Better Money Management through Feminism!
I don’t think I need to tell you, intelligent feminist reader, we have not yet achieved gender equality. We’ve placed a lot of our efforts into combating the pay gap, shattering glass ceilings, and eliminating discrimination in all walks of life. We’re making progress, but it’s still not enough. Have no fear though, I’ve got a new battle plan for us, and it’s boring as shit.
Two words: Financial Literacy. Yup, that’s it. We need to be better at handling money. In fact, I believe being good with money will make you an even better feminist! Let me walk you through this tedious topic. I promise to make it more fun and interesting than your last pelvic exam.
When I say “be better with money” I’m not just referring to your addiction to Target, or my inability to scan amazon.com without purchasing something that will add literally zero value to my life. Financial literacy and independence has to do with income, savings, retirement, insurance, negotiating, taxes, budgeting, and literally everything your money touches. I know, I know, my friends would rather pull out their beautiful balayage hair than hear me rant about money again. But this is important. The next step in our crusade for gender equality has to be teaching ourselves, and subsequently the next generation, how to handle their finances like a boss bitch. Money is power, and power is everything in this world.
Here’s a few stats and facts about women and money that’ll really grab you by the pu…lady parts. I meant lady parts. Sorry, I’m in a locker room right now and there’s a scary orange creamsicle man with a combover trying to kiss me.
1. According to the National Capability Study performed by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), two-thirds of Americans couldn’t pass a basic financial literacy test. As poorly as men tested, they still scored 16% better than women.
2. Prudential published a study in 2015 which found 75% of women believe having enough money to maintain their lifestyle in retirement is very important, but only 14% felt confident they would be able to do so.
3. The same study showed only 41% of women said they understand stocks and bonds compared to 56% of men.
4. Women, on average, make 20% less than men. “But we already know this, Catie!” Well, think about the long-term effect of earning 20% less. This inequality is exponentially magnified over time.
5. Women are the primary victims of financial abuse. Financial abuse is most often seen in situations of domestic violence. If you’re unfamiliar with this horrifically common tactic, an abuser manipulates the victim’s money in order to keep her under their control. It’s nearly impossible for a woman who has been saddled with debt and/or lacking funds to free herself from this type of abuse.
6. Women have a longer life expectancy than men. So for all you ladies letting your dudes handle the money, there’s a very solid chance at some point in your life you will be the sole financial manager for your family.
7. Women who lack financial knowledge are at greater risk to acquire large amounts of debt, have poor credit, lower salaries, and experience difficultly managing incomes, investments, and taxes.
Financial literacy (aka being good with your money) is the next important step for feminism. In order to fix the issues outlined above, we must snatch our finances by the coin sack and educate ourselves!
Every day women bravely face institutionalized issues that we, as a nation, are still working to correct. But as women, we need to do what we can to help ourselves. Being able to handle your finances like a badass will help set you up for success in all your future endeavors, be it professional or personal.
So here’s a list of reasons why I think learning about money will make you a better feminist:
1. You’ll Be Moving the Needle. Yas, Queen! You’ll be pushing us closer to equality. When your budget’s on fleek, you’re contributing to your retirement plan, and negotiating for the salary you deserve, you are advocating for women’s rights whether you know it or not!
2. Independent Ladies are the Baddest Bitches. Destiny’s Child sang about this in the early 2000s. So Beyoncé, how do you become independent? You learn how to properly manage money! There’s a plethora of books, online tools, and resources to help you learn the basics of budgeting, investing, etc. Independent women are the leaders of this nation. When you’re financially independent, you’ll have greater resources at your disposal to fight for causes you believe in.
3. You’ll Feel Like Wonder Woman. Being good with money is empowering and a confidence booster. You’ll impress the pants off your lovers and friends with your savvy skills. You’ll develop a slight swagger to your walk. You’ll start wearing fake glasses and a top knot to appear more intellectually inclined. Your confidence and empowered aura will rub off on those around you. This is good for all of society.
4. You’ll Be Less Likely to Loan Money to Your Ex. Financial literacy leads to better decisions. Which means you’re less likely to loan shitty people money, rack up your credit card for dumb reasons, or make impulsive purchases (i.e. the kayak sitting in my garage).
5. Unleash Your Inner Oprah. Believe it or not, how you handle your personal finances directly impacts the young ladies in your life. Whether you’ve got daughters, nieces, or younger sisters you’ll be setting an example for the next generation with your badassery. You’ll be an inspiration, and that my friend is feminist as fuck.
So go ahead, Lady Boss, make that money. Then save it, invest it, and spend it wisely. The little girl standing behind you is watching in admiration.