Why women need to focus on their finances

Australian women are one of five groups that suffer the lowest financial literacy in the nation.

While anyone of any gender should focus on building their financial wellbeing, there is a clear gender divide when it comes to financial literacy. 

This divide makes women more vulnerable to poor financial outcomes at certain life events.

For example, at retirement, during a relationship breakdown, sudden illness or death of a partner, unexpected redundancy, women are more likely to struggle to survive financially.

If you’ve ever asked yourself: “How can I support myself?”, “I have worked long and hard, where is the money?”, then the advice in this article is for you. 

To begin improving your financial wellbeing, you need to first understand the unique challenges women face. These include:

  • The current superannuation system does not support the varied working lives of women.
  • The pay gap between men and women.
  • Time in and out of the workforce.
  • Promotion favouring fulltime employees.
  • Workforce flexibility. 

While these factors can vary from person to person, they are unfortunately skewed against women’s best interests.

So, how can you take control?

Start with these simple steps:

  1. Research and evaluate your current situation: Read books, listen to podcasts, seek professional advice, review your bank statements and spending habits.
  2. Find a budget that works for you: Craft a budget that fits your spending habits, responsibilities and essential items.
  3. Identify financial goals and what you would need to do to achieve them: Whether it’s saving for a mortgage, building a family or your retirement – once you know what you’re working towards, it’s a lot easier to achieve it.
  4. Check in on your “big ticket” items: review your superannuation fund performance, seek professional advice on investing, talk to your employer about your pay and career opportunities
  5. Don’t strive for perfection – we all make mistakes. It’s OK if you slip up every now and then – your money and your budget isn’t there to punish you.

Most importantly, the earlier you decide to take action on your money, the easier the money side of life will be.

The information in this article has been prepared for general information purposes only and not as specific advice to any particular person. Any advice contained in the document is general advice and does not take into account any person's particular investment objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on anything based on this advice you should consider its appropriateness to you, having regard to your objectives, financial situations and needs.
RACQ Financial Planning Pty Ltd (RACQ FP) is a Corporate Authorised Representative (Representative No. 293929) of Actuate Alliance Services Pty Ltd (Actuate), AFSL 240959, ABN 40 083 233 925. Actuate is wholly owned subsidiary of IOOF Holdings Limited ABN 49 100 103 722.