For many women, speaking openly about money can still be seen as a taboo topic. According to a YouGov survey, 8 out of 10 women have refrained from discussing their finances with those they are close to.
To mark International Women’s Day, Layla Johnson, regional manager at personal insolvency provider Creditfix, has partnered with female finance experts to share their inspirational tips on how to break money barriers and transform your finances.
Maintaining financial freedom
Layla said: “Taking ownership of your finances is important in a relationship, and ensuring that you have financial independence can be as simple as just making sure that you have a separate bank account. According to Aviva, two-thirds of couples have a joint current account and half have joint savings accounts.
“Sometimes we’re just one unexpected life event away from financial struggles, so it’s important to be prepared as much as possible.”
Lisa Johnson, Sunday Times `Best Selling Author of ‘How To Make Money Online’, is a financial expert that helps people to create passive and semi-passive income streams.
Lisa said: “Maintaining financial freedom in a relationship involves communication and compromise. Discuss how you’ll handle household finances and establish a budget that works for both of you. Establishing a budget that works for both of you and staying on top of it is essential.”
Educate yourself on personal finances
Layla said: “Knowledge is power when it comes to personal finances, but sometimes getting your head around the goings on in the financial industry can be easier said than done. Review your current financial situation so you know exactly what your income and expenditure looks like. Include rent or mortgage payments, council tax, groceries and travel or commuting costs.
“BBC Radio 4’s Money Box is a really handy podcast that can help to keep you updated with the latest personal finance news.”
Learn to build good financial habits
Vix Leyton, consumer finance expert at Hotukdeals and host of the False Economy podcast, shares her wisdom on the benefits of saving money.
She said: “Keep track of your subscriptions and don’t be afraid to switch them on and off. Regularly check your bank account and mobile contracts for added extras you might have signed up for but never used – there’s a potential treasure trove of options to cashback on purchases,”
Layla said: “We’ve never been more aware of how far a pound stretches than during the cost of living crisis. One of the easiest ways to instill positive financial habits is to set a budget. Use a budgeting tool to make it easier and highlight where you can make savings.
Recognise your triggers for impulse spending
Olivia Stefanino has worked in the business and finance world for nearly three decades and is the creator of Money Types, a tool that helps you work out your personal attitude to money.
“Often retail therapy beckons when we’re bored or want to boost our self-esteem. I’ve found that putting the money aside – that I would have spent on the purchase – into a separate savings account and then deciding days later whether I still want to make a purchase is really helpful.”
Layla agrees with giving yourself time before making a spending decision: “The thrill of a new purchase can boost our mood, but if not monitored it can become a regular impulse which is usually the result of deeper issues. Give yourself 24 hours to decide if it’s something you really need and avoid “buy now, pay later” as it can be tempting to spread the cost of a purchase that you simply cannot afford.”
Lisa said: “Make a list before you shop so that you can stick to it. Shop with cash only or use budgeting apps that help track spending. Knowing how to recognise your triggers for impulse buying is key to successful budgeting.”
The best money advice they’ve ever received?
Lisa shares: “The best money advice I have ever received is to save for the future. No matter what your financial situation is, it’s important to set aside money for retirement and other long-term goals. The sooner you start saving, the more time your money will have to grow.”
Olivia: “Create a personal relationship with money by personifying it. After all, money is a brilliant medium for understanding ourselves and other people.”
Vix: “Open all your letters – even if you’re scared of them. If you’re struggling with a payment call the provider. Sometimes the payments can be reduced or spread out, even deferred.”
Layla: “Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Keeping money worries to yourself, or ignoring them, can only make the issue worse and the reality is it won’t go away. If you’re struggling, don’t be scared to admit it.
“Tap into the expert support available and use solutions such as a Debt Management Plan or an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) both can help to reduce payments in monthly amounts.”