It wasn’t until the ‘70s that women could get their own credit card without having their husband’s approval. Sounds insane, right? But that’s the truth!
Although we’ve come a long way since then, there are still many women who are highly dependent on their partner for key financial decisions, even Millenial women.
Kathleen Burns Kingsbury, founder of KBK Wealth Connection, has been on a mission to change this traditional outlook for years. She recently joined us as a guest for one of our episodes of Retirement Revealed to share several ways in which women can be financially empowered.
Read on to discover five simple ways women can embrace their financial power!
1. Learn Enough to Take Care of Yourself
It's critical that women take care of their financial health.
To do so, you don’t need to be an expert in finance, but you must know at least enough to take care of yourself.
It’s similar to nutrition. We all need to know enough about nutrition, exercise, and mental health to lead a healthy lifestyle, right? The same holds true for finances. We need enough knowledge to surround ourselves with trustworthy financial professionals and to remain financially healthy.
Why is that necessary? Because at some point in life, you might not have your partner around to help you with your financial decisions, whether it’s due to a divorce or the death of your significant other.
During such a time, we don’t want anyone to struggle with their investments and finances while dealing with a major life transition. That’s why we strongly encourage women to take the time to learn enough so that they can take care of themselves when the need arises!
2. Understand Your Money Talk Mindset
If you’re not sure where to begin, Kathleen recommends starting with a look at your money talk mindset.
A money talk mindset is how you think and feel about engaging in financial conversations. Before you actually get down to the numbers and other technical aspects, it’s crucial that you evaluate what your mindset is so that you can engage in a more meaningful conversation.
Some key questions that can help you assess your mindset are:
What were you taught as a kid about engaging in financial conversations?
Were there certain gender roles that you were taught?
What are the things that might make you good at talking about money?
Although you might not be aware of what your mindset truly is, it can significantly impact you in both positive or negative ways when engaging in financial conversations.
If you’re able to identify the automatic thoughts and beliefs that influence your decision-making process, then you can learn ways to stop them from getting in the way and make better decisions!
3. Encourage Your Partner to be More Involved
Let’s look at the other side of the coin, too. If you’re the one who manages all of the finances and your partner avoids any kind of money talk, then there are some simple steps you can take to encourage them to be more involved.
Firstly, initiate the conversation by asking your partner what areas of their financial life they feel good about.
And remember, finance isn’t just about the math!
Believe it or not, but relating your finances to your dreams and goals in life can make the money talk a lot more comfortable and interesting.
Talk about your values, what’s important to you in life, and how you can use your money to express your values. If you’re able to approach it in a way that isn’t purely technical, your partner will have an easier time engaging in a conversation and will be encouraged to at least come along for the ride.
4. Find a Couple-Friendly Advisor to Work With
Is your advisor only engaging your partner during financial conversations? It’s time to change that approach!
The best way to do it? Directly confront your advisor regarding this issue without any hesitation. Ask them to include your perspective in every conversation and let them know that you want to be copied on every email sent out to your partner.
And if they are still stuck in their traditional approach, change your advisor! There are a lot of couple-friendly advisors out there with tremendous skills in working with both members of a couple.
In your very first meeting with any advisor, you can also assess whether they can help both of you as a pair by asking the following questions:
How do you work with couples?
How often do you want to meet with both of us versus one of us?
How do you incorporate both of our values, goals and dreams into our financial plan?
It’s important to find an advisor who is respectful of your money decision preferences and is willing to work on the couple relationship to empower the non-financial spouse.
Such a search for the right advisor is a worthwhile endeavor, because in the long run, that advisor will help both – you and your partner – to achieve your financial goals!
5. Become a Better Negotiator
A lot of studies show that women don’t necessarily get the best price offered to them by a salesperson.
That’s quite unfortunate, but there are some ways in which women can learn to be better negotiators. Plus, mastering your negotiating skills can be a significant step towards being financially empowered!
To help women to overcome this obstacle, Kathleen Burns Kingsbury has come up with a great online course, Breaking Money Silence On Negotiating. It talks about the money psychology that’s involved in negotiating and outlines five easy steps to becoming a better negotiator.
Enroll now and start your journey around financial empowerment by learning how to negotiate, whether it’s your salary, it’s for a brand-new car, or even for figuring out the best fee for something!
Now that you are familiar with how you can embrace your financial power, we encourage you to dare to have a conversation about money that you couldn’t have in the past! And it doesn’t necessarily need to be with a partner in a relationship, it can be with your parents, your children, your business partners, your clients, and even your financial advisor.
Get the necessary financial knowledge and skills ahead of time so that you can set yourself on the right path for your long-term success!