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  • Writer's pictureKel Galavan

Women, Wealth, & Wisdom: Building Financial Confidence Like a Boss

Despite living longer, healthier lives in 2024, women are still lagging behind men when it comes to planning for their financial future.


Women live longer than men, and the gap is only widening as time passes. Yet they're less likely to have a clear long-term financial plan, savings, pensions, or investments. Why is the gap still so present in this day and age? Well, according to the latest Reflecting Ireland report, it boils down to one thing: confidence.


A group of women working out their finances
Photo by Meghan Lamle on Unsplash

Confidence, or rather the lack thereof, is holding women back from taking charge of their financial destiny. The survey reveals that women are less confident, less comfortable talking about money matters, and less likely to follow through on their good intentions when it comes to financial planning.


But here's the kicker: it's not for lack of intention. Most women intend to start saving, start a pension, or invest financially. Still, life has a funny way of getting in the way of good intentions, especially for busy working women striving to achieve that elusive work-life balance.


It's time to talk numbers. 


According to the report commissioned by PTSB, men are twice as likely as women to have financial investments! And while almost half of men have a clear long-term financial plan, only around a third of women can say the same.


The gap is even more pronounced among the under-35 age group, where a notable 54% of men versus just 32% of women have a financial plan in place. But it's not all doom and gloom. Women take the lead in day-to-day finances like grocery shopping, but men tend to take the reins when it comes to big-ticket items like utilities, insurance, loans, and investments.


But here's the silver lining:

Women and men feel equal levels of confidence in managing their household budgets. So, why do women lack confidence in the department? Why the massive confidence gap when it comes to financial decision-making on a larger scale?


The many factors at play:

Well, a mix of factors is at play. From societal expectations to workplace dynamics, women often feel they have to work harder than men to achieve the same level of career progression. And while progress is being made, there's still work to be done.


So, what can we do about this gap in financial confidence? 

First and foremost, we need to bridge the confidence gap. Women must be empowered to take control of their financial futures, one step at a time. Whether it's through education, mentorship, or simply having open conversations about money, it is time to break down the barriers holding women back from achieving financial independence.


Because here's the truth: when women are financially empowered, we all win - end of story. 

With more women being the breadwinners in households, it's never been more important for women to step up and own their future, and often their families too. 


Empowering women to create a financial plan and gain confidence with money involves a multi-faceted approach. 


Here's a guide to help women take control of their financial futures:


Step 1: Reflect on Financial Goals

Reflect on your financial goals and aspirations. This could include short-term goals like paying off debt, medium-term goals like saving for a down payment on a house, and long-term goals like retirement planning.


Step 2: Educate on Financial Basics

Get educated on fundamental financial concepts such as budgeting, saving, investing, and debt management. Find resources like workshops, online courses, or books tailored to women's financial needs and challenges.


Step 3: Develop a Budget

Create a detailed budget that outlines your income, expenses, and savings goals. Realise the importance of tracking spending and adjusting to align with your financial objectives.


Step 4: Establish an Emergency Fund

Have an emergency fund to cover unexpected expenses and financial setbacks. Set aside funds equivalent to at least three to six months' living expenses in a readily accessible account.


Step 5: Explore Investment Options

Level up by learning about various investment options suited to your risk tolerance, financial goals, and timeline. Seek out information on retirement accounts, index funds, mutual funds, and other investment vehicles, recognise the importance of diversification.


Step 6: Seek Professional Guidance

Seek guidance from financial advisors or your friendly neighbourhood Money Coach, particularly those with expertise in working with women clients. A professional can provide personalised advice, address specific concerns, and help women navigate complex financial decisions.


Step 7: Foster Peer Support

Create a supportive community or network where you can share experiences, exchange tips, and offer encouragement in your financial journey. Peer support can provide valuable insights and motivation, helping you stay accountable and empowered.


Step 8: Practice Confidence Building

Take part in activities focused on building financial confidence and assertiveness. Practising negotiation skills and discussing common financial challenges can help women feel more empowered in managing our money. The more open we are about talking about money, the better. 


Step 9: Track Progress and Celebrate Milestones

Review your financial plans regularly, track progress towards your goals, and celebrate milestones along the way. Recognising achievements, no matter how small, reinforces positive financial behaviours and motivates you to continue.


Step 10: Adapt and Evolve

Remember that financial planning is not a one-time task but an ongoing process that requires adaptation and flexibility. Encourage regular reassessment of plans, adjustments to financial strategies, and continuous learning to stay informed and empowered.


Final Thoughts

Crush these steps and lean into support every step of the way. You can gain confidence in your financial abilities and create a solid plan for your future financial success and the success of all. You'll be rocking your money like a boss in no time.


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