Okay, picture this, yeah? You go home to your parents' house and you’re having a lovely home-cooked meal, which is a relief because you’ve eaten that many microwave cooked meals recently you think you might have radioactive insides. You’ve even got a little glass of wine because Mum is making the effort seeing as you-only-ever-come-home-for-Christmas-or-after-a-break-up apparently. And of course, you get onto the topic of money (which is weird because it’s not as if you’ve just asked your dad to lend you money for a holiday…) and he says,
“You’ve been working for a couple of years now, love, you must have saved a fair bit of money for yourself.”
“Yeah sure… I’ve saved loads…” you say as you try to cancel your latest ASOS order.
Unfortunately, women are statistically less likely to save a lot of money which is, quite frankly, salt in the wound considering we are also statistically better at it. And the reasons behind it aren’t gender typical shit like we spend loads of money buying clothes (which we unashamedly do) or we treat ourselves too often (which we bloody deserve so everyone can get off our backs, thanks).
The glaringly obvious reason is that women earn less than men and so having extra money to save is much more unlikely. And what’s annoying is that women actually live longer than men too, by about 2 and a half years in fact (yeah you read that correctly, we are expected to outlive men, but not out-earn them). We have to make that smaller amount of savings last even longer. We seriously can’t catch a break.
We’re also encouraged to retire earlier than men. But don’t start planning your old-lady-party-villa in Spain just yet; when I say earlier, I mean around 9 years earlier. Which, when you think about it, cuts out a lot of earning and saving potential.
Women are also considered to be less aware of money management tools meaning we don’t always have the right knowledge to be able to save our money. We’re also less likely to take any financial risks so we don’t tend to invest and, therefore, we don’t get a large return.
But we need to get real about our savings because living from paycheck to paycheck won’t pay the bills when you’re an 80 year old lady wondering if buying 6 crop tops in 2018 was really worth you not being able to put the fucking heating on so you can watch old lady Netflix in comfort.
Okay so what’s the plan?
Well first of all, you need to change your attitude. Stop living by the phrase I’m here for a good time, not a long time because as previously established, modern medicine is probably going to make you outlive most men. And therefore, taking care of your present self is also about taking care of your future self. You don’t need to live half a life now to save for when you’re a pensioner but you might want to consider cutting back on some luxuries whilst you start saving.
Next, we need to improve our relationship with money. At a very basic level, your outgoings shouldn’t exceed the money coming into your bank. And no, you didn’t find a loophole because an overdraft and a credit card is not incoming cash. Once you accept that you need to live by this rule, you’ll have a much better grip of your money.
So finally, it's a good idea to budget the money you already have because no matter what you earn, you can still save something. If you want more information about how to do it, have a look at this. Or, you can download Loot and it will do all the hard work for you. You can set your own daily and weekly budgets and put money aside for retirement... not a holiday (...though most likely a holiday).