Are YOU in control of your money? As it's revealed one in three women have less than a month's savings, how you can change your habits and manage your financial situation
- Study of 1000 Australian woman found almost half don't feel in control of money
- Expert said there are a range of factors that affect a woman's ability to save
- Gender pay gap problematic, as is over-spending and debt behaviours
- Recommends all women should have an emergency fund for life contingencies
Australian women need to think more closely about putting their financial well-being if they want to make sure they've got a buffer in place to weather life's storms.
According to a study by MLC which surveyed 1,000 Australian women, 43 per cent of respondents said they didn't feel in control of their financial situation.
The research also revealed a third who'd taken part said they have less than a month’s worth of savings to live off, if they needed to.
A range of factors can affect a woman's ability to manage their finances, and not all are related to over-spending and debt behaviours, financial advisor Helen White,?told FEMAIL.
Financial advisor Helen White (pictured) believes a range of factors can affect a woman's ability to save
'The gender pay gap is still a massive issue, though it's got better in the last 10 years,' she told Daily Mail Australia.
'But the statistics still indicate that women have less superannuation, they still earn less than men and they are out of the workforce for longer because they generally tend to still be the primary carer of children.'
'When they [women] go back to work, they are working part-time or do a less demanding job in order to take care of the family as much as possible.'
Financial management: 'Don't put your head in the sand and think it's going to be okay, you need to be proactive in order to change your situation,' said the expert (stock image)
While the study did show 57 per cent of women across the country feel in control of their financial situation, the remainder cited a lack of savings as being their primary concern.?
The expert said women needed to prioritise managing their finances as this was an important contributor to a strong sense of security.
'If we don't have our finances sorted, it affects every area of our life,' Helen outlined.
'Don't put your head in the sand and think it's going to be okay, you need to be proactive in order to change your situation.'
Create a contingency fund: Women should set up a specific account that can be used for unexpected life events (stock image)
Her key recommendation for women wanting to regain some control is to set up an emergency fund, or create a savings account that can absorb unexpected costs.
'It's about having enough set aside to take care of bills and expenses and mortgage repayments in order to manage anything unexpected that comes,' she said.
The contingency fund, while earmarked for emergencies, can also be used to finance other more positive ventures too.
'It's important to have something there as a backup to make you feel secure and to avoid you using credit cards or your mortgage as an ATM.'?
Having savings available in an emergency could mean you don't turn to your credit card or mortgage to cover costs (stock image)
Other data from the study revealed that nearly three quarters who were questioned rated their their financial knowledge as average or poor - which could lead to poor fiscal outcomes.?
'Women are generally very good at managing money, multitasking and getting things in place and sticking to it,' she said.?
'Which means overall with the right structures and the right mechanics in place they can actually accelerate their overall outcome than if they do nothing.'
The expert also believes women can strengthen their financial position through seeking the services of a professional.
Though the axiom 'spending less and than you earn" is tried and true, the statement is one worth taking onboard if you're serious about wanting to achieve your savings goals (stock image)
'Many people think financial advice is for the rich, but its about getting you in a better position and about keeping you achieving that.'
Though the axiom of "spending less than you earn" is tried and true, it's a statement Helen said worth taking on board, for those seriously wanting to achieve their savings goals.
Her strongest piece of advice though for those considering investing, whether that's in super or not, is time.
'The earlier you start, the better your outcome will be,' she concluded.?
'If you don't do anything, nothing is going to change.'
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