When seeking for tips and suggestions about starting this blog, I consulted with one of my mentors who also works to educate women in financial matters. She let me know that the idea was a good one and the knowledge was valuable, but then said something that surprised me. She said, in essence, that the biggest problem she runs into is that women don’t know that they should care.
I am the kind of person that likes to know the ‘Why’s behind the rules. If you explain to me why, then I am much more likely to follow the rules, or to want seek further understanding. I’ve noticed my children are similar. If I tell them they have to eat their vegetables I am met with resistance and whining. If I take the time to explain why we eat vegetables, what is in the vegetables that is so great (we usually look up whatever we are eating and find out what amazing things those particular vegetables will help our bodies do), then they are more inclined to eat them. They might not be excited, or think the vegetables taste any better, but because they understand how it will help their bodies, they are usually more compliant with eating their nutritious and carefully, lovingly prepared vegetables (or their pre-cut, raw carrots or broccoli out of the bag, is more like it).
So, here are a few reasons why you should care about personal and family finance:
(Statistics from InvestmentNews.com):
- Women control $14 trillion in personal wealth assets. By 2020 they are expected to control $22 trillion
- 95% of women will be their family’s primary financial decision maker at some point in their lives
- 37% of women are more likely than men to think they need to accumulate LESS than $250,000 for retirement
- Women are more likely than men to end up poor: 11% of women age 65 and older are poor, compared to 7% of men age 65 and older
- Women rely on Social Security: 57% of all Social Security beneficiaries are women
- We don’t put enough away for retirement; only 49% of women contribute to their 401(k) plans
- Women are four times more likely than men to be widowed; 8.7 million women aged 65 and over are widowed in the US
- Nearly 700,000 women lose their husbands each year. Widows outlive their husbands by an average of 14 years (as cited by Jonyce Bullock, CPA, http://aspiringmormonwomen.org/2016/02/03/womenandmoney/)
In a spiritual sense, there are even more reasons why it is important to be educated about personal finance:
(These ideas come from http://www.personalfinance.byu.edu, an excellent resource for furthering your personal financial education with an LDS perspective.)
- Spiritual: All that God does is to bring us to Christ. There are so many aspects of finance that will bring us to Christ (think tithing, sacrifice, consecration, humility, gratitude, giving, etc.) and help us to overcome the “natural man.” (Mosiah 3:19)
- Temporal: Money, and all that we have for that matter, is not ours, but our Heavenly Father’s. We are stewards over what He has given us, and we are here to prove if we will be wise stewards over our resources.
- Individual: We are all sent to this earth with talents to share and sacred missions to perform. Many of our missions will require material resources. Our resources can be consecrated to help us fulfill our individual purpose and mission, if we are wise and faithful stewards over these resources.
- Family: One of the biggest reasons, if not the #1 reason, for divorce is money. Being wise stewards over our money, using it wisely, and understanding how it works will help to strengthen our marriages, and our families. In addition, money and resources will provide opportunities for our families (think education, missions, service, family vacations, etc.) that we otherwise could not have. (http://personalfinance.byu.edu/sites/default/files/files/Other/Whys%20Whats%20and%20Hows%20of%20PF%20-%20Hill.pdf)
In the 2015 Fidelity Investments Money FIT Women Study, they found:
- Women are eager for information about financial planning and investing
- 92% of women want to learn more about financial planning
- 75% want to learn more about money and investing
- 83% want to get more involved in their finances within the next year.
“Yet a majority of women hold back when it comes to talking about money; eight in 10 women confess they have refrained from discussing their finances with those they are close to. Only 47% of women say they would be confident discussing money and investing with a financial professional on their own.” (To read the whole study, which is very interesting go here: https://www.fidelity.com/bin-public/060_www_fidelity_com/documents/women-fit-money-study.pdf)
How do you gain confidence in a subject matter? LEARN more! Please join me on this journey to learn more about personal and family finance, in order to be better stewards over what our Heavenly Father has given us, and to bless the lives of our families and others, and to fulfill our personal missions.