Show of hands: who else has been given the advice that they could afford a house if they just stopped buying so many lattes? Not only is this incorrect on a variety of levels, it’s also incredibly patronizing. And unfortunately, that’s what a lot of the financial advice for women looks like. No wonder 61 percent of women would rather talk about the details of their death than their money. The patronizing “tips” and stereotypes that we constantly encounter—like, for instance, women are bad at math—breed confusion and shame and send the message that finance is a masculine concern.
Here’s the thing, though—women are actually better investors than men (yep, it’s science). Yet significantly fewer women than men invest. That’s just one of many reasons why normalizing conversations about money, and educating ourselves about finance, is so important.
In that vein, we asked Haley Sacks, the founder and brains behind @mrsdowjones, to tell us which common financial tips she thinks are BS. Read them below and find out what to do instead.
1. You need a lot of money to start investing
“When people say you need lots of money to get started investing, I want to have a stern talking with them! We need to encourage women to invest early, often, and with whatever extra money they have so that they get into the routine of putting surplus cash into the market. Remember—investing is a habit, not a one-time thing. As you earn and save more money, the number you invest will increase. But honey—even if it’s $20 right now—just get started! I am releasing my investing course in June, see you there!”
2. Buying coffee will make you broke
“Suze Orman famously said that buying $100 of coffee every month is ‘peeing money down the drain’ (lol). And frankly, I disagree. (*Sips store-bought matcha latte.*) There’s no right or wrong way to spend your money! I would rather see you spend intentionally on things that have value to you (we call this value-based spending) and mercilessly cut out the things that don’t than restrict yourself by arbitrary outdated rules—like not buying coffee—that make you miserable in your life. So basically, if a purchase adds value to your life and is important to you, go for it! As long as it fits within your budget and you’re consciously cutting out other things that don’t matter as much. Be conscious, not rule-driven.”
“Your credit score=your financial GPA! It tells lenders if you’re financially responsible. So if you want to rent a house or lease a car, etc., you have to have a good one. That’s why, when I hear people say credit cards are evil, I want to snap my fingers in their face and say, ‘Oh no you didn’t!’ If you’re new to the credit card scene and concerned you may go overboard with your spending, might I suggest starting with one that has a low limit?”
Up next, be the first to know our weekly content and sign up for our Poosh newsletter.