Cost-of-living crisis severely impacting young women, new research from Moneysmart reveals

Young Australian women are more likely to feel stressed and overwhelmed about their finances, as new research about the demographic and gender-specific impact of cost-of-living pressures comes to light.   

As noted by ASIC's Moneysmart, young Australian women between the age of 18-26 (Gen Z) are more likely than their male counterparts to feel severely stressed about the current cost-of-living crisis – 87% of women reported feeling stressed as compared to 77% of men. More than half (57%) of Gen Z women also reported feeling overwhelmed by finances, which was much higher than their male counterparts.  

As part of its research, ASIC surveyed more than 1,000 Australians aged between 18-26 in late 2023 to understand their financial attitudes and behaviours. ASIC's Acting Senior Executive Leader of Corporate Finance, Amanda Zeller, noted that the research findings were consistent with the gender gap around money management that's prevalent internationally.   

"Moneysmart's findings are in line with research from organisations such as the OECD, which shows that women are less confident and knowledgeable about money than their male peers," said Ms Zeller.  

"This is an issue further exacerbated by harmful stereotypes about young women and money, perpetuating a cycle of financial anxiety and insecurity among women. It's an issue we need to tackle because the emerging picture is bleak: The financial decisions young women make today will compound across their lifetimes."  

Other concerning findings that indicate that younger women are severely affected when it comes to financial stress include: 

  • More than 10% of Gen Z women are likely to have no personal savings;  
  • Almost one-third (32%) of Gen Z women are likely to rely on buy-now-pay-later services;  
  • More than one-third (37%) of Gen Z women don't know much about their finances and;  
  • Nearly half (47%) of Gen Z women need help figuring out where to start to increase their financial knowledge. 

"These findings demonstrate the importance of empowering young women to move past girl math and take control of their finances," said Ms Zeller.