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Twenty-seven percent of South Australians have money struggles - most of them women
By Tammy Barton

By Callie Watson from The Advertiser, 16 February 2010

...And young women struggle with budgets

Women in their 20s are the South Australians most likely to struggle with debt and be "financially unfit", a study suggests.

Bankwest today released its 2010 Financial Fitness Index, which measures what it deems are vital signs of someone's ability to manage their money, including mortgage repayments and rent, credit card debt, savings, insurance and annual income.

The results reveal that 27 percent of SA respondents were considered "financially unfit", compared to 16 percent last February.

Women under 30 make up the majority of those who struggle to save and keep track of their funds, according to the report.

Financial service MyBudget director Tammy May said almost 70 percent of the company's 6000 clients were women and the ages of those seeking financial help had dropped significantly in recent years. She blamed the busy lifestyles of young people for their cash-strapped situations. "We're constantly on the go, eating out all the time and, when you think of women, the costs soar because of haircuts and colours, clothes and, in some cases, looking after children," she said.

The report defines "financially unfit" as having little or no regular savings, little or no insurance coverage and big housing costs relative to income.

Just over 21 percent of South Australians were viewed as financially fit and 52 percent were deemed to be borderline fit, the report found.

Wage inequity also contributes to financial stress for women. The national average weekly earnings for men is currently $891.20 total earnings and for women $588.50 total earnings.
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