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There’s a Gender Savings Gap — Here’s What Women Can Do to Beat It

There's a Gender Savings Gap — Here's What Women Can Do to Beat It

According to a new report by financial wellbeing app RiseUp, women are suffering from a gender savings gap. The finance app polled over 2,000 Brits and found that one in 10 Brits end the month with £0 in their bank account — but more specifically, women are affected the most.

The report also revealed that 31 percent of women struggle to save money, compared to 26 percent of men. This lack of financial security also has a disproportionate emotional and mental effect on woman. It was revealed that 64 percent of women feel anxious, stressed, or worried about money just before payday, compared to 43 percent of men. This mental strain also has a knock-on effect on women’s eating habits and relationships.

But what can women do to close this gap or even just save a bit extra? We spoke to financial expert and RiseUp’s co-founder Tamara Harel-Cohen to get some tips and advice.

Why Do You Think Women Are Disproportionately Affected by the Gender Savings Gap?

Harel-Cohen: Women are believed to be disproportionately affected by the gender savings gap for several reasons. Firstly, the gender pay gap persists, with women earning 7.7 percent less than men for full-time work. In 2023, The Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed that 79 percent of reporting employers stated that median hourly pay was higher for men than for women in their organisation. Women are also less likely to receive pay rises when they request them.

Secondly, many women need to take maternity leave, and childcare responsibilities tend to fall disproportionately on women, leading to the ‘motherhood penalty’ of high childcare costs and difficulties balancing work and children, which has driven about 250,000 women in the UK out of their jobs.

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Thirdly, financial products and services are often not designed with women in mind, and their marketing strategies do not effectively engage women with personal finance and saving. We know from our research that finance doesn’t feel accessible to many women and they don’t know how to take advantage of the savings products available.

What Can Be Done to Decrease the Gender Savings Gap?

Harel-Cohen: As women, we need to be transparent and open about our money with each other. Talk to your friends about your salary, how you’re saving money and any money struggles or questions you might have. I promise, there is no such thing as a stupid question. Additionally, companies need to keep being transparent about pay and correct any disparities between men and women.

What Are Your Top Tips You Can Share, Especially For Women, to Save Money?

Harel-Cohen: Be aware of your cash flow, as many women manage household budgets and spending. Also, ask your partner to contribute to your pension when you take time off for maternity leave, as women retire with an average pensions savings of of £69,000 compared to £205,000 for men. It’s also good to utilise clothes rental apps like Hurr and ByRotation to monetise your wardrobe instead of letting clothes gather dust.

Finally, avoid paying the ‘pink tax’ on products marketed toward women by buying the ‘male’ version of the same items, such as razors and clothes. It’s helpful to join community challenges and gain support from other savers. Finally, cull your subscriptions by cancelling any unused memberships or subscriptions, and redirect that money toward things you truly value.

How Does This Gap Affect Women Emotionally and Mentally?

Harel-Cohen: The gender savings gap fuels higher levels of anxiety, frustration, relationship strain, and health impacts for women compared to men. This is driven largely from lower incomes, greater financial responsibilities, and less effective budgeting strategies. Improving financial literacy and developing better money management habits are critical for closing this emotional gap.

Looking at the report findings, we can see that while 69 percent of women feel relaxed and positive on payday, this drops to 31 percent by week two and only 20 percent by week three, in contrast with 42 percent and 34 percent of men, respectively. Overall, women are much more likely to feel frustrated with themselves.

What Does Financial App RiseUp Do That Can Help Women Save Better?

Harel-Cohen: The app can help women save better in several ways. Firstly, it focuses on maintaining a positive monthly cash flow, which is key to improving finances. The app connects to all household accounts and organises them in a simple cash flow view, making it easier to understand one’s money.

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Secondly, the app’s language and design draw from wellbeing and meditation apps, creating a welcoming and user-friendly experience that makes it easier and even fun to view financial information. Lastly, RiseUp allows users to add their partners, linking two accounts, which reduces household arguments and tension. This ensures couples are on the same page financially, enabling shared financial responsibilities.

Aaliyah Harry (she/her) is the associate editor at PS UK. She writes extensively across lifestyle, culture and beauty. Aaliyah also has a deep passion for telling stories and giving voice to the voiceless. Previously, she has contributed to Refinery29, Grazia UK and The Voice Newspaper.