Even if you’re really confident in one part of your life, it doesn’t mean you’ll feel the same about your finances. And when it comes to matters of money, women often don’t feel as confident as men, even if they’re very competent. By not acting, you could be affecting your financial future negatively. 

If you’d like to know more about this phenomenon, check out the book, The Confidence Code. The authors make a compelling case that while women are exceedingly competent when it comes to many areas in life, including finance, they’re not always as confident as they need to be.

Another book I highly recommend is Women Don’t Ask. In this book, the authors reveal that of the business grads coming out of school today, on average only 7% of female students had negotiated their starting salary. But 57%―nearly eight times as many―of the men had asked for more money. The authors cite a study that by not negotiating her first salary, a woman can leave over a million dollars on the table over her working lifetime―by just not asking for more.

It helps to understand a nuanced term: “self-efficacy”. It’s slightly different than self-confidence. It’s your belief in your ability to succeed at something. And when it’s low, we don’t even jump in the ring because we can feel overwhelmed and confused about where to start. 

A reader recently reached out to me over email and told me that she was a super confident woman in many areas of her life. She was a professional and had even taken the Canadian Securities Course in her early twenties so she would have a solid understanding of investments and the markets. Yet she confided to me that she gave the financial controls totally over to her husband during their entire marriage. Today, over 30 years later, she’s getting a divorce and is taking comfort in the fact that her self-efficacy can be built up, and with relatively easy steps.

Once you put one foot in front of the other, before long, you have a solid path that can help you reach your financial goals.

Check out Build your money confidence for simple steps you can take to increase your own confidence and self-efficacy.

To find a Certified Financial Planner® professional in your area that will help guide you financially, use our Find Your Planner tool.

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For more on taking control of your finances, watch Women and financial planners and read Finding your financial planner and To realize your dreams faster, act now.