Mothers to Daughters: Raising Our Girls for Financial Independence
Even in 2023, women still confront more obstacles to financial independence and wealth accumulation than men. And while successive generations of women continue to establish more leadership positions, become examples of entrepreneurship, and attain higher salaries than those before them, there are still barriers related to real equality and equity when it comes to wealth generation and independent prosperity for women.
That’s why today’s financially savvy women are sharing lessons with their daughters about personal finance and investing early on that, in generations before them, were too often left unsaid. Here are some of the ways today’s mothers are teaching their daughters about money.
Money Doesn’t Have a Gender.
Cliché as it is, even today there is still a masculine association people make with finance and investing and the types of jobs and activities associated with it. Yet, in most households, it is the women who are responsible for the spending decisions. By encouraging their daughters to see their place in the world of economics the way generations of male offspring have been positioned by default, modern moms are consciously abandoning this pervasive idea of finance being the domain of not only males, but male-centric thinking and behaving.
Learning to Love Math.
Research shows that girls’ confidence in mathematics starts to decline at about age nine. This can be one of the earliest obstacles to future financial literacy and independence because so much about understanding the world of finance is based on mathematical logic. By encouraging their daughters to see the practical potential in abstract mathematics like algebra and calculus, modern moms are setting their daughters up for not only understanding the language of economics and finance, but also potentially enjoying it enough to pursue a career in that direction.
Having Money Talks.
What does your daughter do with her allowance or after-school job earnings? What does she spend her own money on? Is she a saver? A budgeter? One of the most significant ways moms can influence their daughters to understand how money works early is to encourage them to have a conscious relationship with the money they earn. If they are saving up for a bike or a first car but still want to spend money at the mall, help them set up a savings plan. Introduce them to banking early so they can have control over their own money and a sense of financial ownership. As they watch their own savings grow and become more conscious of the consequences of frivolous spending, they develop a relationship with money that can lead to more financial savviness and independence.
Being an Example of Financial Wellness.
There is no better advice to any parent about anything than serving as an example to one’s children. If a daughter observes her mother being an active participant in the family’s financial planning, budgeting, and spending, then it will be second nature for her to follow in kind through her adulthood. Children and young adults rarely respond to sermonizing, lecturing, or unsolicited advice. The best way to teach your children to perform in any way is to show, don’t tell, by example.
Encouraging Financial Curiosity.
The finance world is a tricky and intricate system of businesses, patterns, global and regional occurrences, and a bellwether of upcoming events. People who are familiar with this system have an edge on performing better in the world because so much of our lives hinge on the movements and idiosyncrasies of economics. By exposing their daughters to the language and operations of finance via news, websites, and integrating the subject into everyday conversation, modern moms can make the finance world less intimidating, more inclusive and, significantly, more interesting to daughters who learn early on how related the finance world is to their other interests and general life events.
Fostering financial success and independence for our daughters begins with early education and guidance, but you are not alone on the journey. Speak to your Rockefeller Private Advisor to learn more about our next generation financial education resources and programming.
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