Daring To Be Ourselves… Financially
By Manisha Thakor
Do you have enough money?
Last week I wrote about the high cost to women of not speaking up for ourselves financially in the workplace. One statistic from that piece keeps floating through my head like the Goodyear blimp: Women who consistently negotiate their salaries throughout their careers earn $1 million more over their work lives than women who do not.
This struck me for two reasons. First, during my 15 years in corporate America I never once asked for a raise. Why? When I'm 100% honest with myself it's that I was afraid to "Just Do It" as the Nike commercial says. I didn't want to sound pushy, greedy, or heaven forbid: "Not. Nice." Second, 57 women were kind enough to take a short survey I put together about their feelings around money. By far the number one phrase that popped up was "not enough money." Some of it was frustration about not having enough money right now due to job loss, health issues, lack of understanding about personal finance and/or poor spending habits. Some of it was fear around not having enough money in retirement. But over and over that same phrase, "not enough money," kept coming up. So I asked myself to what degree our fear about not having enough money and ending up old and poor can be transformed by our own actions.
For inspiration, I decided to turn to Feminist.com founder Marianne Schnall's inspiring new book, Daring To Be Ourselves: influential women share insights on courage, happiness and finding your own voice. Schnall's book is a delightful compendium of quotes from women ranging from Maya Angelou to Madeleine Albright to Margaret Cho. While these insights extend to broader issues, I find that they can also be applied to money. For example, if you are feeling like you don't have "enough money" and that the root cause might be that you are not speaking up in the workplace and/or daring to be yourself financially, here are a few of my favorite abbreviated snippets from Daring To Be Ourselves to use as money mantras:
"… no matter how hard it is to do it, it's harder not to do it. Then you're stuck with wondering, 'What if I had said…?' 'What if I had done…?' –Gloria Steinem
"Get over the feeling that the two words don't go together – women and power… We have to own our personal power…" – Jane Fonda
"Stop living your life as if you're going to be rescued… and you will transform whatever pain is inside you. " -Eve Ensler
What about you – do you have any money mantras that help you speak up and own your financial power?
Want more financial love? You can follow Manisha on Twitter at @ManishaThakor, sign up to get her email updates delivered right to your inbox here, and enroll in her innovative new online personal finance course called “Money Rules.” Founder of the Women’s Financial Literacy Initiative, Manisha can be reached via her website: http://www.ManishaThakor.com.