According to research, women now make 89% of all consumer decisions. That gives us tremendous “purse” power. But do we know what to do with that power? What is our relationship to money? For answers, I asked Dr. Patty Ann Tublin, an internationally recognized relationship and communication expert.
1. How would you describe women’s relationship with money?
Women have a very unhealthy relationship with money. We avoid conversations surrounding money at work at all costs- acting as if it is a dirty word! We are the butt of all the jokes about women and shopping and spending money – but when it comes to earning money- and getting paid what we are worth – we are like deer in the headlights. And this behavior transcends women in the workforce up and down the food chain – right up to the C-Suite.
2. What are the consequences?
The consequences for women having an unhealthy relationship to money is seen no where more prevalent than in the gender wage gap with women being paid 70 cents on every dollar a man makes, more or less, depending upon whose research you are reading at the moment. Either way, women pay a very high price related to financial stress related to not having enough money to either pay their bills and/or take a vacation and de-stress. Ultimately, it takes a toll on women’s level of happiness because lack of money limits your choices – creating stress. ALSO – it leaves women vulnerable in the event they become widowed, divorced or faced with other unanticipated life events that have a huge impact on one’s financial situation.
3. Where does our attitude about money come from?
Our negative attitude towards money is rooted in history, our childhood and the messages we received from our parent, societal messages & the “Good Girl Syndrome”.
Women have been consciously and unconsciously seduced with the false childhood messages that “all you need is love!” Or that their knight in shining armor will come and sweep them off their feet so they won’t have to “worry their pretty little head about money” has contributed to keeping women financially ignorant. The Good Girl Syndrome involves good girls not asking for anything – including more money and/or more responsibility that will lead to more money at work, following the rules, not being aggressive etc. Good girl syndrome also includes following the rules, doing what we are told, not making waves, not calling attention to yourself, not bragging – many variables which contribute to women being underpaid and not asking for what they are worth.
4. What are some steps women can take to change their mindset?
We can change our mindset by re-wiring our brain with positive money affirmations.
Current neuroscience research and positive psychology show the correlation between our mindset, i.e., what we think and believe to be true in our minds, and the reality we create in our lives. Based upon what we know from sophisticated brain wave pattering and imagery, we can influence, if not create our reality based upon what we think. Succinctly, what you think is what you create! Therefore, when you change the way you think, you change your reality.
5. Why is it important for women today to take control of their finances?
The statistics speak for themselves: women are increasingly the primary breadwinner is many homes; women are coming into trillions of dollars of wealth and being ignorant about the basics of finances that leaves them vulnerable, women live longer than men and need to make sure they don’t outlive their money. Also, I strongly believe financial empowerment directly correlates to your happiness – by providing you with choices that would otherwise be closed to you without money. Make NO mistake about it, the best things in life ARE NOT FREE -they cost money!
Want to know more? Dr. PattyAnn’s upcoming book, Money Can Buy You Happiness: Secrets Women Must Know to Get Paid What They’re Worth, is now available for preorder!