Breaking Money Barriers

Incremental Steps Have Big Impact

At the Women Adviser Summit I attended last fall, Kathleen Burns Kingsbury, a wealth psychology expert, spoke on the topic of her recent book Breaking Money Silence. She shared that “62 percent of women would rather talk about their own death than money.” Also, consider these stats from a recent Credit Karma survey. Of those surveyed, “almost 40 percent of women said they feel ‘overwhelmed’ when thinking about their finances, and 31 percent feel ‘discouraged.’ Meanwhile, only 9 percent of women reported feeling “empowered” when it comes to their money.

Many factors may contribute to this money discomfort. Kingsbury says societal money taboos (e.g., it’s impolite to talk about money), family money messages (e.g., my dad handled all the financial decisions, my mom was a silent partner), as well as our personal insecurities (e.g., I know nothing about financial topics) keep us silent. We all know that sharing with a confidant or (if married) discussing with a spouse could be the first step to feeling empowered. But something is still giving many women pause.

While talking is an important step to breaking down money barriers, incremental action steps can be impactful too. Here are a few steps that will move you toward feeling empowered about your money:

  • Listen to female-led financial podcasts: Podcasts can serve as an easy way to increase your knowledge, pique your interest and show that you’re not alone in how you feel. Both of these podcasts are short (usually in the 30-minute range) and are a great place to dip your toe in the money waters.
    • Kathleen Burns Kingsbury’s Breaking Money Silence podcast seeks to dispel money myths.
    • Farnoosh Torabi’s So Money podcast is focused on candid money conversations. She also has question/answer segments where she responds to submitted money questions.
  • Practical Money Tips to Consider Now
    • Understand your (or your spouse’s) 401(k): 401(k)s or other employer-sponsored plans are a great place to start saving for the future. Many employers offer a match—i.e., if you contribute 10 percent of your compensation, they’ll match 3 percent, for a total of 13 percent savings. Ask human resources about your plan’s options, and/or have a conversation with your spouse about theirs—they may not understand it either! This is a great place to start a money conversation and simultaneously improve your financial situation.
    • Make sure your wishes are outlined in a Last Will and Testament, and you have powers of attorney in place. These documents spell out who will receive your assets and/or care for your children when you pass and outline who should handle your financial and health care decisions if you’re unable. If you’re married, you’ll each need the preceding documents. This is an area very easily neglected and is also a great place to start a money conversation.

Remember that a large ship is turned one degree at a time. The same logic can be applied to money confidence. So why not test the waters with one money topic or one podcast listen?

The opinions expressed herein are those of PYA Waltman Capital, LLC, and are subject to change without notice. This material is not financial advice or an offer to purchase or sell any product. This article should not be construed as legal advice. You should always consult with your legal professional with regard to specific legal questions and obligations. PYA Waltman Capital, LLC, is an independent investment adviser registered under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended. Registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training. More information about PYA Waltman including our investment strategies, fees and objectives can be found in our ADV Part 2, which is available upon request. PYA-19-09