When we launched our Iconic Women program, one of the most frequent requests we received was for more conversations about money, which I was thrilled about.
I’ve often spoken about the importance of knowing your numbers from a business perspective, but it’s just as important to know your personal financial numbers.
Women in particular face different financial drivers at different stages of their lives, and conversations which include good factual information around this provide an avenue to assist in good decision making. The better informed you are about your money and your options, the better your ability to make the decisions which can help secure a financial future which enables you to live the life you want to live, both now and in the future.
With this in mind we recently partnered with Commonwealth Bank to run a financial well being seminar, which touched on the personal financial drivers, opportunities and challenges that we all encounter throughout the different stages of our careers and lives. Our Iconic Women were encouraged to attend either in person or via the livestream, and we also had a good number of our Iconic Men not only applying the learnings to their own circumstances, but gaining a deeper understanding of some of the challenges that the women they work with can encounter.
Sharing stories and asking questions about the financial ramifications of everything from relationship breakdowns, to taking time out of the workforce for family commitments, to managing educational debt ensured that the conversation literally had something for everyone, and I am so deeply appreciative of the honesty and openness that created so much value for those who were there, both physically and virtually. All of our #BeIconic values of Energy, Innovation, Connect, On-Purpose and Nuture were on display, not only on the night but in the conversations that have continued on since then.
The seminar provided a great and really tangible illustration of the importance of talking about money, and why we need to keep these conversations going. There’s a myriad of ways we can do this, from sharing those money hacks we’ve discovered during workplace water cooler conversations, sitting down with our families and talking about what our goals are and how we can achieve them together, to getting formal financial advice.
There are also lots of resources available in a wide range of formats. Fellow Business Chicks member Melissa Browne is a big believer in the need for women to lift their game when it comes to talking about money, and has started a podcast to provide a platform for doing just that. I had the opportunity to chat with Melissa recently, and if you want to hear that conversation you can download our chat here.
Who are you talking about your money with? Do you know what you’ve got and where it is, and do you know how much you’ll need to fund the lifestyle you want both now and in the future, and if your current pathway is going to deliver the result you need? If it’s not, do you know what you can or need to do to change that? If you’re not having these kind of conversations then it’s time to start having them.
We saw first hand the other night the value of sharing our stories and our money life hacks, and I’m sure the conversations we had together have already resulted in positive actions. We had great illustrations of how small actions like an email to payroll to ask them to up your super contribution by the value of the couple of cups of coffee per week you’ve decided to forgo, or a phone call to your super fund to query what services you’re actually getting for the fees they are charging, can add up to create significant value.
Women are great at having open conversations about the challenges we face with family, work and life in general. Let’s make a conscious decision to expand that range of topics to also include money, and we’ll all be better off as a result.