How many workshops have you sat through that were designed to teach women about money and farm financials? Invariably, the focus is on financial transactions, numbers and spreadsheets – not on understanding your relationship with money.
Women often avoid the transactional side of finances UNTIL they can accept their emotional connection with money. Research reveals women and men do not think, talk or handle money the same way. For example, since women (on average) earn less money during their lives, they tend to see money as a pool that can run dry. Men tend to see money as a faucet they can turn off or on. Research shows men are better at taking risks with money. However, women are better at investing because they kick the tires, do homework, make their decisions and stay consistent.
I have interviewed hundreds of commodity brokers in my former career as an agricultural journalist, and hands down the brokers say the wife or woman partner on a farm does a better job of marketing the crop long term. Men tend to focus on moving in and out of commodity trades – women are more patient.
By discovering what drives your financial habits and choices, you can experience power with money. Figure out how emotions play into your financial decisions. Use this knowledge to guard against your weaknesses or play up your strengths. For example, did you grow up on a farm, packing your lunch every school day because your parents thought it best to feed you from their own pantry than pay for school food? How does this impact your decisions to eat out on a weekly/daily basis? Does it color your concept of consumer prices, food choices?
Here are two easy tips to begin understanding your relationship with money:
- What is your money FOR? What kind of future or legacy do you wish to shape? In your opinion, is your money used for the basics of living life or to help create a life worth living?
- What does financial security mean to you? Most women are taught that money equals financial security and a golden-paved road to happiness. But money can be immobilizing when you can’t decide how much money is enough. Money can bring guilt or even shame. Work with a Certified Financial Planner who is willing to talk through YOUR emotional and financial goals to security.
The reality is that life takes money. If you learn your emotional connection to finances, you will gain more control over your life choices.