Many women are taking sole charge of their financial lives, and proudly so. While some are leading in the right direction when it comes to money management, others are learning the ropes gradually. However, there still is a majority which is completely devoid of financial decision-making – some by choice, some by circumstances.
A National Center for Women and Retirement Research (NCWRR) study, at Long Island University, showed a direct correlation between a woman’s personality traits and her financial habits. The study reads, “Women are falling behind when it comes to money management. Only 43% of women reported having an emergency fund in place and just over half felt comfortable with the amount of non-mortgage debt they were carrying (compared to 71% of men).”
Ladies, there is no such thing as an appropriate time to start. One can handle money matters at any given time of the year. Here are the top ten most effective money tips for women:
1. Don’t rely completely on your spouse or family: Educate yourself
- For most people, money is also an emotional issue. It is also deemed to represent power, love, or control, especially when it comes to relationships. Delegating financial security to a spouse, or significant other, or family makes the woman lose control over her financial knowledge. Allowing someone else to handle all of your money matters will restrict you from the financial knowledge you deserve to have.
- Educate yourself about money management and investing. There are a plethora of financial books and podcasts in the market. Knowledge concerning matters that shape your life is important at every step of the way. Financial knowledge is one such kind. Whether you need help getting out of debt or developing a stronger relationship with money, there is a financial resource out there for you. Spend two hours or more monthly learning about wealth building, debt elimination, investing, and real estate. Read books or articles and attend seminars. Learn from those who handle their money well.
2. Set your goals and become organised first: Begin
- Women, out of love, care and sacrifice, are in the habit of putting themselves at the end of priority lists. Therefore, the idea of setting goals for their secure future evaporates. This needs to change. You need to set specific goals and ambitions for yourself. Money is worthless without having goals. Managing money will be clearer and easier when there is a proper purpose for the present and future.
- The important note is to be specific. In order to create a sound plan, these goals must have both a time-frame and an amount. Once you have listed and quantified your goals, you need to prioritise them. It’s also crucial to figure out how many weeks or months there are between the present day and the time you want to reach your target. Keeping in mind that every goal must have a deadline, you need to master the art of managing money matters in line with it.
3. Invest in yourself: Embrace your power
After setting goals, comes the balance between happiness and success. Following your passion will make you happy and successful. Women need to first start investing in themselves. This can be in the form of a professional training around your passion, upgrading your skills, connecting with friends, and developing a network. Making your finances a priority and getting them in order will help you look out for yourself even more.
4. Practise self-control: Shop smartly
- One of the major factors to deal with while spending money is self-control. During a financial constraint, it’s important to reflect while purchasing whether you really need the product or not. Make sure the purchase will add value to your life. If you don’t practise impulse control, sometimes all those little purchases can add up and leave you regretful. Make alterations in your lifestyle, if necessary. Make tough choices in order to keep the wagon going.
- We live in the digital world. Spend your money wisely after taking notice of various factors, mediums and resources. Research about several cheaper and better alternatives to shop at, and save the extra money. Make use of applications and connections in learning about new trends and offers.
5. Maintain an emergency fund
The most important aspect of having stable finance is keeping an emergency fund aside. When it comes to wine, it is the most significant. Therefore, before making huge investments, make sure you have a few months’ worth of expenses saved in an emergency fund to help you in time of need. Keeping it liquid will ensure that you can always get to your money quickly. If there is difficulty in deciding how much you need to keep in hand, consider the standard expenses you have in a month, and then estimate all the expenses you might have in the future.
6. Stay completely involved with family’s finances, share opinions
Most women stay away from their family’s financial matters. This not only takes away the power but also the information one deserves to know. Talking to your partner or family through the matters and resolving difficulties through consolidated effort can help a great deal. Start by discussing your shared goals and from there, build a roadmap. Reveal your plans and take suggestions.
7. Free yourself from debt and burden
Financially depending on someone completely is also an attribute of debt. Make a record of your credit score and focus on paying off your debts consequently. Stop carrying large credit card debt for a longer period as this will only worsen the situation. Clear debts timely. Once you pay off your credit cards, use them only for convenience, and pay off the balance each month.
8. Save more for future
The notion that women are capable of saving may be true. But really, are you all saving for your individual selves? Many studies and surveys show that women are way behind when it comes to their retirement savings. Absolutely nil savings leads to complexities in the long run. Therefore, making a plan to save more and implementing it is a sure shot way to effective money management. Sure, you might have to shift a few things in your budget to make it happen, but it’s all worth it along the way.
9. Diversify and negotiate everything
- Diversification is a crucial phenomena. Women have to ability to understand markets as much as men do. Diversify among cash, stocks and bonds. Also, don’t make the common mistake of putting most of your money in safe investments like savings accounts, deposits and money market funds. Also, take advantage of tax-deferred investments. If we talk about a will, it is another way to ensure that your funds, property and personal effects will be distributed according to your wishes.
- Ladies, negotiate everything. Do not shy away from asking for what your deserve. When it even comes to bill payments, one should never forget to negotiate all numerous services signed up for. Look for better deals and use them to cut extra expenditure. Make smart choices when it comes to section of services and products and negotiate prices through comparison.
10. Learn from money failures
- Do understand that there is no perfection to handling money. Making mistakes while managing money is normal, so don’t beat yourself up if you go over budget or forget to pay a bill on time. Most importantly, do not let anyone put you down because of a mistake.
- What matters is getting back on the wagon after a financial mistake and working to prevent the same mistakes in future. It’s also necessary to identify past choices that have led to financial frustration or stress, and learn from those. Use failure and goof-ups as a learning tool for future decision-making.
There are many other ways to manage finances well. But the most important thing to remember is to put money into proper perspective. At the end of the day, your financial security is dependent on your attitudes surrounding money and your willingness to take your financial future into your own hands. Don’t allow financial frustrations to ruin your daily life. Take it one step at a time, because everything can be fixed and you can always start afresh.