Women’s financial wellbeing: 7 things you can start today
Living a financially healthy life is a common goal, but what if the odds aren’t stacked in your favour? Women are subject to less pay, comparatively lower retirement funds and less education in financial matters compared to men.
Many women have families and busy lives outside of work. When looking at a 56 hour work week, a woman’s work split is 64% unpaid care work compared to a man's 36%, as reported by CBA. It’s difficult to imagine living a free life when financial struggles and a million other things are constantly on our minds.
The first step to a healthy relationship with money is being honest about your finances and your goals. However, 61% of Australian women would rather talk about death than money, says Virgina Baker Woolf from the Women's Money Project.
Living a life of financial wellness sounds like a dream, but what is it? Financial wellness is not just about money, says Woolf.
She says that money highlights our levels of self-esteem, self-care, self-image, freedom, and our ability to shine. It’s about who we are, self-advocacy, purpose, passion, and fulfilment.
“When we consciously work with money, that work ripples out, positively, into every part of our lives,” says Woolf. “How we feel financially touches every other aspect of our life. Our relationships, diet, work, family, and physical and mental health. That’s why it’s so important to take care of our financial health.”
This is good advice but how do you start to improve your financial wellbeing? What are the basic steps to making this happen?
Here are 7 simple things you can get started on today:
- Have an open and honest conversation about your finances with your partner, family, friends or a financial institution if you need some extra support.
- Create a budget that works for you, try using our budget calculator.
- Write down money goals you want to achieve, no matter how big or small.
- Track your expenses to understand where your money is going day to day.
- Start an emergency fund if you don’t already have one.
- Set up automatic payments for bills and savings to reduce stress.
- Check in on your super fund.
If you need more help with managing your money or budget, we have plenty of guides in our Family Finances and Savings hubs, including this one about how to make an easy financial plan.