Women & Money: Time to Power-Up

Most divorced or widowed women are out of money in five years says Deborah Price, money coach and author of Money Magic. That's frightening. I know when my parents divorced there was a drastic economic change in my mother and our lives.

American women received the right to vote in 1920 - less than a hundred years ago. Women entered the workforce in large numbers starting in the 70s but today still earn only 78 cents on the dollar, compared to men. Add into this mix the lack of training (for both sexes) about how to think about and handle money and no wonder money (& power) continue to be such a challenges for women.  For women, learning about money creates a huge opportunity for self-empowerment to better their own lives and by extension their families and communities.

Money also represents power in this world. It's a sad fact that in America only 16% of Congress are women. One reason it's important to have more women's voices represented is to make sure women's concerns such as equal pay, child care, and family issues are heard.  How is that related to money? A good amount of "women's work" is still unpaid and child care is one of the lowest paid professions. Getting elected to Congress takes money.

If money is power how is this power handled by the average woman? Bear with me for a minute...It used to be in the 50s and 60s that some women would "manipulate" their husbands to get what they wanted - a new refrigerator, more money for groceries, etc. No judgement - manipulation is an indirect vs. a direct way of accomplishing something and because of the traditional power structure (men make the decisions) smart women knew how to work within the system.

Have women moved beyond feeling powerless with money? We're in process and we haven't yet assumed our full earning potential.  Median annual income for women in 2006 was about $35,000 and for men $46,000.

What can women do to power-up their relationship with money? Here are a couple suggestions: Educate yourself about money - don't put it off. Take a class or workshop at your local junior college or community center. Read books like Money Magic or Mind Over Money. Take a Dave Ramsey Peace University course at your local church.  Or, hire a money coach (I offer individual coaching & Money workshops by phone, skype or in-person - www.lynntelfordsahl.com)