VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Despite more and more Canadian women entering the work-force or running a household, a new survey finds they lag behind in financial literacy.
The Financial Planning Standards Council surveyed 1,000 women and found 86 per cent of them have at least one struggle when it comes to their finances.
“Women really have a long way to go in terms of their comfort and their understanding with regards to financial matters,” Kelley Keehn with the council said, adding FPSC didn’t expect such high numbers. “Some of those standout struggles were how many women felt uncomfortable negotiating a better interest rate… over half not having a written financial plant… 42 per cent didn’t know their credit score.”
Of the women surveyed, 38 per cent said they know very little about finance and investment while 28 per cent are financially dependent on a partner or someone else and get another to do their finances.
While the study did not examine the reasons women are falling behind, Keehn points to key social expectation which may limit time for them to learn including earning less than men, taking time off or leaving the workforce to care for a child or loved one and bearing the brunt of household chores.
“All of that certainly is stacked against a lot of women saying from they just don’t have time to build that financial foundation and educate themselves as much as they could,” she said. “Unfortunately it’s not until something happens, that spouse passes away, they have a divorce or they realize they need to get their credit score up to buy a home or start a business.”
Despite busy schedules, Keehn encourages women to take it upon themselves and learn. Her three pieces of advice are for women to seek professional advice, start a money group with friends and taking a couple minutes every day to learn the basics or a new financial term.