A recent report, published in the Daily Telegraph, claims that women are responsible for opening the majority of savings accounts, but that men are likely to put more away. The report, commissioned by Halifax, goes on to say that 57% of Fixed Term Account, 53% of Instant Access Accounts and 55% of ISAs are opened by women but, on average, men save 17% more than women.
What the report fails to address is the reasons for this striking contrast. If women are keener to save than men, why is it that they are able to save less? Is it simply a case of will power, or the failure of good intentions? Or does there need to be more focus in the region of saving money tips for women?
In truth, it’s a little bit of everything. There are a number of traditional obstacles that women need to overcome in order to save successfully. Although now strictly outlawed, the difficulty in enforcing equal pay laws mean that many women still earn less than their male counterparts. It is also far more prevalent that the female parent will cut their working hours to look after children meaning less disposable income on one side of a relationship.
There is also more inherent cost in simply being a woman. Females spend far more on personal grooming than males (although that gap is closing) and are likely to spend more on clothing and accessories. Essentials such as haircuts, nails and general pampering also tend to cost more for women.
So is it possible for women to save more? And, more importantly, where should they save?
Saving is seen as many as a luxury and is often one of the first things cut in favour of other expenses. Going to the cinema? That’s £15 less in savings. Fancy a Nando’s? That’s another £30 lost. Saving should be viewed in the same way as you would view a bill: it is something that you must commit to every month.
This will help you prioritise your luxuries while building a healthy nest egg. Also, look to cut back on premium brands, instead choosing ‘supermarket own’ brands. Put the savings you make in a savings account to see instant rewards.
Throughout Asia and Africa there are a number or female only savings accounts from institutions such as Axis and Standard Chartered but they are not allowed in the UK. Instead you should be looking at the best hands down rates from the likes of The Post Office (2.95%), ING Direct, Derbyshire Building Society, Nationwide and Sainsbury’s Finance (all 2.90%). Alternatively, if you really want to show Halifax how much a woman can save, take their Online Saver which pays 2.80%.