Daily Worth Founder Amanda Steinberg: Personal Finance Is ‘The Next Frontier Of Women’s Liberation’
1:30 pm, February 28th | by Sarah Devlin
Smart money management is hard — we struggle with it, and we work for a site all about women and business! Getting a handle on your personal finances is a challenge, and it can be a daunting task, but taking control of your money can also be an act of empowerment. That’s certainly how Daily Worth founder Amanda Steinberg sees it, and she is on a mission to help other women take charge of their financial futures. We got to speak with her a bit about Daily Worth’s expansion, and what the biggest financial priority for women should be.
Steinberg decided to start Daily Worth, envisioned as “the leading media brand for accomplished women specifically as it pertains to their money,” four years ago. She was making $200,000 a year as a web developer, but found that she was struggling to pay her mortgage. “I had built a life that was too expensive,” she admits, and that realization led her to decide to become an entrepreneur. Raised by a single mother who emphasized the importance of personal financial independence and wealth creation, Steinberg found the majority of traditional finance media “dry, formulaic, and inapplicable to [her] life.”
Instead, she decided to start a subscription-based daily email service that would wrestle with the question of how to engage women in thinking about a subject that “isn’t necessarily something we were raised to even want to care about.” Daily Worth was reaching 400,000 subscribers, but Steinberg was also getting feedback that subscribers wanted even more engagement. She decided to launch a companion website that would serve as “the ultimate financial destination where women can always go and not only have their questions answered about money, but be engaged in a constant learning process.”
Steinberg recognizes that a serious on finances, until very recently, was not exactly an attractive quality for women to possess, especially if they happened to be in relationships — “[Financial independence can] throw the entire power dynamic off-balance.” But Steinberg believes in interrogating those assumptions.
“We have to look at the stories women tell ourselves money,” she says, “which have perpetuated the idea of money being a source of stress for women…[we need to] see it as access to freedom and choices in our lives, not as a source of anxiety.”
Daily Worth hopes to help women begin that conversation, whether they are CEOs, entrepreneurs, or just starting out. Steinberg especially wants to recruit more young women to her cause. If women are taught from a young age to fully engage with their money and pursue financial independence, “[They] become so ahead of the curve that it really does become a source of freedom in [their] lives.” This is Steinberg’s “social mission,” which she believes represents “the next frontier of women’s liberation.”
As for women who are thinking about combining finances with a partner, “I personally think there should always be some measure of independence, but you have to remember I’m divorced!” Steinberg quips. Ultimately, however, while she believes that every relationship is different, she thinks all women should still ask themselves the following question when thinking about money: “How do you know that you can always take care of yourself and thrive, regardless of what happens?”
“Our society puts a lot of pressure on women to be the ideal mother and be a good wife…it’s the perfect storm of personal finance drama,” Steinberg says. Whether or not women end up combining finances with a partner, they should “always be communicating that financial self-sufficiency is essential,” Steinberg says. “Rather than being skittish about it, [we should ask] how can we embrace it as an opportunity.”
As for the biggest pitfalls for women, Steinberg says the biggest problem she sees is a failure to keep one’s overhead low: “Be really careful about the life that you’re building.” For the average woman, Daily Worth recommends that her net income be divided rigorously, with 60% allocated to sustaining one’s life (i.e. the essentials), 20% to spending 20% to savings.
Steinberg is equally firm about what she believes women’s first priority to protect their financial future should be. “Dont opt out of the workforce,” she says. She cites Sheryl Sandberg’s principle of “leaning in,” which calls on women to build lives for themselves that allow them to work and have families. Rather than getting to the top of their field and then scaling back, Sandberg believes that women should focus on becoming so successful that they are able to dictate the terms if they decide to have families. It sure sounds revolutionary to us.