‘It is high time women thought more about money’

Women have a talent for money matters, but they leave it too easily to others. Or they think it’s coming tomorrow. Erica Verdegaal wrote a striking column for Financieele Dagblad, in which she emphatically encourages women to dive into their pension and other money matters. And why should more women not invest in stocks? Her main point is that women need to put money aside for themselves. It makes you confident and gives you freedom.

About ABP Reality Check, economist Erica Verdegaal says the campaign helps make women aware of their choices when it comes to money matters. ‘It’s great that an e-learning program is attached to it to make it clear to women how they can organize their finances better.’

‘It is high time women thought more about money’

Interest in money matters was aroused early

Erica Verdegaal comes from an entrepreneurial family, and therefore it was very common in this country to talk about money. She studied economics and received an inheritance when she was 21. This taught her to make clear choices about her finances. Her interest in money matters was aroused. More than 25 years ago, she began writing about ‘all about money’ with the aim of making others – young and old – aware of their choices and the possible consequences of those choices. She writes about buying a home, saving, investing, financial education of children (the importance of this), and she gives tips on how to save.

Track revenue and expenses

A whole stack of her books has now been published and she also writes for media outlets like Margriet and FD. Her latest book (with co-author Marieke Henselmans) is entitled: Crisis. What to do? The reason is the pandemic and the consequences this may have for our wallets: So how do we stay financially healthy in this economically and socially difficult period. ‘You do not need complicated programs. By writing down your income and expenses for a month, you develop a good sense of what is possible. Like in the 50s of last century, when women often kept a cash book. It’s so simple and provides a lot of insight so quickly. They should do it again now. It makes you more relaxed and happier. ‘

You write in your column that women are clearly less interested in money matters than men. What is the reason?

‘It’s a cultural issue. Women work more part-time than men and therefore have fewer paid hours. This means that they have less income and less pension earnings. Younger generations of women work longer than older generations of women. It will make them think more about their financial shape and money matters. They can do that just as well as men. But I think it will be until 2050 before women dare to do the same with money as men.

Are you worried because women have less income and say they have no idea about money matters?

“Admittedly, there are a lot of divorces, and then it is often the case that the wife gets the short straw. That’s why it’s so important that they think about money matters. So also what about their pension and partner pension. ‘

How to make women more enthusiastic about money matters?

‘A study shows that women who started investing in stocks with a small amount were good at it and started liking it. Their interest was aroused. I also think it is important for mothers to talk to their daughters about money and make them aware of the choices they can make. What I especially want is to encourage women to put money aside for themselves. That they build a piggy bank and realize that life is different if you have money at hand. That you can get it when you need it. I would recommend it to all women. Even if they have a partner. Money gives freedom. It’s good to see that. ‘

Is that realization still too little?

‘Men believe that money can solve almost any problem in society while women think as long as I am happy. But society is simply structured in such a way that one cannot ignore money. It is important that women are more aware of this. In that respect, I think realitycheck.nl is a good initiative of ABP. It gives women insight into how they feel. It can also be confrontational for them when answering the questions, but it is important that women are in shape financially. This website with tools and an e-learning package can help them with that. ‘

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