What makes finance interesting for you?

interview"When women tackle their finances, they are stronger"

She is known on the internet as the “money woman”: Dani Parthum. She has been working as a business journalist for many years and has accumulated a great deal of knowledge about finances, investments and pensions over the years. For a long time, investing in her private life was not an issue. So she asked herself: “Why do I only treat my money incidentally, even as a graduate economist?” This thought was the origin of her blog “Geldfrau”, which she has been running for three years.

Ms. Parthum, why do women struggle with finances and pensions?

We all struggle with these issues. Many rightly ask themselves: How should I take precautions now if I don't know whether it will turn out one way or another? We also learn finances primarily from our parents and very few are good at dealing with money. In the case of us women, there is also the fact that we have been held under the age of minor for money for centuries until the very recent past. I don't mean the weekly shopping, but the financial planning and security of your own life. It is only since 1962 that married women have been allowed to open a current account without the husband's consent. And until the late 1970s, women had to get permission from their husbands if they wanted to work. Politics and society have taught women that men are responsible for finances. Also, banks pretend their business is that complicated. But if you deal with finances and investments, you quickly notice that this is very easy to understand and, especially today, everyone can invest in bonds, stocks and ETFs for their own old-age security.

What concerns do women come to you and your workshops and online courses with?

It is very different. Often women come to me with a vague feeling when they think about their finances. Or those who have money running through their fingers. Or they want to finally build up wealth, negotiate their salary better or separate from their spouse and clarify their finances in return. After all, many still rely on their spouse and hardly generate a pension with a part-time job. Divorce then often means poverty in old age. An important lesson in my courses is therefore always: Prepare separately! If the marriage fails, both partners are secure, and if everything works out, they can really have a good retirement together. There is nothing to lose. If you consider that women can easily live to be 95 years old under today's living conditions - which is fantastic - they have to take precautions all the more urgently and consciously.

What is the best place to start?

At the beginning, I always recommend the classic budget book, which can be created as an app or in Excel. The point is not to write down every penny amount. But if you want to make long-term provisions, you first have to know where all the money that we have available per month goes to decide how much can be saved and invested. I myself keep a budget book every now and then to check my expenses.

And should all pension problems be solved with a simple household book?

No, but it is an important first step. A start. If you keep a budget book, you not only see your expenses and income at a glance and get to know them in detail, but also yourself. That is extremely interesting! Many women from my workshops started like this. Some later told me that they went to their boss and successfully renegotiated their salary. Others broke up with their partner because they realized: We don't want the same thing. Women who concern themselves with their own money become more self-confident, more courageous and have the confidence to make decisions about their own provision and investments themselves.

Will women soon be wearing the proverbial trousers when it comes to financial matters?

That would be great! Money also means power, creative power. I assume that women are becoming more and more financially conscious. That's what I work for and a lot is happening right now. Debates like MeToo also help women realize: Not with us! We take our life into our own hands. It also seems important to me that we women exemplify this strength for our daughters and show that money is not a taboo subject. We can do that!