Today, and every day, we're celebrating our wāhine, our women, so last week the women at Sorted put our heads together to come up with 10 things that have been important to us on our respective money journeys. Some of these are things we wished we'd known sooner, and all are important to us today. 

Let us know what you would want the women in your life to know about money. Even better, let them know!

1. Even in 2021, there is still a gender pay gap.

The gender pay gap is 9.5 percent. It should be 0! You have the right to check with your workplace about your pay. When going for a job, know your worth by asking around – what are others in the same role earning? 

2. Once you understand the jargon, it gets easier. 

Understanding the jargon, including what to do with your KiwiSaver, makes it much easier to make informed decisions. You are in control, and making confident decisions about your money is super empowering. 

Start by having a conversation with friends and family – what works for them? If there’s something about money you don’t understand, keep asking until it makes sense. 

3. You can keep getting the KiwiSaver government contribution even if you're not working.

Give your future self some love with KiwiSaver.

KiwiSaver is a long-term investment for your retirement. Keep contributing regularly, because you will benefit from compounding returns as it grows for your future.

Even if you’re not currently in paid work, keep putting in at least $20 a week if you can, so you'll receive the maximum government contribution of $521 a year. 

4. Investing is a great way to grow your money.

Research shows that as women, we have been less willing than men to have a go at investing, but it's a great way to grow your money, especially in these times of low interest rates at the bank.

Before you start, get some good advice. Shop around for an adviser – it’s your money and your financial future. Check their credentials; ask questions. Take a support person if you want to.

5. It's important to have money of your own.

Even if you are in a relationship, make sure you still have money of your own. You never know when you might need it. Open a bank account in your own name today and start saving a small amount into it each week.

6. Your assets could be considered your partner's property even if you're not married. 

Before becoming a de facto partner, make sure you understand how the Property (Relationships) Act could affect your money and assets if you break up. 

7. Joint debt stays in your name even after a breakup.

Protect yourself against STDs (sexually transmitted debts). Be careful about signing up for your partner’s loans, including hire purchase agreements, even if they plan to make the repayments. The debt will remain in your name even if  you no longer have the item, or are no longer in the same relationship.

8. Money isn't important, but it is.

As women, we often feel that caring for the people in their lives is more important than money. And it’s true. People are more important than money. But money is important too.

It's important to help you to look after yourself and the people you love. It gives you the freedom and mental space to pour your energy into the things that matter most to you. 

9. Be ready to row the waka first.

Sometimes you have to row the waka first before your people understand the journey you want for your whānau. Make the first move and then start a kōrero with your partner and whānau to set shared goals, so you can row the waka together.

10. Small steps add up to big things.

You'll be surprised at what you can achieve in the next 5 years! Many people overestimate what they can achieve in one year, yet underestimate what they can achieve in 5. 

By taking small steps one after the other, you’ll make progress. “Little and long” is the key to saving, growing your money through investing, and feeling sorted no matter what gets thrown your way.

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