If you follow our Twitter channel you may have seen us tweet a recent Telegraph article about the difficulty women seem to have saving money compared to men.
Being the only girl on the MoneyAware team (apart from Pav, who’s currently on maternity leave), frankly I was outraged. “It can’t be true,” I ranted. “I know plenty of women who are fantastic at saving money!”
Then I started to think of all the different factors that may make money saving difficult for women: paying off debt, bringing up a family (sometimes alone), reduced hours at work, increased living expenses, not to mention the fact that most local high streets are a gauntlet of temptation for most of us…but is this really a girl problem?
Here come the girls
As the author of MakeDoStyle, the blog all about fashion, food and lifestyle on a budget, Kate Battrick has a special kind of expertise when it comes to her recently coined term: Girlynomics. She’s now written an ebook about her findings.
Kate describes ‘Girlynomics’ as a mindset that determines a person’s spending rationale, and for the most part, it seems to apply exclusively to us girls. It’s a way of thinking that can seem very shrewd, such as loaning two romance novels from the library for your hols rather than forking out £15 for them.
The downside of Girlynomics however, is that many ladies take this as license to splash the saved £15 on some fancy new foundation or a cute top, because in our mind, it’s ‘free money’ we would have spent on the books anyway (I am guilty as charged of this, and so are most of my friends). Thinking like this immediately nulls and voids any great efforts we make to save money, and that‘s where problems start.
Now, I must stress from the off that Girlynomics won’t apply to all women, so please don’t be offended if this feels like a very general sweep across the whole female populace. With that said, there’s so much to Kate’s clever little ebook that for most ladies, there’s bound to be something in there they can relate to…and some new ideas for managing their money.
Sense and Sustainability
The Girlynomics ebook consists of eight wonderfully detailed chapters on how to reshape and revitalise your current spending mentality. It’s a bargain at only £1.02 on Amazon, and would make a great gift (or sense check) for that whirlwind shopper in your life.
There’s something really warm and disarming in the way Kate has chosen to write her book. When I read it I feel like I’m getting the kind but firm guidance I’d hope to get from a big sister, a cool auntie or money-savvy friend.
The book brings up a very relevant point that many people forget when they start to plot their finances and put together a budget – the beauty of delayed gratification.
When you start saying ‘no’ to yourself, it doesn’t have to feel like a punishment. Instead, Kate describes it as rediscovering “the delight of a small child who waits and waits until they get the longed for toy”. If we have everything now, if there’s no waiting, where is the reward?
There’s also a reassuring feeling that Kate knows what she’s talking about – as a freelance writer and former student, rest assured she does!
The Devil wears it once and never again
My favourite section by far is the ‘capsule wardrobe’ list. There are days when I literally dread opening my wardrobe out of fear I’ll never be able to shut it again. There is stuff in there that hasn’t seen the light of day in years.
Kate’s list is by no means Spartan – there’s probably more variation of clothing types than you might have right now – but the sheer versatility of the pieces means you will get your money’s worth out of each garment, rather than wear it once then lash it to the back of the top shelf (like I do).
Y’know what else is great about this book? It’s not afraid to laugh at itself. It’s my belief that much of the reason people shy away from debt advice is because they worry they’ll be judged, berated, and looked down on.
The delivery of Girlynomics is in no way sugar-coated, but there’s a sweetness here, an “awww” factor. I literally laughed out loud when Kate admitted that trying to freeze half used limes for her drinks was ‘absolute pants’.
It goes back to that sentiment I mentioned before, that reading Girlynomics really is like picking the brains of your smartest, funniest friend.