New research has revealed that single women – and in particular single mothers – struggle with poor financial knowledge, which presents a barrier to recovering from financial setbacks and challenges.
According to a Galaxy Research survey conducted on behalf of State Custodians Home Loans, almost half of all single women (46 per cent) and three in five single mums (60 per cent) say that not knowing enough about money to understand what to do or who to turn to for help would be the biggest hindrance to getting back on track with their finances and money-related housing issues.
The survey, which quizzed 1,005 women nationwide on how financial difficulties would be handled following a stressful life event, also found that 37 per cent of single women, and 46 per cent of single mums, admit the tendency to wait too long to take effective action in the hope that any dire financial situation would “just resolve itself on its own”.
Further, 48 per cent of single mums acknowledged that poor advice from well-meaning friends and family could hinder financial recovery, even though many still choose to listen to their advice rather than seek out a professional.
Single mothers also said they feel financial institutions can be intimidating with 39 per cent highlighting that banks and other creditors have more “power” than consumers.
“I can understand if you’re a single woman, or a woman on your own with kids, how intimidating some institutions can feel,” State Custodians general manager Joanna Pretty commented. “You may feel like you’re just ‘a number’. That’s why I’d advise women to shop around and talk to different institutions and experts such as financial advisors or accountants, to see who they’re comfortable with and how they can help.
“Finding people who can give you the right information and products, and reassure you they’ll look after you is key. Trust is very important in dire situations.”
A recent survey by ANZ of adult financial literacy in Australia revealed that women had lower scores on average than men on financial knowledge and numeracy from the age of 28 onwards.