A survey conducted by Focaldata for award-winning investment service Hargreaves Lansdown has found that on average, women tend to worry more about money than their male counterparts.
The survey questioned 10,000 participants and was conducted in June 2021. It found that 29% of women worry about their debts compared to 26% of men. Similarly, 28% of women often worry about not being able to pay their bills, compared to 20% of men.
When it comes to mortgage and rent payments, 19% of women worry about this often. However, 16% of men say this is also a regular worry for them. Finally, results show that over a third (37%) of women say they are either just getting by or are struggling financially. This is in comparison to 29% of men.
Hargreaves Lansdown have created five steps, named the ‘5 to Thrive’ initiative, which highlights five building blocks to help people build their financial resilience.
Control your debt:
- Start by working out what you owe
- Look at your spending and see if there’s anything you can cut out
- Consider potential help available, such as benefits
- Get free advice from StepChange and Citizens Advice
- Speak to your lender sooner rather than later
- Debt charities such as National Debtline can help you find a solution
Protect your family:
- Setting up life insurance may be beneficial in case you fall too ill to work
- Writing a Will can leave you with peace of mind
Build an emergency safety net:
- A key priority is to build three to six months’ worth of essential expenses whilst you are of working age
- Once you are feed of any debt, redirect some of your free cash into savings each day
Save for later life:
- Don’t only focus on what’s around the corner, but think long-term too
- Make sure you understand your pension, and perhaps set up a savings pot for your retirement
- Once all the pillars are in place, you may be in a position to invest to grow your money
Sarah Coles, Senior Personal Finance Analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, says:
“Millions of women lay awake last night worrying about money. Around one in ten worry about debt and savings every day. More than one in 20 agonise about how they’re going to pay the bills. Across the board, women were far more likely to be concerned about all aspects of their finances than men. And while the half of the population on lower average wages is always bound to face a bigger share of money worries, the pandemic has made life even harder.
The most common concern is that they haven’t been able to save for emergencies during the crisis, which 41% of women say they often worry about and 11% said they worry about every day. They have every reason to be concerned, because while everyone should have enough savings to cover 3-6 months’ worth of essential expenses in an easy access savings account while they’re working age, 28% of women say their savings would last less than a month if their income stopped, and half of women would last less than three months. It means women’s finances are far less resilient to unexpected shocks.
They’re also worried about how much debt they have, with 29% of them saying they agonise about their debts often and 9% saying they do so every day. This owes much to the fact that women have been hit hard by the pandemic, and many of them have had to borrow during the crisis. ONS statistics at the end of last year found that women were more likely to have borrowed during the crisis, they were more likely to have borrowed over £1,000, and those who already had debt were more likely to have borrowed more.
For much of the crisis, more women were on furlough for longer, partly because the industries that employ large numbers of women were hit so hard by the pandemic, but also because separate ONS research found they were doing the lion’s share of the additional childcare. Having lower incomes for longer severely dented their resilience.
Lower income levels mean that significant numbers also worry about not being able to cover the essentials, including 28% who often worry about paying bills and 19% who worry about covering the rent or mortgage.”