Rebecca Sanders Kew Branch Manager
I love nothing more than having women come into the branch wanting advice on how to manage their money - there is absolutely no reason for us to take a backseat in our finances. Here are four things I talk to my customers about when they're reviewing their finances.
Get paid what you’re worth
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in Australia, average weekly earnings are 16.2% less for women than for men based on full-time employment, and average superannuation balances for women at retirement are 52.8% less than those for men.
Don’t be afraid to have the tough conversations. When discussing pay with your employer, equip yourself with information and understand the benchmark salary for similar roles in your field. Recruitment sites can help with this.
List the tangible reasons you deserve a pay increase, focusing on what you can bring to the business and what you’ve already achieved.
Plan for time out of the workforce
When it comes to raising a family, you might put your career on hold to take on the role of primary carer. This often has a flow on effect to things like the amount of superannuation you have at retirement and delays in career progression.
With women often left with half of the super that men do at retirement, you might consider contributing extra to your super through salary sacrificing.
If you’re thinking of starting a family, build a financial plan as far in advance as possible to prepare for major financial changes.
Strengthen your financial independence
Take the time to get on top of your family finances. If you’re in a relationship, it’s important to have regular and open conversations with your partner about money and have a full picture of your financial situation.
Make sure you know how your joint finances work and have access to them. It may also be worth having some of your finances separate.
Build a budget, diarise bills, pay your credit cards off in full and track where your money goes.
Improve your financial literacy
Financial management is not as daunting as it sounds, so equip yourself with as much knowledge as you can. Last year, Bank Australia launched its Financial Inclusion Action Plan (FIAP) aimed at improving Australia's financial resilience. There is an ongoing work to develop our own response to financial equality.
You can also see a financial adviser to help you get started and make a plan. You may even be able to pay for this out of your super.
Regularly checking up on the performance of your investments can help you gain financial control. Keep an eye on how your portfolio is doing and make adjustments as needed.
If you’re having trouble making ends meet or just want some advice on how to get on top of your finances, you can get a financial check up with a financial counsellor at no cost through ASIC’s Money Smart website.
ASIC have also released the Women’s Money Smart toolkit where you can create a personalised to-do list of the actions you need to focus on to make the most of your money. Best of all, it’s free.
Have a question to us, call us on 132 888 or visit one of our branches.
 ABS (2016), Average Weekly Earnings, May 2016, cat. no. 6302.0
 Clare R. (2015), Superannuation account balances by age and gender, December 2015, ASFA Research and Resources Centre