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 Women's Financial Literacy Initiative founder, Manisha Thakor, on Twitter at @ManishaThakor or on Facebook at /ManishaThakor.

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Manisha Thakor

From Manisha's linkedin profile page:

Manisha Thakor is the Director of Wealth Strategies for Women at Buckingham Strategic Wealth and The BAM Alliance. 

Manisha and her colleagues provide both evidence-based wealth advisory services for high-net-worth households and core asset management solutions for women and families nationwide with $80,000 or more in investible assets. 

An ardent financial literacy advocate for women, Manisha is the co-author of two critically acclaimed personal finance books: ON MY OWN TWO FEET: a modern girl’s guide to personal finance and GET FINANCIALLY NAKED: how to talk money with your honey. She is on Faculty at The Omega Institute and serves as a Financial Fellow at Wellesley College. Manisha is also a member of The Wall Street Journal’s Wealth Experts Panel, a member of the 2015 CNBC Financial Advisor’s Council, and wearing her financial educator’s hat serves as a part of TIAA-CREF’s Women’s Initiative. 

Manisha's financial advice has been featured in a wide range of national media outlets including CNN, PBS, NPR, The Today Show, Rachel Ray, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The LA Times, Real Simple, Women’s Day, Glamour, Essence, and MORE magazine.

Prior to joining the Buckingham team, Manisha spent over twenty years working in financial services. On the institutional side she worked as an analyst, portfolio manager and client relations executive at SG Warburg, Atalanta/Sosnoff Capital, Fayez Sarofim & Co., and Sands Capital Management. After this she moved to the retail side and ran her own independent registered investment advisory firm, MoneyZen Wealth Management. 

Manisha earned her MBA from Harvard Business School in 1997, her BA from Wellesley College in 1992 and is a CFA charterholder. She lives in Portland, OR where she delights in the amazing Third Wave coffee scene and stunning natural beauty of the Pacific NorthWest. Manisha’s website is MoneyZen.com.