Women and Money: Top 10 Things That Really Upset Me

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Audio Women and Money Top 10 Things

For ten years now, I’ve studied women and money … and how they interact with one another.

I’ve watched, interviewed and coached women around their money.  And I was recently asked to come up with a list of the ten things that most upset me about how women deal with their money … things that I have a solution for.

Here they are … in no particular order:

1.    Women who jump into an entrepreneurial venture before they have clarity of what they need financially, how to get it and how to measure if they’re succeeding or not.

2.    Women who make really good money, blow it because they’re clueless (or in denial) about how money works and then complain that they’re terrified about retirement.

3.    Women who use credit cards like they’re real money, then find themselves mired in debt and facing disastrous choices (foreclosure, bankruptcy, etc.)

4.    Women who think they are entitled to a certain lifestyle, but never equate it with the personal responsibility that comes with affording it.

5.    Women who complain about others who have money … who think money is dirty … and who play the victim.

6.    Women who are afraid to do things differently, staying stuck in “this is how we always did it,” especially when that way is disempowering.

7.    Women who assume they are somehow second class citizens and don’t deserve to earn what men earn … or to thrive like men thrive.

8.    Women who let their husbands handle the money because “it’s a man’s job” and then are devastated when something happens.

9.    Women who assume a coach of some kind is going to find what motivates them and lead them to a million dollars … taking no personal responsibility for the process.

10.    Women who put themselves last on the list after their husbands, children and other family members; not only do they never nurture themselves, they never make any arrangements to be financially secure.

And then I have a BONUS:  Here’s one that shouldn’t even exist any longer … but that does:

11.    Women who think Prince Charming is still going to come along and save them.

As you look at this list, can you think of anyone who falls under any of the descriptions?  If you can, what if you pulled that person aside and gently tried to point out the dangers of that thinking?

Let me know in the Comments section below if you can think of any other money behaviors that you find worrisome or upsetting.  I’d love to hear them!


Bio: Sharon O’Day combines a long, successful career in international trade development an MBA from the Wharton School and a lifetime of personal peaks and valleys to be an effective tell-it-like-it-is money mentor to women who are willing to do what it takes to be financially secure for the rest of their lives!

  • Paula Frate

    These are so poignant and I find myself still struggling with several of these though, happily, I’ve also overcome more than one or two.

    • Commend yourself for overcoming “more than one or two,” Paula. Then keep chipping away at the next one that feels as if it’s tripping you up the most. You’ll get there!

  • Barbara Becker

    Thank you Sharon. Changing our perspective about money and remembering our Creator is providing everything for us facilitates our abundance. We just need to take action and engage.

    • Action and engagement are key, as you say, Barbara. Otherwise it’s just fantasy!

  • WOW! That’s a long list and I’m sure more could be added. I do know one woman in particular who could use a little help … I have gently offered …she says she’s not ready. BTW – I like #10 ” Women who think Prince Charming is still going to come along and save them.” LOL! Thank you, Sharon, for such a great post.

    • Stay by her side and continue to offer your guidance, Alexandra. Money plays such a fundamental role in our lives and can be devastating if wrapped in unhealthy beliefs … regardless how smart we might be.

  • Gina Senarighi

    Great list, but I think it applies just as much to men!

    • Many of them do apply as well to men, Gina, but some are more typical in women as a result of how we were raised around money. (Can you accept that few men are waiting around to be saved by Prince Charming, for example?) I’d like to believe that all the negative messages are diluting with each generation, regardless of gender, but I believe there’s still a long way to go.

  • Great list, Sharon. I think of one that I often hear. “Woman who say they cannot afford to take care of their own health. What do they have if they lose their health?”

    • You’re so right, Pat! I know that in my books that’s right at the top of the list. As you say, without that you’ve got nothing …

  • What a great list! I’d love to copy it and hand it out at the next women’s club meeting! Certainly is a wakeup call to all.

    • Feel free to, Barbara. Whatever we can do to move women forward in terms of taking control of finances, let’s do it!

  • Cathy Taughinbaugh

    Great list here. It is an trap that many fall into and great that you are making us aware of what not to do. It is always a needed reminder. Thanks for sharing.

  • Shari

    Great list, Sharon. I’m still guilty of one or two of these, I think. I needed a firm but kind reminder like this. Thanks!

