The Female Finance Factor

By Dr. Judith Briles

Contrary to popular belief, women and money do go hand-in-hand. The current perception is that most women continue to be tentative about managing their finances, either online or off, because historically, men have handled the majority of the family's finances. Not so anymore.

In a recent research study of more than 1000 men and women, the first WingspanBank.com Financial Index confirmed just the opposite. In fact, the study showed that women, on average, hold the primary responsibility for managing most of the financial activities for their household, including the checking account, paying and reviewing bills, deciding where to bank, saving, investing, and creating a budget.

Furthermore, women are twice as likely as men are to assume the title of Chief Financial Officer of their family.

Additional findings of the WingspanBank.com Financial Index:

  • 62% of women manage the family's checking account (compared to 38% of men).
  • 59% of women review the bills prior to paying them (compared to 32% of men).
  • 58% of women actually pay the bills (compared to 35% of men).
  • 53% of women decide where their family banks (compared to 35% of men).
  • 46% of women head up savings and investment accounts for their family (compared to 42% of men).
  • 53% of women create the family's budget (compared to 30% of men).

These statistics are not surprising, considering that women wear so many hats on any given day. Women tend to be everything to everyone: mothers, employees, wives, caregivers, general household manager, and something that men might not like to admit--the primary managers of the household finances. Women need solutions to help them manage all of their many roles and responsibilities.

The above statistics don't say that women feel that they do it "right" all the time. Rather, they say, "Women are in charge of the management of the household money--the banking, investing, saving, and spending, and they need all the information they can get to be better household CFOs." With that in mind, here are 10 easy-to-manage steps to help you do a more effective job:

1.

Identify any fears and concerns you have about handling and managing your finances.

2.

Identify how money is spent in your family.

3.

Become educated--take advantage of the Internet to learn about all relevant financial matters that affect you.

4.

Determine and assess your current financial situation. List all income, assets, equity, fixed and flexible expenses, and discretionary income.

5.

Identify your objectives and develop a written financial plan (including your goals for education, family, and retirement).

6.

Determine the types of investment most appropriate for your current situation and goals.

7.

Calculate how much money you can save and invest monthly.

8.

Consider speaking with a professional financial planner. Check out Web sites, such as MsMoney.com, and take advantage of their financial tools and calculators to help analyze your current financial situation and plan for the future.

9.

Create a realistic financial plan, budget your resources, and stick to it.

10.

Allow for mistakes--you're bound to make some. And take advantage of others' mistakes--you'll learn from them.

When it comes to money, there's good news and bad news in risk taking. Historically, women have been less inclined than men to take risks as it relates to managing their finances, and they will spend a lot of time and effort researching financial opportunities. The good news is that we want to know where our money is going. The not-so-good news is that because we are more risk averse, we avoid putting money in investment opportunities that could create higher returns.

The Internet has created an incredible resource to get information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Use it. Embrace the ease and convenience of managing your finances online and join the growing trend of consumers who are saving time and money with online banking, investing, savings, shopping, and gathering financial information that can reshape your future. Today's CFO demands quick and accurate information and implementation. Add information and implementation to the Female Finance Factor, and you've got a very powerful prescription for financial health!

Judith Briles, Ph.D. is a speaker, columnist, and award-winning author of 20 books including 10 Smart Money Moves for Women and Smart Money Moves for Kids. She can be reached at 303-627-9179 and e-mailed at DrJBriles@aol.com. Her Web site is www.briles.com.

 



 

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