JL: Can you explain why financial literacy and independence for women is important? What can women do to avoid getting into difficult financial situations?
JK: I prefer to use the term financial capability instead of financial literacy. Financial literacy relates to how much you know, but capability is about knowledge, skills and confidence; both the skills to implement your knowledge and confidence to use those skills.
For me, financial capability is also about creating a society which facilitates ongoing wellbeing through the provision of support to those that require it – including access to income, health care and education, and access to financial products such as bank accounts. Without financial capability, the vast majority of people cannot achieve financial wellbeing. Living without financial wellbeing can reduce the options people have around housing, education and maintaining health and wellbeing.
Much of our current system is stacked against women. Female-dominated professions like child care and other caring professions are low paid, which means women have less access to money to manage, and there is also an expectation women will take time off work to care for children and other dependents. Both of these factors impact a woman’s long-term income earning potential, as well as take-home pay and superannuation.
JL: What are some of the ways people can combat this to achieve better financial capability?
JK: Some of the things women can do are:
- Be part of the change and advocate for women to have equality in the workplace and financial decision making within intimate relationships. If you can’t advocate yourself, support those that can.
- Determine what your financial goals are (both short and long term) and gain the knowledge, skills and confidence to implement a financial plan that moves you towards your goals. Some of the things you can do include:
o Attend MoneyMinded training
o Read online articles and resources to build knowledge
o Seek out people who have financial knowledge and ask questions
Finally, I’d just like to let anyone experiencing financial abuse know that it is not your fault. The person causing you harm has most likely worked very hard to ensure your confidence around money is low so they can exert power and control.
You do have options – you can call organisations like WIRE to talk through what is happening. WIRE can refer you to financial counsellors and family violence services. We can also give you pointers on how to talk to banks, utility companies and other financial institutions about the financial abuse you are experiencing, so they can assist.
There is help out there for you.
If you or someone you know needs support you can call WIRE on 1300 134 130, send an email, or talk to a trained WIRE support worker via web chat at www.wire.org.au .
Whether you have a home loan, own a business, or both, ANZ has support options that could help you through these uncertain times. Visit our COVID support hub or contact our financial hardship team on 1800 252 845 Monday-Friday 9.00am to 7.00pm (AEST).