Five steps to financial empowerment by CBA's Jess Irvine

Expert shares key steps for women's financial empowerment

Five steps to financial empowerment by CBA's Jess Irvine


By Mina Martin

Jess Irvine (pictured above), a personal finance expert at Commonwealth Bank, underscored the importance of financial independence for women, advocating for autonomy and freedom.

Five steps to financial control

In CommBank’s Brighter magazine, Irvine listed five steps for women to take control of their finances immediately.

  • Maintain personal banking independence. Irvine stressed the importance of having a personal bank account to make financial decisions independently. Joint account holders should ensure equal access and participation in financial decisions to avoid feeling controlled or restricted.
  • Invest in your income-earning capacity. Recognizing oneself as the most valuable asset, Irvine advised continually investing in personal skills and development. This is crucial, especially for those taking time off for family care, to mitigate the impact of prolonged workforce absence on future earning potential.
  • Understand your net worth. Knowing your net worth – assets minus debts –is critical. Irvine encouraged active participation in financial decisions, especially in joint financial ventures, and warns against being coerced into uncomfortable financial commitments.
  • Regular financial health checks. Irvine recommended regularly reviewing account statements and financial transactions to stay informed and detect any unauthorised activities. Keeping financial information secure and making financial review a routine can help maintain financial health.
  • Learn to invest independently. Starting to invest early, even before entering a relationship, can significantly impact wealth accumulation. Irvine highlighted the benefits of compound interest and the importance of protecting one’s assets and wealth when entering new relationships.

Beyond financial advice

Irvine, known for her work as @moneywithjess, brings nearly two decades of financial reporting experience to her advice. Her dedication to financial literacy is evident in her latest book, The Money Diary, aiming to demystify personal finance and foster financial empowerment among her readers.

Support for those affected by domestic or family violence

Recognising the intersection between financial control and domestic violence, Irvine and CommBank provided resources and support for those affected. The Next Chapter Team offers assistance to anyone struggling with financial issues due to domestic or family violence, ensuring safety and support remain priorities.

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