Women & Money: 3 Common Mistakes

Can’t figure out why you’re making the same financial mistakes? It may have something to do with your gender. Studies show that — more often than men — women sometimes think and act in ways that can translate into serious money mistakes.

Guilt-Driven Decisions

While making strides in the financial world, our tendency to feel guilty can sometimes interfere with success. A Spanish study found that women harbor more guilt than men. The reason? Genetics. In “The Essential Difference,” the author describes the female brain as “predominately hard-wired for empathy,” while “the male brain is predominately hard-wired for understanding and building systems.”

This guilt can restrain us from rational thinking and it may be why we’re twice as likely to hide purchases from our spouses than men.

A separate study by BabyCenter.com discovered a whopping 94% of moms admit to parenting-related guilt, which can carry its own set of consequences like quitting our careers to be at home and neglecting the long-term financial trade-offs. Or, showering our children with extra gifts.

Failing to Outsource

As women many of us strive towards the somewhat controversial pursuit of “having it all.” That can be a lot of pressure since that message sometimes get confused with “doing it all.” Men are helping out a lot more these days, yes, but women still do most of the cleaning, cooking and child rearing, and this extra work carries an immeasurable price: stress, especially for working moms.

Also See: 3 Things Keeping You in Debt

While outsourcing chores can seem expensive, it may actually be well worth the time and money. Consider this quick math: Take your income – let’s say $50,000 – and chop off the last 3 zeros and divide by 2. This roughly gives you your personal hourly rate. In this case: $25. If a cleaner costs less than $25 per hour then outsourcing makes sense since your time is more valuable. Check out national sites like TaskRabbit.com, FancyHands.com and BidMyCleaning.com for affordable outsourcing solutions.

Also See: Signs You Suffer From a Financial Disorder

Putting Others Before Ourselves

An especially female trait that can sometimes lead to financial missteps is putting others ahead of ourselves. In fact one study found that women were twice as likely as men to commit financial sacrifices like neglecting saving for their personal retirement in order to provide aid to adult children and aging parents.

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