about your debt options.