Since Day 1 of writing Half Banked, I’ve wanted this to be a space where money was a normal thing to talk about, ask questions about, and understand—because that wasn’t always the case when I started learning more about my money.
Whether it was a bank telling me I didn’t have enough money to invest (untrue) or another blogger writing a post that made me feel horrible for making what they considered “less valuable” purchases with my money, there were a lot of spaces that didn’t feel welcoming or comfortable.
But that sucks, because money is not this rarified thing that only some people need to know about or understand. It’s not just for other people—it’s for you too, no matter who you are.
That’s why I am beyond thrilled to be teaming up with EQ Bank and their new initiative, Stnce, to help more women access financial literacy and the confidence that comes with it.
What is Stnce—and how did it come about?
The good news is, this isn’t a post about how women are in desperate need of more financial literacy training (although I’m going to keep writing breakdowns of the basics, because hi, no one is born knowing how to do money).
When EQ Bank did some research, they found that while there’s a bit of a gap in financial knowledge between the sexes, the more important (and unnerving) gender gap is in financial confidence.
That’s not great, because most of us will be the sole financial decision-maker at some point in our lives. Or at multiple points!
So instead of stopping there, and releasing an “Oh, isn’t that interesting” research report, they decided to do something about it.
Stnce is the result.
It’s “an initiative that sees a disconnect between competency and confidence, especially when it comes to personal finance,” and we’re taking active steps to do something about it.
“We don’t have a knowledge issue, we have a confidence issue,” says Kim Kukulowicz, Vice President, Equitable Bank. “This is a problem. In any life situation, women should be in charge of their financial destiny. And the reality is, many of us will have to manage on our own at some point. So, we need to make sure women are confident enough to take their financial well-being into their own hands, pass on that confidence and knowledge to the next generation, and be financial role models for their kids.”
A bit more about the research, though, because it’s fascinating
The most interesting thing that I learned from the research is that women’s financial confidence isn’t actually correlated with their financial knowledge.
Let me give you an example. At the kickoff event, we were talking about the survey results, and specifically, how a staggering 41% of women are “hidden gurus” of personal finance. They had high financial literacy scores, but reported low financial confidence in their abilities.
Even worse, literally not a single woman was confident enough to say she got all of the answers correct—even when she did.
So, as you can probably imagine, our discussions really focused on building confidence. Of course, financial literacy is important, and a must-have, especially for younger women, and women who are facing financial questions they need answers to ASAP. But how can we help make women financially confident?
In my experience, it’s by creating spaces and resources that feel like they’re for you.
So much of finance and financial media can feel intimidating, and like it’s not “for me.” But there’s no reason any woman should feel more comfortable reading about baking cookies (my real self) or makeup (my ideal self) than about RRSPs or taxes or wills or starting a business.
And there’s no reason that those should seem like boring topics, or be boring to read about, either.
So that’s where Stnce comes in
I grabbed this directly from Stnce’s website, because I want to scream it from the flippin’ rooftops:
“Finance should be easy to talk about – a casual topic that can be discussed over brunch.”
Yes yes yes a thousand times yes.
This is just the beginning for Stnce, and I’m so excited to be involved as an ambassador for a project I feel so strongly about. As Stnce grows, it’s going to include…
- An e-learning centre, because sometimes, you just want to chill out on the couch with wine while you learn about money, you know?
- A tool kit to help women tackle their finances, and
- An event calendar for the community, because sometimes, you just need to hang out IRL with people who can answer your questions, in a space that feels like it’s for you
And I can’t wait to be a part of it. Did I say that already? Whatever, I’m going to keep saying it, because I genuinely could not be more thrilled that this is an initiative that a major Canadian bank wants to support and spearhead.
If you want to get involved, here’s what you can do ASAP.
- Check out Stnce’s website, and sign up for updates on the project
- Check out their latest blog post (it’s a good one!)
- Follow them on Instagram to stay in the know
- Stay tuned for more information on upcoming events and updates (I’ll be sharing the h*ck out of them on Twitter!)
PS. My involvement, including this post, is a collaboration with EQ Bank, but all opinions about how flippin’ great this is are my own.