Women and Finance: How We’re Fighting the Money Myths About Us

The rumors you've heard about women and money aren't true.

Ladies, we’ve been getting a bad rap on how we manage our money, and you know what? It makes me really mad. We’re mistaken for shopaholics. We’re mocked for shying away from investing. We earn less than men, and the rest of the world thinks we like it. That’s insane.

The first time I negotiated my salary, I was terrified. I was so worried they’d say no and give the job to someone else. But you know what? I found the courage to ask and got half the money I asked for. Total win-win? Maybe not, but it was a huge win for self-esteem and for women in general. Now I’ve learned to ask for what I’m worth. I deserve it — and so do you. It’s time we take back our money and crush the money myths about us.

Read: When It Comes to Finances, What Makes Women Feel Most Confident?

Let’s take a look at the money myths against women and how we’re fighting back against them.

Money Myth #1: Women Are Shopaholics and That’s Why They Can’t Save

No, no, no. The truth is women make less money than men, which equals less money to dedicate to their savings.

The gender pay gap needs to be over — like gross fanny pack over — and women need to get their due. Fortunately, thanks to amazing women like Sallie Krawcheck, CEO & co-founder of Ellevest; Farnoosh Torabi, Personal Finance Expert and Amanda Steinberg, Founder of DailyWorth, we’re kicking butt and throwing this money myth to the curb. These women are not only helping to educate women on their finances, they’re working to dispel the myths and inspire women to speak up for higher pay.

“We won’t have true equality until we have financial equality,” said Krawcheck.

Money Myth #2: Women Have No Idea How to Invest Money and Are Afraid to Take a Risk

Nope, not true — women are actually better investors. Why? Well, they’re more risk-aware, less likely to panic because they build more diverse portfolios and they don’t trade as often. Data from Fidelity Investments confirms this, stating that women not only save more than men by 0.4 percent, but their investments also earn more by 0.4 percent. While that number might seem small, a female investor starting at 22 years old and a $50,000 annual salary, can outpace her male counterpart by more than $250,000 over a lifetime. Take that, boys.

Personally, I’ve been a DIY investor since age 16, always contributed to my Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) and 401k and have never been afraid to take a risk. Because of those factors, I’ve built a nice little nest egg. The biggest contributor to my success? Never be afraid to ask questions or to learn new things.

Money Myth #3: Women Need More Help Than Men Do With Money Because They’re Awful at Math

No way. Just because you loathed algebra and found no practical use for it doesn’t mean you’re bad at math. In fact, research shows that girls get better grades than boys in all areas of school, including math. Women are just as good at math and budgeting as men are. Case in point, I was awful at math as a child, but through discipline and practice, I mastered economics and accounting at the college level — straight As. So never let society’s messaging make you believe you can’t do something.

Money myths like the ones above keep women from being fully in control of their money. It fosters imposter syndrome — meaning people think they’re not good enough and never will be. Women need to fight back, speak up and own their finances.

Have you had a money myth thrown your way? Speak up and share your story.

Click here to read more about one woman’s takeaways from the male-dominated world of finance.