6 Reasons Women Are Scared Of Making Money

It can be extremely empowering to feel financially independent and to provide for your family.

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Many of my female clients, and friends for that matter, find themselves working really hard at their jobs without a lot of money to show for it. I notice this particularly with women in the helping professions, like my own.

I used to feel the same way as these women, so I understand how they think, and how their way of thinking often keeps them feeling stuck and unfulfilled.

RELATED: What Men Really Think About Women Who Make More Money Than They Do


Here are the top 6 reasons that women are scared to make money:

1. They are taught to please others

When you try hard to move up the ladder at work, or you go out on your own to create a business, not everyone will like you. Some people will be jealous and some people will say rude things about you.


Women are very sensitive to criticism and are trained from an early age to be careful not to offend others. They are also taught to deflect praise (often by sharing it with others who didn’t do as much work), and to do a lot of back-end support-type of work and not mention it.

None of these skills help you be confident enough to sell yourself in the way you need to do to move into higher-earning positions.

2. They think that being "nice" and making money are incompatible

In my profession, therapy, I see many female therapists struggling financially because they set their rates too low and refuse to raise their rates even to adjust for inflation. To these women, asking for more money seems uncouth or heartless and at odds with helping.

Ironically, women like this often burn out quickly and leave the profession (or work so few hours as to basically have left) because they are sick of working hard and then not being able to afford things that are important to them.


RELATED: The Real Reason Men Criticize And Nag Their Stay-At-Home Wives

3. They are not confident about how to handle money

If you make nothing, you don’t have to worry about how to spend it, how to save, or how to plan for the future.

Women in our society, as compared to men, are more often intimidated by math, which includes money.

FYI, if you need help with financial planning, a friend of mine is great at this: Jonathan Bulman at Wealth 2.0. He is a great communicator, so he can help you understand how to manage your money even if you feel you are starting from scratch.

4. They are scared that making money means that they cannot have flexible hours (and therefore do not prioritize their families)

Often, women stay home with small kids and then lose confidence about rejoining the workforce. They insist that they would not be able to both have flexible hours and make a good salary.


Instead of investigating options that would allow them to make money and have flexible hours, many women opt out, because they have implicitly been taught (by their families and/or society) that making money and being there for your family are mutually exclusive. Relatedly…

RELATED: The Not-So-Silent Relationship Killer That Creeps Up On You

5. Their husbands are not supportive

Many women suggest returning to school in order to pursue a more lucrative career, but their husbands do not want to shoulder the increased childcare burden of their wife’s absence. Some husbands outright say that their career should be the one that is a priority.

Many husbands do not want to sit down and brainstorm ways that the household could function if both parents are working longer hours. Many husbands don’t want to be the ones to stay home with a sick kid if their wife, with the lower paying job, has always taken this role. And relatedly again….


6. They are scared of their marital dynamic changing

Often, women stay in unfulfilling marriages because of money. But what would happen if they suddenly began earning more than their husbands?

Often, they would have to confront the fact that they are not really that happy. Many women excuse a lot of men’s behavior with "but he’s a good provider." What if they were able to provide for themselves and their kids on their own?

I have seen many relationships change when the woman starts making more money and therefore wants to make more of the financial decisions. Making more money can be a double-edged sword for many women whose marriages are predicated on their husbands being the breadwinner. If you no longer need your husband to be the provider and the one who manages the financial planning, many marriages falter.


If these points resonate with you, think deeply about your career path. It can be extremely empowering to feel financially independent and to provide for your family. If you feel like there are mental roadblocks preventing you from achieving your potential in the workplace, therapy can often help you clarify your goals and what may be holding you back. And till we meet again, I remain, The Blogapist Who Says, Don’t Underestimate Your Worth!

RELATED: 15 Unsexy Things You Should Know About Money Before You Hit 30

Dr. Samantha Rodman Whiten, aka Dr. Psych Mom, is a clinical psychologist in private practice and the founder of DrPsychMom. She works with adults and couples in her group practice Best Life Behavioral Health.