Understanding the role of money and how to use it wisely and with purpose are essential skills. Too often, women aren’t included often or soon enough into these conversations either at home or at school, leaving them at a disadvantage. We spoke to a financial expert to better understand how to prepare girls for a life of financial empowerment.
An interview with Jules Miller,
LunaCap Ventures, New York, NY, USA
Sometimes girls are left out of financial conversations and don’t fully-understand basic terms (i.e., budget, debt, savings, etc.) and the value of money in their lives. Why do you think this is?
Most kids start learning about money from their parents. Those parents might have some conscious or unconscious bias around gender roles as it relates to money, but they also are great at responding to what their children like and are good at. When girls express an interest in math, finances or investing and ask questions about these topics, parents will usually respond positively and have these conversations with their kids, regardless of gender. This curiosity should be cultivated and encouraged by schools and reinforced at home.
How and when would you start this conversation to help girls grow into financially aware and empowered adults?
As soon as possible! A tried-and-tested early way to start this conversation is having an allowance for chores. This teaches kids about the value of money early on, and provides many opportunities for deeper conversations. Also, women control 80% of household spending, so getting young girls involved in that process is a really positive place to start the conversation.
Sometimes teenage girls think that buying more things will make them happy and improve their status among their friends. What is the role of money beyond status and what advice would you give to help girls develop a healthy relationship with money?
Money can buy a lot of things – status is one of them (unfortunately). But this is dangerous if you don’t understand the value of money. Get back to basics first, then if you want to buy something nice as a reward for hard work or another success, you know exactly the trade-offs. To help, I would strongly advise starting a personal investment portfolio as a teenager and use it as a fun activity to do with your parents. You don’t need a lot of money to get started and you’ll have a blast doing it!
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received about money?
Track everything you spend. You’ll learn a lot about money, business and yourself.
Tips and tricks:
- Buy nice things only as a reward for hard work and personal success
- Start a personal investment portfolio as a fun activity to do with your parents.
You don’t need a lot of money to get started and you’ll have a blast doing it!
- Track everything you spend. You’ll learn a lot about money, business and yourself