Why women need to start stepping up
Australian women are living longer and according to financial expert Philippa Hunt it is time for women to increase their financial security and be active in developing their own financial portfolio which will allow them to take control of their financial future.
As a renowned money mentor, Philippa Hunt has spent many years working on women’s issues and groups and served on the Women in Finance Committee and President of BPW Canberra years ago and is still at the forefront of women and their money. Through her commitment to women and finance she has been vocal and passionate about her belief that the female mindset needs to be transformed in order for women to have financial freedom and in turn enjoy the positive benefits that comes with it.
This passion has led her to found the Wisegirls Money Academy, an education program specifically designed to bridge the gap between women and their knowledge and to develop their financial capability and own independence.
Here we chat to Philippa Hunt about not only the Wisegirls Money Academy but also why she believes so strongly that women need to take control of their finances and that it is never too late for you to take over the reins!
As the founder and creator of Wisegirls Money you are clearly passionate about women understanding their relationship with money and controlling their finances. Where did this passion come from?
Women are smart with money. They know what things cost because they pay the bills and they are good at budgeting. I discovered that what they don’t have is investment knowledge and the confidence to invest for themselves. Many women believe that this is an area that they don’t truly understand and therefore they don’t think of the future based on investing for their own wealth. This is about the fear of getting it wrong simply because of a lack of knowledge.
Over the past 20 years as a qualified financial adviser with my own business, I realised that women were clearly missing out on getting holistic and comprehensive advice because they either thought that they could not afford it or did not have enough money to warrant that level of advice.
So I figured that there had to be another way.
My dedication and life mission is to educate and work with women and their families so they reach financial security and independence.
Why do you think that women often seem to have a resistance to discussing money and finances?
Women are not usually educated from a young age to manage and handle their money or to understand financial information. The resistance comes from a fear of not knowing what to do with their money and thinking that they might fail and not get it right. They don’t seek professional advice because many believe that it’s beyond their financial capacity.
In your opinion what are some of the most common issues that women, especially older women have in organising and dealing with their finances?
The most common issue for women is a lack of financial information and technical know-how. Also women don’t have the financial language in many cases of dealing with financial institutions and many lack confidence in their own ability.
Older women typically did not have access to credit and money without a man when they were younger and many of these women in the older age group have been through a property settlement and have not come out the other side particularly well.
The wonderful thing about being an older woman is that you have life experience. Educating these women to manage the money that they have and assisting them to become financially secure overcomes the common issue that many of them never really understanding how money works.
We are all living longer. As women what are some of the things that we should be preparing for to ensure our financial security as we age?
With younger women we really focus on assisting them into the mindset and understanding of what their life will be in retirement decades before they get there. Most people can’t think past the next 10 years so it is difficult to think long range.
Education about investment, technical information, coaching and assistance to apply their knowledge so they take care of their own planning for the future is absolutely essential decades out before they actually need to start living on this money.
Women in their 50s usually contemplate what to do for the next 10 years. Many women assume that they will just keep working until they can’t. Fortunately, with the Internet women can now create incomes for themselves without actually having to go to an office or be employed by a business.
What are your top five tips that women should consider when managing their money?
1. Budget carefully
Many women are pretty smart with money and can budget. For those that do have trouble with managing money the first step is to understand what those issues are and look at lifestyle and see where savings can be made.
2. Pay yourself first
Take as much money as you can save and have that deducted from your bank account into one that you can’t see and can’t touch. You then budget to live on what you have left.
3. Set aside some money in the budget that pays your bills and some beauty money
You can call it holiday money, beauty money, coffee with friends money or whatever you like but it is money that allows yourself the occasional treat knowing that you are saving as much as you can quietly in the background.
4. Educate yourself
Financial literacy simply means learning the terminology of money. However, literacy has to be applied. Learning how to invest your money based on quality research is a skill that can be learned and applied to create your own investments. The secret to this is to have coaching and assistance to implement the things that you are learning.
5. Set a very clear goal
This goal should be achievable in small steps with the clear end date. A goal is a dream with a deadline. Carefully saving and investing will assist women to achieve their most cherished goals.
Is it ever too late or as women ever too old to take control of their financial future?
It is never too late. Start today. I’ve educated women of all ages to achieve small and large goals. For older women who feel that their income earning days are over we have the Internet and the opportunity to create income for themselves irrespective of their age. Internet business is just not for young entrepreneurs.
Many of the women in the United States in politics such as Nancy Pelosi who is 79 going on 80 and is the most powerful woman in the country. Hillary Clinton was 69 running for presidential election.
Wisegirls Money is dedicated to educating women to manage and invest the money that they have as an older woman. All women have wisdom that they earned all their life.
What are some of the benefits that women will get out of the Wisegirls Money approach to their finances?
There are many benefits to going through the course. Being educated for their own personal growth and development in the financial knowledge they need to implement financial strategies for their own safety and security.
The first half of the course is based on psychology so women learn their values, motivations around their money and how that affects their spending behaviour. The second half focuses on learning about money and how it works.
The benefit of learning financial terminology, strategies and research gives women the technical know-how to achieve their goal.
The next benefit from there is that they receive coaching and assistance to start the process, carefully implemented step-by-step, monitoring of their own progress and tick off the bucket list as they go.
Women who go through Wisegirls Money program form a community that helps them, and in turn they help others through experience and achievements. Women can also share the questions and their feelings of anxiety and get some help to make them feel better and keep going. We can refer women to professionals in related fields like psychology if other issues emerge as a result of exploring their insights into their behaviour.
If you could give one piece of advice to the older women wanting to make financial changes or improvements in their life, what would that be?
- Set out what you want to achieve very clearly.
- Set a realistic time frame.
- Look at your cash flow and figure out how much you can save.
- Figure out what you need to take the next step. Is it financial information, money know-how or skill to invest?
- Check in with yourself, how well off do I want to become or having just enough for comfort and security? These values will set the path and the goal.
For more advice from Philippa Hunt or to learn more about the Wisegirls Money Academy visit