It has been well documented that women’s financial literacy is on average lower than mens. Alongside on average making less money than men, having longer employment gaps, and traditionally feminine skills being systematically de-valued, this gap in financial literacy –understanding and education around personal finances and money management – significantly contributes to gender-based financial inequity. A consequence of social conditioning, this exacerbates differentially gendered behaviours associated with risk, security and plain old financial know-how. We asked the Women’s Caucus – what are your top tips for improving your financial literacy or taking control of your personal finances?
Buy in cash (except for big purchases like homes, cars of course!) – it can be easier to keep track of your spending! Save up for the big things you want/need. Only use credit cards with miles and then make sure to pay the whole balance at the end of the month.
Also take advantage of the great opportunities to improve your financial literacy with some amazing free classes in personal finance online.
“It’s just money.” Falser words were never said. Money may just be money on the surface, but for most people, it’s also charged with emotions related to upbringing, culture, experience and personal beliefs. To achieve and maintain financial health, it’s essential to understand the emotional, psychological and cultural underpinnings of your financial habits. Being aware of how people with whom you share financial interests relate to money — whether it’s your spouse, business partner, flat mate or a family member — can also help pave the way for more productive and compassionate conversations and more sustainable financial decisions. To learn more about some of the different ways people relate to money, check out this overview of the six major financial personality types here.
As someone who’s only recently sloughed off their student status, I am the first to admit my financial literacy could definitely be better. However, something my peers and I find useful is to take advantage of the range of apps that help you to track your budgets and can make extra savings for you. For example, flexible debit card services like Monzo and others tell you when you’re nearing or gone over monthly budgets you set for yourself. It also has settings that allows you to round up when you spend on something and save the difference – e.g. you £3.75 coffee automatically puts 25p in your savings pot. Friends of mine have been amazed at how fast that adds up! I also take advantage of services provided by my bank e.g. Easy Savers which take an amount of your choice out of your current account automatically every month, so you end up with a little nest egg – always reassuring – with no effort on your part! In addition to classes, a close friend of mine has got really into personal finance podcasts so there are loads of ways to work on your financial literacy!