Important Ways to Financially Empower Your Daughter
We live in a world where women are 80% more likely to live in poverty after retirement, make only 85% of what their male counterparts earn, and sit in the CEO position of just 7% of Fortune 500 companies. Put simply, it’s a world without equality, and it’s a world in which we should refuse to raise our daughters. It’s true that we are progressively moving in the direction of a better future for our girls, but having these conversations with future women is absolutely crucial to continue our societal growth toward equality.
In order to have a generation of women who are financially secure, self-reliant, and empower with their money choices, parents today must consciously make decisions that support this. Financial empowerment isn’t something that happens by itself. Instead, we must make the intentional decision to open up and have these conversations, leading by example, and teaching as we go.
Open a Savings Account for Her
Learning to actually save money is probably one of the most challenging lessons for people, so why not introduce the idea from an early age? A savings account is a great way to help make your daughter’s funds feel more “official”, while also relaying the message that you are confident in her ability to understand and manage money. In the beginning, before she has a job or other reliable income, this may just be a place for your daughter to save gifts or allowances she receives over the years. That’s okay! This is an account designed to grow as she does, providing a safe place for her money, allowing her a sense of independence and self-reliance.
Teach Her to Challenge Gender Stereotypes
While it might seem easy to get caught in the societal trap of perceived gender roles, using phrases like “girl chores” and “boy toys” around your daughters can cause significantly more harm than you might believe. Think about the message you’re sending before you make comments relating to gender, and consider the way it may make your daughter think and feel.
Instead of simply going with what society has always done, encouraging girls to only nurture baby dolls, dress up in princess dresses, and practice their makeup, make the effort to also surround her with STEM games and financial decisions. Discuss gender roles, and how you see them in the world and on TV. Assure that she is having conversations with male and female role models about money being a shared resource and how everyone can contribute equally. Make sure the conversation always stays open so she knows that she can come to you with any concerns.
Surround Her with Empowered Women
There are so many women out there who are doing some amazing things for the world. Make it a point to expose your daughter to them. Place lots of focus on reading books with a strong female character and consciously choose movies with an independent girl lead. Show her all the different roles, careers, and titles that can be held by other women.
By giving your daughter a larger number of women to relate with and look up to, you are only improving her own self-worth and confidence.
…make the intentional decision to open up and have these conversations, leading by example, and teaching as we go.
Talk With Her about Money
Personal finance can be a touchy and stressful topic for many people to discuss, so it’s no wonder parents naturally feel inclined to shelter their children from the discussion. However, this is probably one of the biggest disservices we can be doing for our daughters, as it is a parent’s job to prepare her to deal with money.
Of course, there is no reason for your daughter to feel anxiety or any other negative emotion surrounding money, so your discussions should mostly highlight topics like the importance of having an emergency fund, preparing for job loss, and talking about where money actually comes from. Many experts are even beginning to agree that there is no age too early to begin talking with our daughters about money and preparing them to make it.
History has taught us that shying away from the tough topics does nothing to solve them, and the same can be said when it comes to the inequality that women face financially. If we want tomorrow’s women to know their self-worth and create their own financial independence, we must not be afraid to have these conversations with even the youngest of them. Don’t ignore the value behind being honest with your daughters about financial successes and insecurities, and always remember that it takes a village of strong, powerful, financially independent women to raise one.
…there is no age too early to begin talking with our daughters about money and preparing them to make it.