By: Jamie Burton
Holiday spirit is in the air as we approach the Thanksgiving and Christmas season. This is easily one of my favorite times of the year; everyone can reflect on what they are thankful for and spend time with family and friends. Despite these great parts of the season, for some people it’s the most stressful time of the year.
For many families, this season of giving has become a season of compulsive spending. Oftentimes, we can feel like a practical gift is not the norm. Everyone wants to get the biggest and best for their loved ones, and these gifts add up quickly!
My female friends, if you are in a relationship, I think the best gift you can give your loved one is your time! I don’t think your partner in life would turn down the opportunity to sit down and talk with you about your finances and money goals. Set a date on the calendar and make it special. This can be a time to dream together about how you two might save and invest so you can spend on something meaningful-even if that means a little delayed gratification.
Buying gifts for our kids can be even harder, because they only want the newest and shiniest toys. We tend to buy these gifts for the kids only for them to be forgotten about as soon as they lose interest. Instead, I would recommend giving your kids an experience. Figure out something fun you could take them to do, like a day-trip, a concert or a sports game. If you have more than one child, make it a one-on-one experience for each; they will have that memory for a lifetime. An experience with their parents won’t be tossed away like this year’s flashy toy.
To be honest though, I don’t think that most of you will heed my advice. Why? Fidelity found in a study that 8 in 10 women avoid financial conversations because they are “too personal” or “uncomfortable”. Less than half of women in this survey (47 percent) say they’d be comfortable talking about money and investments with a financial professional.
We are finding in the financial services industry that women tend to be very disconnected when thinking about their financial future. Women may be focusing on short-term goals at the expense of retirement-one of the biggest financial demands they will face. Why? Because it is less scary to think about, but more importantly because the financial services industry has catered to men, historically. In the past, men were the only ones in the house that handled the money.
Times have changed, and it’s time for women to take charge of their finances. It’s time to talk about planning in a way that will allow us to enjoy today while also looking ahead. As women, we can’t turn our heads any longer and hope that this problem goes away. The reality is that women are living longer and longer, usually outliving our spouses.
According to the same Fidelity survey, nearly all women said they want to learn more about financial planning and get more involved with their finances in the next year. The desire is there, and I want to help meet that need. My hope is that I can fill that gap by educating people about finance and building their confidence moving forward. If you want to spend more wisely this holiday season for merrier holidays down the line, don’t hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Disclaimer: Do not construe anything written in this post or this blog in its entirety as a recommendation, research, or an offer to buy or sell any securities. Everything in this post is meant for educational and entertainment purposes only. I or my affiliates may hold positions in securities mentioned in the blog. Please see our Disclosure page for the full disclaimer.