Three quarters of Aussie women consider themselves the CFO of the household, writes Ann-Maree Land.

New research by St George Bank reveals 68 per cent of Aussie women consider themselves to be the CFO of the household, and a surprisingly high 84 per cent are learning the ropes themselves with no formal training in finance.

The survey, conducted with 1,000 women around Australia, also found more than half of women (54.2 per cent) are self- taught in finance and budgeting through using the internet, while one in five (22 per cent) learnt from their mum.

The respondents revealed the top three financial lessons taught by their mothers or grandmothers while growing up were to work hard (64.1 per cent), have your own independent savings account (50.8 per cent), and always have insurance (27.9 per cent).

However, the lessons passed on from previous generations – while still very sound advice – differ from what today’s mums would pass onto their children.

The modern mum’s lessons seem to reflect the increases in today’s cost of living and cost of housing, and serve as reminders to stay out of debt.

The most popular advice to today’s children from mum is don’t borrow money if you can’t pay it back (27.5 per cent); save and save some more (20.5 per cent); and start saving early to buy a house (12.5 per cent).

When it comes to juggling household budgets, female CFOs had plenty of ‘tricks of the trade’ to share as well.

Paying your bills first, living within your means and an increasingly popular tip – buying household goods in bulk – were named the top three ways to budget better.

Being a savvy saver was the most upheld piece of advice, but only 22 per cent of women admitted to using professional financial planning or accountancy advice.

While it is great that women are embracing the internet to learn more about financing and budgeting, it is also important for households to consider a financial plan and the appropriate amount of insurance and income protection for their family, in order to protect their hard earned wealth.

The younger generation of 18-24 year olds are the most likely age group to have taught themselves how to budget by using the internet, while 55–64 year olds were most likely to have sought financial advice, but looking at this earlier on in life could help assist households to budget better and save even more.

Mum’s top saving tips

• Pay all your bills first
• Live within your means, only spend what you have
• Buy in bulk to save
• Be frugal – look for specials
• Always have a budget
• Resist impulse buying – buy only what you need
• Don’t use credit (and if you must pay it in full, every month)

Call 3235 6701 to discover how St George can help you manage your money.