It's 2007. The 21st century. But some things haven't changed.
No, I'm not talking about the fact that we don't yet have flying cars, although I'm still upset about that. I'm talking about gender and money.
Now my regular readers know that I try to avoid stereotyping. Such generalized conclusions are often wrong, frequently embarrassingly and most of the time do little to further rational conversation.
Sometimes, though, it can be useful to examine trends.
Take the workplace, for example. Working outside the home is now no big deal for women. But in my lifetime -- and I am not that old! -- such an option wasn't that typical, especially if you wanted to do something other than a "traditional" job for women. Do y'all watch AMC's Mad Men? That show's portrayal of the very different lives of men and women in the early '60s is simultaneously fascinating and horrifying.
Back here in the real world, circa late 2007, the employment options are, thankfully, much, much better. But while there are more women in more types of jobs, we still generally earn less than our male office counterparts. Which is just one of the reasons that women need to be more money conscious.
Add to that the statistical reality that women usually outlive men; insert your own joke about how we drive you guys into early graves. That means that many women who do share finances with a man for a while will eventually end up handling their money solo.
We can't forget the single women (never married or divorced) and women-only relationships. All of my fellow females (oxymoron? sexist phrasing?) in these situations are in total charge of their own money.
Where are the money chicks? So why, asked Nina the other day over at BlogHer, are there so few women in the list of top 100 personal finance blogs assembled by FIRE Finance? You remember that analysis; I happened to make the top 20 in two of the quantification models.
First a caveat. You can parse numbers from sunup to sundown and come up with ratings and rankings. And you can argue about the validity of those figures even longer. But out of 100 personal finance blogs, you'd think more than a handful would be authored by women.
Money is money, whether its owner stashes it in a designer handbag, a wallet or simply stuffs in a pocket.
However, that said, and despite my previously stated aversion to stereotyping, I do believe there are gender differences in how women and men approach finances. And those differences might account somewhat for the relatively limited female presence in FIRE's list.
Even today, some gender-specific societal expectations manage to persist. That's a topic for a whole 'nother set of blogs. But perhaps some of these antiquated ways are partly behind a trend I've noticed. That is, a lot of women take a more "supportive" fiscal approach, focusing on money maintenance, holding on to what they have, instead of taking steps to advance it.
We need to get over that right now and get more aggressive when it comes to money -- making it, saving it, investing it.
The go-for-it approach seems to be more typical of male financial bloggers. Men, at least in my anecdotal observations, are more apt to be risk takers with their money. They embrace the idea that to make more money you sometimes have to take some financial risks with what you've got.
And maybe that trait means guys are more inclined than women to leap into the financial blogosphere and share their ideas on money management.
Now I admitted a few days ago to being a conservative investor. But that's relatively speaking. I am at least in the stock market. I know so many women who are content to rely on CDs, with their only equity exposure through their company retirement plan. That's not going to help them accumulate any wealth. Heck, it might not even help them beat inflation!
I would love to see all of us women stretch our money comfort level a bit. And I definitely would love to see more of us blogging about it.
Girl money power: I encourage you to read Nina's post at BlogHer, as well as the comments it generated. She notes the other women PF bloggers who made the top 100 list and lists some others she recommends.
Nina was much too modest -- maybe that's another reason there aren't more women touting our financial prowess -- to list Queercents, which she founded. You'll also find fellow tax blogger Allison there, as well as several other female contributors.
I want to point out a few more women-helmed, financially oriented blogs that I particularly enjoy:
And, to make sure that the guys know I still like y'all, too, here's an item from a male PF blogger, I Will Teach You to Be Rich, on his survey and its revelation of "13 stunning differences in how men and women think about money."