Jump to Main Content

Open up and say money!

girl playing with dog at beach

Women are typically regarded as natural-born communicators. But when it comes to money-talk, many of us are tongue-tied. Whether it’s asking for more of it or opening up to a loved one, personal finance remains an uncomfortable, taboo topic for many of us.

Part of the problem is a crisis of confidence around key financial concepts and strategies. Indeed, according to data from Statistics Canada’s Canadian Financial Capability Survey, only 31.4% of women consider themselves to be “financially knowledgeable” compared to nearly half (43.2%) of men.

Bridging this gender gap begins with raising your voice and discussing finances when it matters most. Here are three conversations that are worth having with the most important people in your life.  

Your Significant Other

Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to knowing the state of your household finances. For this reason, women need to be aware of their expenses, retirement savings, emergency savings, debt load, and household budget. This starts with sitting down with your significant other and conducting a household inventory of your finances at least once a year.

Another topic of conversation: your credit identity. Joint accounts can be convenient for many couples. But if you’re not the primary holder on at least one credit card, you’ll be hard-pressed to access other types of loans. Get the financial protection you need by talking openly about your credit history – and need for financial independence.

Your Employer

According to Equifax Canada, the average Canadian consumer owed $72,500 in debt at the end of September 2019. While debt consolidation can help ease this burden, savvy women are also demanding better pay. And for good reason: Statistics Canada reveals that female employees aged 25 to 54 earned $0.87 for every dollar earned by men in 2018. Asking for a raise requires building a strong business case for why you deserve to earn more. Back up your request with hard numbers, such as performance metrics and sales figures. Enter the discussion with a precise percentage salary increase in mind. And try rehearsing with a friend ahead of time to reduce nervousness. Only by having these difficult conversations about closing a  wage gap  can women work their way out of debt – and earn what they’re owed.

Your Child or Next-of-Kin

For women with a family, life insurance offers precious piece of mind. In fact, according to Statistics Canada, the life expectancy for women is 84 years compared to just 79.9 years for men. At the same time, many women are the sole breadwinners for their families. In both these instances, a life insurance policy can provide family members with financial protection, and ensure their financial needs are continually met, in the event of one’s death. Although often an uncomfortable conversation, insurance-talk is critical to a family’s healthy financial future.
Opening up about your finances doesn’t have to be challenging. By having open and honest conversations with the most important people in your life, you can lay the foundation for a healthy – and independent – financial future.

For more budgeting and savings tips, contact a Meridian branch to book an appointment with an Advisor today.