Parents tend to teach their boys about money management more than girls – this is why that has to change.
There once was a time when women graduated high school (or possibly college), got married, had children, and let their husbands manage the family finances.
For decades now that scenario has changed – today women spend years on their own before getting married, frequently partner with their husband on managing family finances, possibly become single again due to divorce, and for those who stay married, may spend years in widowhood.
- More boys receive an allowance than girls (67% of boys vs. 59% of girls)
- More boys than girls say they occasionally have discussions with their parents about setting financial goals (58% vs. 50%)
- 80% of parents of boys feel that they understand the value of a dollar vs. 69% of parents of girls.
So what’s going on here? Why aren’t girls getting an equal education in how to manage money?
Why Girls Need to Understand Money
Here’s what the future looks like for our daughters: if trends hold only 26% of women will be married before they’re 32, 25% might never get married, and nearly a quarter are likely to be widows for 14 years or longer.
That’s a significant amount of time living on one’s own, managing finances by oneself. More time than even our boys will likely be on their own, solely responsible for finances.
But let’s not short-change women here – even married women are more involved in financial matters than ever before – For example, over the course of a family’s life, at some point 90% of married women will control its wealth.
And here’s something most people probably aren’t aware of: according to Business Insider, 51% of all stock ownership is controlled by women and 60% of all personal wealth in the U.S. is held by women.
So clearly girls need to learn about money. Not only in how to budget and save for the future, but also how to invest those savings and take control of the family’s finances.
Are Parents Entirely at Fault?
Just because boys are more likely than girls to receive money lessons from their parents – are parents really the reason for this disparity? Or could it be that boys are just more interested in money than girls?
“Boys report having more conversations with their parents than girls, which may seem like parents are favoring their sons,” says Judith Ward, a VP of Investment Services at T. Rowe Price, “but I don’t think it’s intentional at all. Parents might be fielding more money questions from boys than girls.”
If boys are seeking out money advice more than girls, what can parents do about it?
“Boys and girls should be learning the same money lessons, and if girls aren’t as vocal on money topics, parents need to proactively integrate those money conversations.” says Ward. “Taking advantage of everyday teachable moments in kids’ favorite stores, during a quick stop at the ATM or while online paying bills, or when talking about the next family vacation can go a long way towards increasing kids’ financial knowledge.”
In other words, if your daughter isn’t asking you about money, it’s up to you as the parent to proactively educate her. Keep in mind that kids learn about money whether parents discuss it with them or not – and better for you to be their source of information than friends who also have a growing understanding of money.
Getting involved and helping your daughter understand basic financial principles will lay the foundation for good financial habits in the future and set her up for financial success at every stage of life.
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