In this way you remain financially independent in every phase of life – Natural Self Esteem

Lacey Filipich is a financial educator and her work focuses on helping women find financial independence.

This independence can look different depending on the phase of life.

Lacey says there are many things women can do to put themselves in their strongest financial position from their 20s through their 60s and beyond.

In your 20s: “Don’t put up with crap”

A former chemical engineer, Lacey knows first-hand the challenges young women face when entering the workforce.

She says speaking up, making your rights known, and recognizing skills can empower you.

“But it still happens. I met a 15-year-old last year who was making two dollars less than her male counterpart of the same age for an identical role.”

In your 20s, it’s important to make sure you’re being paid what you’re worth.(ABC News: Jake Evans)

Her advice is not to get relegated to work that is not ripe for promotion or advancement

“I was once asked to fill in as an executive assistant to the general manager of our office,” says Lacey.

“Five of my fellow male engineers could have done it, but they picked me.”

Tip: Ask for the results of the gender pay audit, which can be helpful in gaining clarity about the situation in your workplace.

Organizations with 100 or more employees in Australia are required by law to report annually to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency on gender equality indicators, including equal pay for men and women.

Having this information will make it easier to have a conversation with your boss.

“[Then] They talk about dates and facts instead of making it a personal and emotional plea.

“It’s not about paying me less, it’s ‘is there a gap here?’ and what can we do about it? So it’s a little less confrontational.”

Lacey also suggests that young women:

  • Find high paying work. The highest-paying jobs are still found in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) industries.
  • Stay in touch with market prices and keep increasing your prices. Especially in an inflationary environment. If you’re a freelancer/gig worker and don’t increase your prices in 2022, you’re effectively taking a pay cut thanks to inflation.
  • Find out what a healthy relationship looks like financially. Joint accounts are optional. Don’t let anyone rob you of your financial independence. Learn to recognize the warning signs of financial and economic abuse.

30s: Think long term

Your 30s are often a time to start planning families, and many women may be wondering who will be staying home with the kids.

According to Lacey, this is a big question that could affect the next 30 to 40 years of a woman’s life.

Even in Australia today, women continue to bear the majority of parenting responsibilities. (Pexels/Josh Willink)

“You’re often tempted to say, ‘The other person earns more, I earn a little less, so I stay at home because it’s cheaper. Because the childcare costs are so high.’”

But Lacey says many women take up to five years out of the workforce – choosing to return to work when the kids are in school.

Leave a Comment