Financial decisions are a huge part of everyday life; particularly for those who are responsible for the family finances. ‘The Great Irish Reset’ carried out by eumom/Ogilvy showed that 93% of moms are wholly or jointly responsible for managing the family finances.
But how often do people take the time to consider if they have the best deals, the right accounts, and the most suitable insurance to cover it? Are they saving for the future, or living one day at a time? A consumer study by Bord Bia found that an incredible 94% agree that being debt free is a sign of success; compared to a global average of 59%.
Now more than ever, mums are the key decision makers in many households, and are often hyper-aware of financial pressures, with 35% saying they watch their finances like a hawk. The trend, originally coined as the ‘control freak’ trend, emerged out of the recession as a response to a need to tighten the belt, and an acceptance of the inadequacies of a light-touch approach to managing finances and household utilities in years gone by. This trend has developed and evolved to be about being ‘in control’ and extends far beyond money and household management
So how do mums manage their finances, and how can institutions like Banks, Building Societies and mortgage providers engage them? Analysis of the financial patterns amongst mums reveals some key trends.
With 44% of moms claiming to have become better managers of money in recent years, consumers actively want to engage with financial institutions and utility providers, in order to get the best deal. It’s more important than ever for brands to be open about what they offer, and to demonstrate the available savings and value for money that switching can offer. With more careful budgeting and a wariness of the future, this is also a time to make saving accounts feel positive and attainable. Options that offer low-risk and easy access (as opposed to long-term plans) often show stronger performance amongst families.
45% of mums state that technology makes their lives easier, and at least 1 in 4 moms owns a smartphone. With 85% of eumom users access the site on mobile, it is clear to see the importance of mobile-friendly websites and application both for banking transactions, and for finding out information on products.
Make do and mend
Though mortgage products may be the big sellers, many households aren’t in a position to buy a house, or move. Because of this, there is a growing trend for home improvements like redecorating, extensions, and new kitchens. 85% of mums participate in DIY and fix things in their home, and 32% are doing DIY more than last year. This is why it’s so important to draw attention to loan options and insurance as well as new homes; plus the savings plans to work towards a deposit.
With the growing interest in active engagement, coupled with increasing numbers of mums working full-time; it’s important that financial institutions are available when they’re needed. This has led to growth in evening and weekend services, and online chat options. A reliable and approachable customer service team cannot be underestimated, as users want to access answers with minimal disruption both over the phone, in person, and increasingly on social media.
It’s also key to engage customers by offering advice and support while being careful not to alienate them: Around 30% have no savings account at all, and many would not trust a ‘we know best’ stance if they don’t feel understood or represented.
Ease of use
53% of mums surveyed are shopping around more in the past year, so it’s important to be clear about what you can offer this time-poor consumer group. One of the key factors, along with value-for-money is to make the customer journey as easy as possible, with readily accessible information and services such as transfers, ATMs, and even ease of changing details.
According to our study, over 60% of mums have a savings account, and over 30% have a joint savings account. Extra advice on budgeting and creating savings, such as easy calculators on how much to save make a big difference to the 48% are making less go further.
Parents want to be prepared for the financial future and begin to plan early for the financial well-being of their family. So being there for children can provide a huge opportunity for engagement. Over 50% of mums surveyed have opened a bank account for their child. Some of our most popular articles focus on teaching children about money and saving for the future, showing how brands could offer options such as family saving accounts, savings accounts for children or a first steps programme aimed at expectant parents.
In conclusion, mums want to create financial stability for their family and are eager to save for their children and teach them about money. Established brands such as banks are seen as safest for mortgages and savings, but features such as easy online banking, excellent customer service and child saver accounts may be a way for smaller institutions to compete and offer families the solutions they need.