Sign up to SHE DEFINED monthly

Enjoy unique perspectives, exclusive interviews, interesting features, news and views about women who are living exceptional lives, delivered to your inbox every month.

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Sign up to SHE DEFINED monthly

Loving our content?

If you love what you see, then you’ll love SHE DEFINED Monthly. Enjoy unique perspectives, exclusive interviews, interesting features, news and views about women who are living exceptional lives, delivered to your inbox every month.

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


I’m tired of hearing women say they’re ‘no good with money’

Justine McLean

Finance expert Justine McLean.

Are you good with money? Do you pride yourself on your financial skills? Or is money a constant source of stress – a bit of an afterthought or something that comes in and out of your life that you hope will magically work out in your favour?

Money was a tricky subject for me and a source of constant angst. A lifetime of conditioning by teachers and parents convinced me that money was scarce, and because I was a creative soul, I never understood the numbers conundrum. I didn’t do numbers, and that was okay!

When I started my business, I grasped that money story and ran with it. While I initially traded time for money as a business owner, my ‘I don’t do numbers’ attitude was fine – I did the work, sent the invoice, got paid, and really didn’t need to think about the finances until tax time.

However, that idea went pear-shaped not long after opening my second business. Someone had to look after the finances, and the job landed on me.

Despite my money story, I desperately wanted to get the numbers right, but before I knew it, I had a $42,000 tax debt and no way to pay it off. My worst money fear was realised, and while the idea that I was no good with money was a comfort initially, I knew something had to change.

I could no longer be the girl who didn’t do numbers; that money story was doing me no favours, and continuing to let it be part of my life would only land me in further trouble.

So, I got educated and eventually paid off my tax debt. Now I’m living proof that anyone can become a numbers person.

The myth of the ‘numbers person’

Let’s address the elephant in the room: if you have your own business or have a side hustle, you probably didn’t start it because you wanted to focus on the finances. At some point, you’ve likely told yourself, or been told by someone else, that you’re no good with money.

Perhaps you believe financial management is too complex or out of your reach, and better left to financial advisors. Or maybe, like me, you’ve experienced a considerable money setback reinforcing a money story that no longer serves you. You’re not alone.

Over the past 30 years, most of the clients I’ve worked with have been through similar experiences. While financial freedom sat at the top of their wish list, at some point ‘not being a numbers person’ or the idea that they were no good with money became the barrier to achieving success.

However, the idea that some people are inherently good with money while others are not is a myth. It keeps many talented, intelligent women from fully engaging with their finances and lives – and it needs to stop!

Become a Business Money Magnet by Justine McLean

Become a Business Money Magnet by Justine McLean.

Managing money is not as hard as you think

The truth is that understanding and managing your money is a skill that can be learned. All it takes is consistency and a positive approach to your money.

Here are some practical steps to get you started:

  1. Master your mindset: What’s your money story, and how does it impact your business and life? When you know, ask yourself if it’s true and consider how to change it. Keep a money journal and each time you have a thought about money, write it down. Understanding your thoughts and feelings about money can help you address any negatives and confidently move forward.
  2. Get educated: Countless resources are available to help you understand the money basics. From online courses to books, podcasts and mentors, find what works best for you and commit to learning.
  3. Make a start: Book regular, non-negotiable time to work on your finances. Consider implementing a ‘Money Monday’ or ‘Finance Friday’ so you can routinely check in. Use this time to gain a clear picture of your current financial situation and determine what needs to change. Use the time to reduce expenses, pay wages and bills, sort out your cash flow and review prices.
  4. Ask for help: Hire a financial partner or coach who can provide valuable insights and guidance as you navigate your financial journey. Opt for one who’s prepared to embrace your business goals and help you achieve them.
  5. Build strong foundations: From business-only bank accounts to great systems and processes, cash flow, budgets and understanding your financial reports and obligations, a business is only as good as the foundations you have, so make yours strong.

Why it matters

Melinda Gates famously said: “When money flows into the hands of women, everything changes”. Why? Because women do good things with money. But more than that, getting good with money will help empower you to make informed decisions about your life and business.

Knowledge is power and can never be taken away, and understanding how to manage your money will give you confidence and help you succeed.

Increasing financial literacy will also help you with the inevitable ups and downs of running a business. Knowing your numbers allows you to anticipate problems and navigate them more effectively.

Finally, understanding your finances allows you to identify growth opportunities. Whether investing in new tech, expanding your team, or launching a new product line, being financially savvy helps you make strategic decisions that can propel your business forward.

Changing the narrative

I’m tired of hearing women say they’re ‘no good with money’ and it’s time to change the narrative.

Whether you’re a creative soul or you’ve never been great at maths, the reality is that women are resourceful, intelligent, and capable of mastering any skill we set our minds to. And in 2024, financial literacy is not just a necessity, it’s a key component of personal and professional growth. By taking control of your finances, you’re taking control of your future!

So, let’s stop telling ourselves that we’re not numbers people. Instead, let’s embrace the challenge and start seeing money management for what it truly is: an essential, empowering skill anyone can learn.

After all, financial freedom isn’t just about having money, it’s about having the knowledge and confidence to make the most of it.

Justine McLean

This article was written by Justine McLean, a business finance expert, author, speaker, financial educator and host of the Secrets of Successful Business podcast.

With 30 years of experience in small business, Justine is on a mission to help business owners increase their financial literacy, build solid financial foundations and create profitable and sustainable businesses.

Justine’s book Become A Business Money Magnet is now available to purchase. Connect with Justine on LinkedIn.