Don’t Believe The Money Lies

By Sallie Krawcheck

Think you’re bad with money?

There’s a reason for that. You’ve been told you’re bad with money. Or you read the bat signals our society consistently sends out that make you think you’re bad with money.

Maybe you grew up in a household where, as is often the case, your dad took the lead in investing and your mom was more of the grocery shopper and budgeter. (Your mom’s hardly alone; 56% of married women leave investment planning to their husbands, and 85% of those women believe their spouses know more about financial matters.)

And maybe you internalized those gender roles around money.

Maybe you read articles about money aimed at women. And 90% of those articles focused on telling you to spend less money. (“Never mind the gender pay gap ... you just need to stop buying that latte … yeah, that’s the ticket,” they say.) And 65% of them had a negative tone, such as “how hard financial planning is.”

And maybe you internalized that.

(Articles for men? 73% of them focused on investing and building wealth.)

For women, money is portrayed as scarcity and preservation. For men, It’s abundance and growth.


Or maybe you went to a school in which boys received better grades in math than girls. For the same answers.

And maybe you internalized that. So now maybe you think you’re “better with words.” Recently a young woman — a new college graduate, who earned herself a degree from an Ivy League school, no less — told me she was bad with money because she got A’s in English and history but a B+ in math.

Girl, you’re good at math. And you’re good with money.

A confession: It took me more years than I want to admit to realize that models in magazines were airbrushed. I believed their skin was completely poreless. And so I felt bad about my own visible pores.

The messages we receive from society around money paint a picture for us that isn’t true and that can be — no, that is — harmful. And in many ways, it can be worse than the search for physical perfection, because these misperceptions about our ability to manage money can hold us back from investing, from asking for the raise, from building a budget that works for us. And the ripple effects can last into the rest of our lives.

It can be hard to ignore societal messages that come at you from all directions. But repeat after me: I’m good with money.

Sallie Krawcheck Signature


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Sallie Krawcheck

Sallie Krawcheck is the Founder & CEO of Ellevest.