Did you know that women earn less than men in every country globally?
This is known as the gender pay gap. In some countries, the gender pay gap is as high as 60%. This means that for every €1 earned by a man, a woman only makes €0.40. Furthermore, women earn less than men in every industry across all experience levels.
The gender pay gap is slowly getting smaller, but it will take many years to close completely. In Ireland, the gender pay gap was 17.0% in 2016 and has narrowed to 11.3% in 2019. However, that still means, according to the latest Eurostat, for every €100 earned by a man in Ireland, a woman only made €88.70.
The gender pay gap is real, and it's time to do something about it.
This 11.3% gap reported in 2019 has been one of the seeds that resulted in the Gender Pay Gap Information Act 2021 has introduced the legislative basis for gender pay gap reporting, and regulations under the Act will be published this year. The rules will require organisations with over 250 employees to report on their gender pay gap in June 2022. Employers will choose a 'snapshot' date of their employees in June and will report on the hourly gender pay gap for those employees on the same date in December 2022.
It is a bit of a waiting game until the numbers are in, collated, and the newly updated gap percentage is officially reported. Nevertheless, seeing a report like this is a heartening step forward and is a positive sign. However, even when the report is published, making meaningful changes will take time to implement, and the gap to be closed forever.
Financial planning is the key to closing the gender pay gap.
Unfortunately, for now, the gender pay gap is a reality in today's world. However, we can close the gap and improve gender equality with time, information, and persistence.
In the meantime, one crucial step is for women to start planning for their financial future. Financial education is critical because it helps you understand your money on a deeper level. It allows you to optimise the income you have so that you get the best from it currently, and as your income rises, the benefits of good money management compound.
Here are some tips on how you can get started:
Start by evaluating your current financial situation.
Make a list of your assets and liabilities, and track your expenses over the past few months. This will help you better understand where you currently stand financially.
If you find that you're in debt or that your savings aren't as significant as you would like them to be, don't panic! There are plenty of things you can do to get yourself back on track. The main point is to find your start point, ground zero, and work from there.
Create a Cashflow and stick to it
Budgeting may seem like a daunting task, but it is worth it for your financial well-being. There are a few critical steps to creating a budget that will work for you.
The first step is cashflow tracking, this means knowing how much money you have coming in and where it is going out. This can be done by writing down your expenses or using a budgeting app. Once you know where your money is going, you can start to make changes.
The second step is setting goals- what do you want your budget to achieve? For example, do you want to save for a rainy day fund or pay off debt? By having a goal in mind, you will be more likely to stick to your budget.
The third and final step is creating a budget plan. This is where you will decide how much money you want to save each month and what bills you can afford to pay off. If you have debt, try to allocate more money each month.
Determine what you can afford to spend each month and include savings in your budget. It is essential to have a cushion for unexpected expenses.
Invest in yourself.
You invest in all sorts of things - your home, car, and health. But what about investing in yourself? When it comes to increasing your income, financial education, upskilling, and lifelong learning are some of the best investments you can make.
One great example is investing in financial education. It can help you better understand how to manage your money, support the future and save for retirement. Upskilling can give you the chance to learn new skills that could help you get a better paying job or start your own business. And lifelong learning can keep you motivated and engaged in learning new things throughout your life.
All of these things are important when it comes to increasing your income. So if you're looking for ways to improve your earnings, look in the mirror and invest in what you see staring back at you.
Think long term.
Will my savings last? How will I cover my living expenses? Of course, these are all valid concerns, and it's essential to have a solid plan to ensure that your golden years are as comfortable as possible.
It's never too early to start thinking about your financial future. Pensions and long term saving planning can seem like a daunting task, but it's essential to begin taking steps to secure your financial future.
Pensions provide a regular income stream to help cover your basic living expenses, while long-term savings can be used for more discretionary spending. By taking the time to plan for your retirement now, you can reduce stress and enjoy a greater sense of security and confidence in your future.
There are a number of pension and long term saving options available, so it's essential to do your research to find the right one for you. Investing in a pension and long term savings plan is one of the most brilliant things you can do for yourself and your family. It may take some time and effort to get started, but it will be well worth it.
Rainy Day Fund
A rainy day fund is a perfect way to build financial security and peace of mind. No one knows when an unexpected expense will arise, but having a rainy day fund can help prevent you from having to take out an expensive loan. In addition, you'll save money by avoiding interest charges and other fees in the long run. Rainy day funds are also significant for car servicing when something breaks unexpectedly or a big surprise bill arrives. By setting aside money each month, you can rest assured that you'll be prepared for whatever comes.
Make sure you're getting the most out of your employer's benefits package.
Many employer benefits packages include death in service cover, which pays out a lump sum to your family if you die while working for the company. This cover is usually worth a multiple of your salary, so it's definitely worth having. Other employer benefits can include extra pension contributions, bonuses and other perks. So it's important to know what's available to you and make sure you're getting the most out of your employer's benefits package.
By doing so, you can effectively increase your income by maxing out your employer's pension contribution, also, by understanding the company's bonus structure and (not to sound morbid) providing financial security for yourself and your family in the event of your death with death in service benefit.
Review your credit report and work on improving it if needed
Your credit history is a record of your credit and repayment history. It's kept by the Central Credit Register (CCR) in Ireland. Lenders use it to help them decide whether to give you credit.
It's important to review your credit report regularly to make sure the information held about you is accurate. You can get a free copy of your credit report from the CCR. If you find any inaccuracies, you can contact the CCR to have them corrected.
If you have a poor credit history, there are things you can do to improve it. You can start by making all your repayments on time and keeping your credit balances low. Over time, this will show lenders that.
Although we cannot solve the problem overnight, there are things that each of us can do to help ourselves as the gender pay gap closes. We hope that you will consider some of the suggestions we've made in this article and take steps to increase your income. Knowledge is power when it comes to financial planning, so start arming yourself with information today. With a bit of effort and organisation, you can be on your way to a more financially secure future – regardless of your gender.
We can all take small steps in our own lives to help make our money work hard for us. And we need to start now because it's going to take time for these changes to make a real impact. Financial planning is one fundamental way that each of us can contribute to our future. To evaluate your current financial situation, create a budget and savings plan, and start investing in your future. While society works to close the gender pay gap, there are things that we can do as women to ensure that we succeed in life and give ourselves the edge we deserve.
What are you waiting for? It's time to get started!