Imagine life without a checking account. Imagine walking in to your local bank and being refused service, simply based on your gender. Today women walk into financial institutions, open accounts, withdraw monies, and interact with private bankers without a second thought. However, it was not always this way.
In the 1800s most state laws made a woman the legal dependent of her husband after marriage. For the most part, a woman could not open bank accounts, enter into contracts, or apply for a loan, no matter her age or education. Gradually rights to control wealth began to improve. In 1862 California passed legislation which vastly improved the financial independence of women. For the very first time, women were allowed to open their own individual checking accounts. Yet despite the updated laws, women did not flock to banks immediately. Ladies of the time largely thought of banks as masculine and untrustworthy—not to mention the spittoons and cigar smoke. Instead of depositing their savings into a bank, women would tuck large wads of folded bills into their stockings. It is estimated that on any given day, the women of San Francisco carried around $2 million in their stockings. (The historical information in this paragraph is based on an interesting Wells Fargo Bank web posting.)
Nowadays, many of us are more concerned with stocks than stockings. More women than ever are taking control of the finances, holding 60 percent of all personal wealth. According to the Harvard Business Review, women in the U.S. control $20 billion in annual spending. So this begs the question: how do women of today build financial strength for their future?
Attend The Women’s Roundtable!
Taking charge of your financial future is what we talk about at The Women’s Roundtable. How about joining us on September 24, 2014 at 6 pm for wine and cheese? It is a great forum to share your thoughts and concerns and to see how we can provide support and guidance.
RSVP by September 22 at 800.700.0089, ext. 100 or firstname.lastname@example.org.