Whether by choice or by design, women face more challenging financial circumstances than men. She’s living longer and earning less than men and is more likely to be the caregiver to her children and parents (and her partner’s parents). But she’s becoming more of an economic force too. By the end of 2024, it’s estimated that Canadian women will control approximately $3 trillion, or 46%, of total personal wealth, up from 33% today.1
So, when it comes to women and money, what five things do they need to know? We’ve gone to three female leaders in the industry to find out what they think.
1. Confidence is key
According to Jane Rooney, Canada’s first and only financial literacy leader, she shares that, “research shows that Canadian women are generally less financially confident and slightly less financial knowledgeable than men. Through my work as Financial Literacy Leader, I experience first-hand the positive impact of helping Canadians, including women, improve their money savvy and habits. Financial Literacy helps individuals gain the knowledge, skills and confidence they need to make good financial decisions and improve their financial well-being. Because women are generally less confident than men when it comes to their finances, building confidence is essential. Confidence is associated with better outcomes of day-to-day financial management and is also important in understanding planning and saving outcomes.”
2. She's good with numbers
Laurie Campbell, CEO of Credit Canada would like women to know that “they are good at math! What you were told in school is simply not true. Women can amass wealth just as easy as any man. Women need to educate themselves about financial management. Do not rely on your husband, your family or friends to teach you how to save and spend your money. Educate yourself and get a professional who has your best interest solely in mind to help you manage your finances.”
3. She's budget savvy
Laurie has found that “women are great at budgeting and know how to comparison shop, where the deals are and what needs to be spent for themselves, their children and the household. Women can also use technology to help this goal by going online to find out where the best deals are from everything to bread (except when it was price fixed!) to shoes and appliances. Since women are making 87 cents to every dollar a man makes they have to learn how to stretch their dollar much further.”
If you need help making a budget, Jane suggests you try the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada’s Budget calculator.
4. A financial plan is nothing to be afraid of - it is simply a road map to reach your goals
Sheila Walkington, author, Certified Financial Planner and CFO Money Coaches Canada, believes preparing a financial plan is essential for women and “can be more fun than you think. If you start with what is most important to you then the plan should be developed with your goals in mind. A plan can also ease your fears in terms of “what if?” scenarios. Better to know than not know. A financial plan can help you answer some tough questions like:
- What would I do if I was unable to work due to an accident or illness?
- Who would look after my children if something were to happen to me?
- How much money do I need to save today to retire comfortably?
- Can I help my children with education costs, wedding or down payment?
- Who should I trust with my investments?
You can make a plan to debt-free or plan to reach a savings goal using FCAC’s Financial goal calculator and Meridian’s calculators.
5. It’s your money, you need to take charge! Delegate don’t abdicate
Women can feel intimidated by money, so they often delegate the big financial decisions to others (i.e. husband, father, advisor), but taking an active role in your finances will ensure you have a say in the decisions and steps to create the life you want. It’s Ok to ask for help, you don’t need to be an expert in money, but seek out someone who can help you make good decisions that in your best interest.
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