Women face many unique challenges when it comes to money and investing. Whether it’s the pay gap that women face or taking time off to raise kids, women have very different financial obstacles to overcome than men typically. If you aren’t where you should be financially, find what drives you emotionally when it comes to money and try to figure out the psychological stumbling blocks that keep you from becoming financially independent. Consider these ten things to do for your financial future.
1. Don’t rely on someone else, like a husband or boyfriend, for your financial security.
When I say this, I don’t mean that you have to make an income or be the breadwinner, I mean that you should educate yourself about money management and investing. You should know how your money is working day today. If your significant other is doing financial planning, be a part of that planning. Be involved as much as you can.
2. Set goals-
it’s one of the keys to financial success. Women tend to be good at setting short term goals when it comes to their finances, but what about mid-term and long-term goals? A short-term goal could be to create a monthly spending plan and stick to it. A mid-term goal could be to pay off your debt. A long-term goal is to save enough money to retire. When you think about these different goals, the short-term goal should be feasible while the long-term goal is not as realistic. With proper planning, however, long-term goals can be very attainable.
3. Don’t use money to make yourself feel good.
I’m the first to admit that I am an emotional shopper. It gives me satisfaction to purchase a flashy watch or a cute top, hence the phrase “retail therapy”. I’ll also be the first to point out that this feeling of satisfaction is very fleeting. Instead of retail therapy, do things that promote self-respect and creativity, so you don’t have to seek those feelings through spending money.
4. Spend less than you earn-it’s the secret to creating wealth.
You are never going to get ahead if you spend more than you earn. As Dave Ramsey says, “You have to live like no one else now so you can live like no one else later.” Don’t fall into the trap of “Keeping up with the Joneses”.
5. Get an education.
People with college degrees make on average significantly more money than those who don’t have degrees. Pursue a degree or trade if it’s financially possible to set yourself up for a more stable future.
6. Build an emergency fund.
Without one, losing your job or incurring a large unexpected bill could force you to take on heavy credit card debt, and could put you into a financial hole that will be difficult if not impossible to dig yourself out of. You can start out your emergency fund with one to two thousand dollars and eventually, you should build your emergency fund to cover three to six months of expenses.
7. Be involved in the day-to-day management of your family’s finances and talk about money with your spouse.
Psychologists say that many people will talk about anything, even sex before they talk about their finances. That is because money symbolizes different things for different people: power, control, security, or love. Find a neutral time to talk, be honest with your partner about how you feel, be honest with yourself, and bring in a third party if needed. These are very important conversations to build a strong relationship.
8. Don’t let the fear of losing money, fear of failure, or fear of the unknown stop you from investing.
In the past, it was almost a requirement to have quite a bit of money available to make your initial investment in a brokerage account. Today, things are quite different; you can start investing with very little money upfront. Starting to save money early in life is crucial to set yourself up for long-term financial success.
9. Learn from your money mistakes.
Don’t let them cripple you. Think of your finances as if you are on a jet plane; a plane does not have a rearview mirror. All you can do is look ahead and keep moving forward.
10. Quit using your credit cards for everyday expenses.
When using your credit cards to cover the shortfalls in your spending, you can run up a huge amount of debt in a really short period. People tend to spend more money when they are paying with credit, and it is also easier to stop paying close attention to your budget when you constantly fall back on your credit card. Kick that habit as soon as you can.
Disclaimer: Do not construe anything written in this post or this blog in its entirety as a recommendation, research, or an offer to buy or sell any securities. Everything in this post is meant for educational and entertainment purposes only. I or my affiliates may hold positions in securities mentioned in the blog. Please see our Disclosure page for the full disclaimer.