    • Happy to be your “reminder,” Shari. The faster you become fully aware of the implications of these mindsets, the faster you can get yourself beyond them and headed towards financial peace of mind!

  • You know I love this one! I thought my husband was Prince Charming and that #4 applied for the LONGEST time! Unfortunately, I had to learn to accept that I was in charge of my OWN money decisions! LOL And, I can’t leave a comment without saying, as a coach, that I’ve listened to many complain about not getting results, when in fact they didn’t do one thing I suggested! LOL I don’t work with people like that any more 🙂

    • I all comes down to personal responsibility, doesn’t it, Martha? Whether it’s you basking in the “myth” of #4 … or your clients who expect things to change without them changing … 😉 Glad to hear you’ve move beyond that!

  • This is a great message…I am hoping that I did enough planning before I jumped into opening my new shop! Reading that one gave me a start : D…

    • I hope so, too, Elizabeth. But if you’re at all concerned, do yourself a favor: set aside a little time to get real clear on the numbers and shore up whatever you need to while it’s still easy to do! What many don’t realize is that the consequences of our decisions are reparable early on, but they take on a life of their own … like a snowball rolling downhill … the further along we go.

  • “Use credit cards like they’re real money” Been there, done that… learned the lesson. NEVER doing that again! Now debt-free, it’s the way to live… 🙂

  • Meryl Beck

    What an excellent list of faux pas that women can fall into if they have not been taught how to handle money. This list is a “must share”!

    • Thanks for sharing it, Meryl! I’ve pushed on many fronts to get this article out … something tells me it’s a list that can shake up some thinking for more than a few women … 😉

  • Brilliant!! That list really hits the nail on the head…especially the bonus one. There is no Prince Charming. Personal responsibility is the ticket!

  • What an excellent message Sharon. I know that in the past I have been guilty of several of these, especially using a credit card without thinking about how I was going to pay it off at the end of the month. Thankfully I now have a clearer head when it comes to finances and can relate to the message that shouts to me from your post – my money is my responsibility.
    Thank you Sharon!

    • I’ve never understood women who think that taking responsibility for their money is something heavy and dreary. It’s one of the most liberating things I know! Right, Carolyn? 😉

  • Excellent post Sharon and true to a fault for some women. I too have been guilty of some of these. I will be sharing!

    • Thanks, Anita, for sharing this with whoever you can. I always feel good about what I write … and do it with as much heart as I can. But this list feels special somehow.

  • Lisa Frederiksen

    I bet working with you is so empowering – great list, here, Sharon, and thanks for sharing. Loved #11 – so scary it still exists – but as you write, it does!

  • daniele holmberg

    This is a great list! I have seen so many people do the things on this list which is part of why I am always striving to save money and find the best deals..so I will not be in the situation above.:)

    • I love all the cost-saving deals you find, Daniele! The best thing is when you can take whatever you save and put it aside so it’s growing over the years, in some kind of investment that you’re comfortable with.

  • I see my face on you list LOL I love to stop by and see what you have to talk about each week to get me moving toward better money management.

    • Elizabeth, are you doing it by osmosis? 😉 The funny thing is that I have long-time readers who one day woke up to realize they had actually changed lots of habits … little by little … just by thinking about (and subconsciously doing) what they read!

  • Another Brilliant Post… And Soo True…

  • Lynn O’Connell

    Such important information. When my father-in-law had a stroke, I was shocked to learn that my mother-in-law had absolutely no idea how much money they had or even whether the house was in her name. Fortunately, it was and was the ONLY source of funds and we were able to sell the house before the market crashed. Otherwise, she would have been destitute in her sixties.

    • Lynn, I hear similar stories all the time. In fact, it’s why I do what I do. I watched women in my mother’s generation hand over all power and control … and more often than not they paid the price. Now I’m watching the same with my generation. I want to open as many eyes as I can!

  • Excellent list of information here Sharon – I can think of someone for each of these!

    • Hope you’re sharing it with them, Moira! Discretely, of course. 😉

  • MamaRed

    Dang…guilty of most of them (some more than once…blush)

    • From your take-charge nature today, MamaRed, I would guess that you’ve shed many and are maybe dealing with remnants of others. For your entrepreneurial efforts to really take root and thrive, getting these “gremlins” under control is right up there at the top of our priorities …