What are you going to do to celebrate International Women’s Day this week?
You could start a revolution that changes the course of history for the century. Oh wait, that’s already been done – by the Russians in 1917. Yep, for realz.
The revolution kicked off when thousands of women took to the streets protesting against food shortages on International Women’s Day 100 years ago.
There was no hashtag for it then, and not even a Snapchat story, so did it even happen?
But anyway don’t get me started on history stuff because I won’t get to the real point, and that is: equality means equal pay and equal opportunity, and we don’t have either of those yet.
I don’t really want to delve into the 16 per cent pay gap issue – or just as bad, the gap between men’s and women’s super balances – up to half in some age groups.
But they exist, they suck and they appear to be stubbornly sticking around.
So here is my take on being a grown-up woman who tells the patriarchy to go back to the 20th century where it belongs.
Get serious about tracking your spending
I have been resistant to this whole idea for years. I am not that kind of girl. But then I got to last payday with serious cashflow issues.
Thing is, I didn’t feel like I spent much. Sure I had to pay rego and stuff for my car, and it was holidays etc.
But seriously where did my cash go? So I downloaded the free MoneySmart TrackMySpend app and started recording and then I realised that this exercise is life-changing in the same way as keeping a food diary.
When you have to write it down, you don’t want to spend/eat it. It’s a serious accountability tool. It’s not until you create some proper boundaries and systems that you can truly get on top of things.
Get your super sorted
I know, super is dull and stuff, but it really, really makes a difference when you get onto it early. And it’s a quick and easy adult task you can tick off.
Find your forgotten super and roll it into one account – speak to your fave super fund and they will likely do it for you. Make sure your fund has all your correct details and check how much you have saved.
And if you get really excited put some extra money in! Did you know that money you put in from your pre-tax salary gets taxed at 15 per cent – instead of your income tax rate of up to 47 per cent?
Have a separate, possibly secret, stash of money
If you’re a single woman, this is simple – just put a bit away, every pay, into a separate account that has an extra level of irritation to access e.g. a separate online bank or a term deposit.
Just as long as you can’t crack into it for a 2am round of shots or for a mid-arvo premenstrual retail therapy session.
This is money to buffer you against the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.
If you’re coupled up, just make sure it’s separate. You need something that you can call on if the relationship goes south.
Whether it’s secret is up to you. Marriage vows, trust, partnership – I get it, they matter. Totes up to you. Just have the cash, one way or another.
Learn some stuff about money and investing and finance
This might seem a little boring. And it is, I guess, compared to iPanda – an entire website dedicated to baby pandas.
However, can a panda cub give you security, opportunities and choices? No, only cash money can do that. So take an interest.
Maybe even check out the personal finance or business sections of the newspapers. Knowledge is power, and money is power. So put those together and you will be a total bad-arse WonderWoman, wielding a calculator and making it rain.
Talk to your girl squad about this stuff
As much as it’s important to discuss the hotness of Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. It’s also useful to share your tips, challenges and ideas about money. And to support their money goals.
So, the message here is simple. Being empowered requires money. And the better you are at managing that money, the more we will be worthy of all the opportunities and privileges our foremothers fought for. So go forth and be fierce!