Women, Finance, Education, Confidence and Blogging

BlogHer Original Post

What do women need to take charge of their finances? Education, confidence, more blog reading or all three?

Confidence gets Boston Gal's vote after reading an article by Janet Bodnar discussing her book Money Smart Women. Bodnar points out that although women are actually better educated than ever about finances, they lack confidence...

Even though they are more educated, more involved in financial decisions, and control more wealth than ever before, a startling 90% of women interviewed in a study by the life insurer Allianz said they feel somewhat or not at all financially secure. As a result, they're reluctant to risk their resources.

One of the most striking analyses I've read involves the so-called "bag lady syndrome," as perceived differently by men and women. When a man sees a homeless person, for instance, he's more likely to take a detached, third-person view: "I wonder what happened in that person's life to bring him/her to this." By contrast, a woman looks at the homeless person from a first-person perspective: "That could be me someday."

One reason for the dramatically different reactions is that men are far more likely than women to feel they have control over their financial lives. While women want to preserve their assets, men figure that if they lose money they can always make it back.

Kim Snider argues that financial education is the most important skill you need today and then asks should you pay for a financial education?

Jeffrey Strain at Personal Financial Advice argues that "you already know everything you need to know to be rich." So what's the catch? "Even though you know, you probably aren’t going to do it." And that's where the blog reading comes in. In a follow up post, responding to a reader who claimed that if we actually knew everything we needed then Jeffrey would be worthless, Jeffrey gives several compelling reasons why reading personal finance (and I would argue, any blogger) blogs has value. I would add - free financial education and maybe a path to greater confidence!

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