To mark International Women’s Day 2024, we spoke with three women about how they’re using Moneybox to build wealth for their future. Meet Audrey, Ela, and Lisa as they dive into a chat about the gender wealth gap, how the personal finance space has changed, and how we can make finance more inclusive.

 

What are your main financial goals and how are you using Moneybox to get you there?

Audrey: I’ve been using a Moneybox Lifetime ISA for the past 14 months to save a deposit for my first home. I also have a Simple Saver and was delighted to be eligible for the recent 5% reward rate* – it’ll get me closer to the pair of Jimmy Choos I’m buying for my wedding next year!

 

Ela: My main goal is to buy a home, so I’m saving with a LISA. I didn’t want to put money for the deposit in a savings account when I could be getting better interest, plus a government bonus. Now I’m more confident, I’ve also started investing with a Moneybox Stock & Shares ISA.

 

Lisa: I used Moneybox to save a deposit for my first property and have built up an emergency fund. Now my main financial goal is saving for my wedding and honeymoon with a Moneybox 95 Day Notice account.

After the wedding I want to increase investments into my Moneybox Stocks and Shares ISA. I opened it a while ago when interest rates on cash savings accounts were pretty low. I really want to build up my wealth and think it’s better to do that by investing over cash savings. In the long run I think it makes more sense to invest than save for me.

 

*You will earn this reward rate if you either: have a balance above £0 in a qualifying Moneybox account, which includes: Cash ISA, Stocks & Shares ISA, Lifetime ISA**, Junior ISA, Personal Pension, or; have a Reward Savings Account that hasn’t been cancelled. 

**If your balance in your Lifetime ISA drops to £0 then you are eligible to keep the reward rate for 12 months or until 13/02/2025, whichever date is later. 

 

How do you feel the gender wealth gap affects your financial decisions?

Audrey: The gender wealth gap has had a profound effect on my financial decisions, influencing my perceptions of self-worth and confidence, particularly in salary negotiations. There have been instances where I felt less assertive in advocating for fair compensation, resulting in being underpaid and undervalued in my career trajectory.

However, with increasing awareness, especially on occasions like International Women’s Day, there’s a growing sense of empowerment among women. More opportunities are opening up in traditionally male-dominated fields such as STEM and tech, offering a path to higher-paying roles. Yet, the root cause of the wealth gap lies in earning potential, necessitating greater transparency in job listings regarding salaries.

By addressing these issues head-on and promoting equal opportunities for all, we can work towards narrowing the gender wealth gap and fostering a more equitable financial landscape.

 

Ela: The decision to be child-free could be down to money for some women. Some may make the choice not to because it means letting go of the lifestyle they have when they’re single. In the present working climate, pregnancy could mean sacrificing a career which would mean a drop in income and in the long run, greater disparity in earnings between partners. Financial freedom = the freedom to choose to have kids – not just the desire. If I had a lot of money, I’d be happy to have them!

 

Lisa: My partner out-earns me and I’m quite determined to meet him there. Now that I’m in my thirties, financial security is more of a priority. While that comes with challenges, the rewards are worth it – money in the bank, owning my home, and funds to do things I love.

 

How do you feel attitudes towards personal finance have changed since your parents’ generation?

Audrey: My attitude towards personal finance has shifted significantly since my parents’ generation. Growing up, my mum’s challenges with money and frequently being in her overdraft, highlighted the impact of financial habits on your life. Learning from her experiences, I’ve adopted a more cautious approach, to live within my means and make informed financial decisions. I do enjoy shopping, but I prioritise financial stability and have actively sought out resources and advice from friends and family to improve my financial literacy.

 

Ela: My parents weren’t very good with money which meant I learned from their mistakes. But it also meant that I had to support them and my siblings financially when I was in my 20s. I feel like if I hadn’t had that financial burden I would already have bought a house by now as I’ve always been very switched on and organised when it comes to money. My parents are doing better now but I feel like I lost out on time and financial potential compared to my peers.

 

Lisa: There are a lot more sources of information out there now, as well as new products. Digital has completely changed the game. I think it’s also opened up conversations about money and finance that people didn’t really have back then. My dad was an accountant, however he never really spoke to us about finances and what to do – although he always instilled in us the importance of having your own bank account and funds.

 

The theme of International Women’s Day this year is ‘Inspiring inclusion’ – how do you think financial inclusion could be improved, especially for women?

Audrey: Having better role models – women who talk about investing that young women can relate to. Even on social media you relate less when you see men talking about it. Representation is key for this topic. 

 

Ela: I’m a musical theatre performer and I want to inspire more people in this industry to be proactive when it comes to their money. It doesn’t pay loads and the pay can be erratic, so it’s really important that they know how to make the most of it.

 

Lisa: Include men in the conversation about personal finance! It’s not solely a woman’s problem and it affects men too. I heard a stat that said most men would feel emasculated if a woman out-earned them.

I also think more needs to be done to ensure everyone starts saving into a pension and has a better set up for retirement. Again, this is something that affects women more than men.

 

Has anything surprised you about being money-savvy since you took control of your finances with Moneybox?

Audrey: Realising that you can start small – I thought I had to be financially set before I could start investing. Maybe other women feel the same like they need to tick off every step before they start.

 

Ela: One of the most important things is not keeping money in your current account. Invest as much as you can to beat inflation. As soon as my pay lands in my account I’m excited to save and invest it.

 

What does financial freedom mean to you?

Audrey: The ability to dictate my schedule and work remotely from anywhere in the world is a concept that holds particular interest as a passionate traveller. It’s about having the flexibility to pursue my wanderlust while still maintaining a stable income stream, enabling me to explore new destinations without compromising my professional endeavours.

 

Ela: I work in a theatre with a crazy schedule, on contracts, with irregular income. Financial freedom for me is being able to choose how I spend my time.

 

Lisa: Financial freedom to me is security, betting on yourself, and having your own independence. 

 

We’re firm believers in balance – what’s your favourite way to treat yourself?

Audrey: Travelling! Every April on my birthday I travel somewhere. It doesn’t need to be a long trip – I’ve been doing more mini breaks around Europe. I’ve just been to Crete, and Paris is always a good idea!

 

Ela: I’m happy to prioritise house savings at the moment – I love the reward of seeing my money grow. But I do love good food and little holidays.

 

Lisa: I think as women, it’s really hard to not want to buy loads of things – we’re constantly told we need to buy this, that, and the other. It’s interesting that when you see monthly budget breakdowns on social media, beauty and self care is always in women’s budgets. And the list is only getting longer – nails, filler, brows, lashes etc.

The one luxury I need to have is my exercise pass – I pay a premium to access the gym, group classes, and the community. I can forgo a lot of other things as long as I have that.

 

 

Important to know

All investing should be long term (min. 5 years). The value of your investments can go up and down, and you may get back less than you invest.

A 25% government penalty applies if you withdraw money from a Lifetime ISA for any reason other than buying your first home (up to £450,000) or for retirement, and you may get back less than you paid into your Lifetime ISA.

The Simple Saver account lets you withdraw once per calendar month.