Why is this article specifically about women? Because while the majority of us make financial mistakes at some point in our lives, women across the board tend to make many of the same mistakes that men don’t. Having less to do with ability, and more often with financial ignorance, most if not all of these mistakes can be easily avoided.
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With all of the strides that women have made in the workforce and around the world, we often still leave the fiscal responsibilities and management up to the men in our lives. If that’s the case in your household, and it seems to be working fine for you, there’s nothing wrong with it. But if that’s the way your money is handled, be honest with yourself in saying you really don’t know where you stand financially and how that money is really being managed.
Financial guru Suze Orman says that too often, women have been under the assumption that their finances “were being taken care of,” and then a catastrophe happens such as a death or a spouse leaving and a financial veil is lifted. The best way to avoid this financial mistake is to be more involved. Even if you leave the actual handling of the money to your spouse, be informed. Ask questions so you are aware of how much money you have and where it’s going at any time.
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Not Following Your Financial Intuition
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve done this myself. Overall I’m pretty cautious financially. But there have definitely been times where I knew something wasn’t the best financial decision for myself, but the need to take care of somebody else in my life overrode my own financial intuition.
In the Journal of Spanish Psychology, a study found that women feel guilty and the need to take care of others more often men do. This can lead to very bad financial decisions. Your money is your own responsibility, and while it’s in our nature to nurture others, creating a bad financial situation for yourself is paying too high of a cost.
Not Standing Up For Yourself Financially
There is still a glass ceiling for women in this country. We’ve broken through a lot of barriers, but some still exist. There is no way to break through that ceiling until we stand up for ourselves in the workplace and in our financial needs. Studies have shown that women tend to shy away from asking for a raise or not pushing for better benefits. What we really need to understand is that if we don’t take care of ourselves, nobody else will.
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Using Retail for Therapy
Again, I’ll be the first to admit that before I had a child, (and actually had money for retail therapy), nothing felt better. Bad day? Go shopping. Stressed Out? Go shopping. Bad break-up? Go shopping. Men don’t seem to have this same problem.
Is there anything wrong with spending a little bit of money to treat yourself? If you have the money to spare, there really isn’t. If you’re just spending money hoping to make yourself feel better, then it’s just a bad financial decision.
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Not Talking About Your Financial Problems
Now this is one mistake that both men and women make. If you think ignoring your financial issues will make them go away, you are wrong. If you don’t talk about them, they won’t just go away. You can’t be afraid to have an argument with your spouse about your financial situation. If you’re in debt, and you have a bad financial situation, the first step in working through it is to talk about it.
Each and every one of these problems can be solved with more open communication, and a willingness to take charge of your own financial situation.
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