real life

“My sister was right. I’m clueless with money.”

GROW Super
Thanks to our brand partner, GROW Super

Three days ago I received an email from my sister with the subject line “Super News”. I didn’t open it.

Yesterday, I got a text: “Did you read my email about super? Make sure you put all yours in one easy account and then you won’t have to worry about being destitute when you’re 60 xxxxxx“.

I haven’t replied, but the six kisses on the end really drove the terror deep into my soul.

You see, I know nothing about superannuation. Well, almost nothing.

I know what it’s for, why it’s important and why it’s especially tricky to grow if you’re a woman, but that’s about all I’ve got.

I have no idea how much I have or even where all mine is, let alone how to ensure I’m making the most of it.

In Australia, women retire with less than half the super balance of men, around $138, 154 compared to $292,510*.

This is due to a number of factors. The first being the big ol’ gender pay gap which, despite it being 2017, is still hovering at around 16%**.

You're never too young to start thinking about your finances. Image: iStock.
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The gap can largely be blamed on persisting sexist stereotypes about "women's work" and what it's worth.

Whether knowingly or not, employers still overwhelmingly reward men with higher wages, bigger bonuses and bigger promotions.

Did you know fewer women run top Aussie companies than men named John? Or Peter? Or David? Seriously.

Then there's the kid thing. Women generally take more time out from the workforce to have children then, on top of that, we're usually the ones saddled with the bulk of the unpaid childcare responsibilities, and caring for other family members, too.

And you know what less time at work equals? Less money to retire on.

The disparity is so big, last year there was a senate inquiry to figure out how to give economic security to the half of our population that's still getting royally shafted.

It was entitled "A husband is not a retirement plan". Too bloody right.

Now, while the global gender pay gap may not close for another 170 years (*cries*), there are still things you can do to make the most of your money, starting today, which I imagine is what my sister was getting at.

Like she said, rolling all your super into one easy to manage account is a great way to start and GROW Super can help you do it.

The fund was created to simplify things so everyone - not just those with financial know-how - can understand how money works and keep track of it over their lifetimes.

To this end, GROW Super has launched an easy-to-use app that'll help you - think of it as your secret super weapon, hidden in your smartphone.

The app's Super Spare Change tool, which can be linked to your bank account, helps you build day-to-day wealth by letting you round up everyday purchases to the nearest $1 or $5, with the spare change going to your super account where it can make a serious difference. The tool also allows you to contribute to your super, even if you're not being paid a salary or wage.

This woman is literally making money right now. Image: iStock.
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It’s about creating long-term wealth without thinking. Every coffee and every glass of wine counts!

There's also a one-touch consolidation tool which will help you find and bring together all your lost and current super at the touch of a button – no forms to fill out and certainly no account numbers to remember.

Once all your money is in one place, GROW Super teaches you how to invest in the things that matter to you: it's your money, after all.

Basically, it lets you send 15% of your account balance into industries you care about, like sustainability, startups, technology, property and clean energy, and can "forecast your future" by graphing where you’re heading, where you want to go, and the gap between you and a blissful retirement. The other 85% is managed by the experts, so you don't have to worry so much.

Now that's a plan that doesn't scare the bejesus out of me. Who knew all I needed was the right app?

*figure according to ASFA (The Association of Super Funds of Australia)

**according to the most recent estimate by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency.

What other handy tips can you share for managing your finances?

This content was created with thanks to our brand partner GROW Super.

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