Do you want to step into 2021 with a better and bolder relationship with your money? Four experts share their tips for taking control of your finances.
Before we’d even heard of Covid-19, many millennial women were already dealing with the gender pay gap, eye-watering expensive housing market and the reality of living in constant debt. And now that we’re navigating a pandemic, a recession, a national debt crisis, it’s clear that personal finance is at the forefront of a lot of people’s minds.
But that’s not a reason to worry: we just need to be open and honest in conversations around money and to learn where and how to access help about finances. That’s why Stylist tuned into money coaching and learning network SmartPurse’s Money Rally last weekend: an online event running video conversations on women’s personal finances.
As part of the event, there was a headline panel discussion called Where’s my money? A 21st-century recession. SmartPurse co-founder Olga Miler was joined by Dame Inga Beale, former CEO of Lloyd’s of London, Jack Collier, CMO of Mettle by NatWest, Tracy Browne, director of Tilney Investment Management Services, and Daniella Jenkins, national executive of the Women’s Equality Party and pensions policy advisor to the Women’s Budget Group.
The panel discussed pensions, the recession and the gender pay gap, and when asked for the one recommendation they want to give women about finances to take into 2021, here are the answers they gave…
Take your head out of the sand
Tracey: “I think [my recommendation] would be to really, really understand your finances. Know your costs, have a budget: what’s essential? What’s nice to have? Can you make some savings? Is there a shortfall of what’s available to you?
“If you really build a financial plan, that can be quite empowering […]. Get some advice if needed. Particularly as Covid-19 has caused so much financial anxiety and even more stress. But I think often people put their head in the sand, so really take ownership of your finances and know what that is. And then look at what’s available.”
Think about growing your earnings capacity
Daniella: “Think about your earnings capacity (the potential gains from your current income), absolutely. Whether you’re in a relationship or not in a relationship. Whether you’re in employment or not. Think about your earnings capacity and how you can really grow that over time.”
Really make use of all the resources available to you
Inga: “Continue to tap into the resources that are out there. Check out insuringwomensfutures.co.uk for information on things you can do to make sure you can close that pension and wealth gap, as well as information on retirement and looking after your family in the meantime.”
Now might be the time to start something new in terms of diversifying income
Jack: “There’s a movement happening out there and this is the time for people to go out and start something, no matter how small or big. It’s never been as easy in terms of set up. There are tools, tech and gig economy platforms out there where you can do something you love.
“It can be something small on the side to support your primary income, or you can take a big leap and work on something that is central to your life. There is lots of support out there for female entrepreneurs, so it’s never been a better time to start something for yourself.”
Speak to a Financial Conduct Authority registered financial adviser before taking financial advice, and think carefully before making any decision.