Women’s financial literacy still below par | Women's Agenda

Women’s financial literacy still below par

There are things I don’t know all that much about, but I do know a bit about financial literacy; about the relationship between women, children and money.

So every four years when one of Australia’s four venerable financial pillars, the ANZ, releases its survey of our financial habits across the country, I find the results depressing.

Their latest treatise, the ‘2011 ANZ Financial Literacy Survey,’ is widely accepted as the benchmark of our money travails, and is similarly depressing to its predecessors.

The survey highlights, in particular, the demographics of our economy where “lower levels of financial literacy are more likely to be encountered.”

According to the survey: “these groups were much the same in 2011 as in previous surveys and included…” yes, you guessed it, females.

We’re not quite alone though ladies, we proudly rank right down there in our low financial literacy alongside:

  • People who are relatively young (under 25 years);
  • People with no formal post-secondary education;

Crikey, seriously? The fact that so many educated, adult women neither understand money, nor appear to care enough about our level of financial acuity to drive change in this extremely important area, even if only for themselves, is really a very disturbing economic and wellbeing issue for our gender. 

Yet, I don’t really believe it to be true that we ladies care so little about money that we’re practically somnolent, or that men are the only ones who have it sussed and are successfully creating wealth. I know plenty of exceptions to that rule, personally. We can, and must work together on this issue; men and women, women and women.

It helps to know the facts so let’s return to the venerable 2011 Survey, which sets the scene upon which it is suggested we measure the concept of financial literacy. The five horsewomen with steeds, armed and ready to fight the financial apocalypse are:

  1. Keeping track of finances
  2. Planning ahead
  3. Choosing Financial Products
  4. Staying Informed
  5. Financial Control;

It seems we ladies do really well with the ‘keeping track of finances’ part, but then the four remaining horsewomen gallop into the sunset for a wine, because we just don’t can’t be bothered to stick around and pay attention to the others, at least until we pass the age of fifty-five.

Either that, or we’re too exhausted trying to do everything else and this stuff takes a back seat.

    Can you relate? What do you do (or don’t do) to stay ahead and keep control of your money?

    Next week, we’ll take a look at Planning Ahead.

    Sara Lucas is an Authorised Representative of Fitzpatricks Dealer Group Pty Limited ABN 33 093 667 595 AFSL 247429

    This information is of general nature only and is not intended as a personal advice. It does not take into account your particular investment objectives, financial situation and needs. Before making a financial decision you should assess whether the advice is appropriate to your individual investment objectives, financial situation and particular needs. We recommend you consult a professional financial adviser who will assist you.

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