Understand the importance and ways to smoothen your journey to financial independence as a woman with these 7 financial tips.
Doesn't matter if you're a stay-at-home mom or a working professional - you need to be financially independent.
It is no longer an option but a basic requirement for everyone.
You will be in a better position to take care of your loved ones and follow your aspirations if your finances are in order.
However, despite this knowledge, we see that when it comes to investment or personal finance planning, most women still rely on their husbands or fathers to carry out their financial objectives.
So let's first understand,
Why should women be financially independent?
Well, why shouldn't they? Every adult individual should be financially independent as they can rely only on themselves.
It's more important for women, because:
- Women are paid less than men
We know there's an income disparity between men and women, with women earning less than their male colleagues.
Hence, even their earnings are typically lower than men's, reducing the savings for later years.
- Children and family responsibilities can disrupt a career
According to a Quartz report, around 70% of Indian women in the formal workforce who left their jobs for family reasons are currently struggling to re-enter the workforce.
- Women have less exposure to financial literacy
Women are less aware of financial products due to a lack of financial knowledge. They are also less likely to pursue courses leading to a job in finance.
- Women live longer than men
A woman's life expectancy is typically 8% higher than a man's.
At some time in their lives, most women will be left to manage their own finances, particularly after their male counterparts pass away.
What's the solution?
Here are 7 ways how you can become Financially Independent:
1. Educate Yourself As Much As You Can
Take out time to study about money management and investing.
Women, on average, are less comfortable making retirement investing decisions and have lower levels of financial literacy than males - all because they aren't confident in themselves.
If you're one of the few that doesn't, you can start to alleviate some of your anxiety by educating yourself.
Read books and articles, research on the internet, and ask about free educational tools available through your banking institution or local NGOs.
You can also look for relevant groups to join or people to follow on social media to improve your personal finance knowledge.
If you become overwhelmed or confused when learning, seek professional assistance.
2. Prepare Ahead of Time for Life-Altering Events
While more women are taking matters into their own hands, again, many still lack the confidence that men do when it comes to money.
Women frequently face life-altering crises for which they are unprepared. Agree? While you know change is inevitable, it is even more critical to prepare for it ahead of time.
Plan for different life scenarios in advance, like moving after getting married, starting a family, deciding to take a break from work, adopting a child, choosing to be a single mother, divorcing or losing a career.
Even with a supportive husband or family, finances might be difficult. So to succeed, you'll need a foolproof plan and the capacity to make quick decisions.
3. Jump Into Investments
Saving money is great. But it may not always be the best option for long-term wealth accumulation.
The value of your savings may dip overtime because of inflation.
If things become more expensive, and your income does not keep pace with inflation, you will experience a loss of purchasing power.
Investments can help prevent inflation. They guarantee that savings continue to increase, in addition to providing a steady stream of income.
Many women are aware of the concept, but don't have any idea about the full range of potential dividends.
Some are even unsure of their capacity to invest properly.
Remember, when it comes to investing, women are just as effective as males, and their portfolios are often even more successful. So go for it!
4. Evaluate Your Spending Habits and Create a Budget
Creating a budget is the starting point of a sound financial strategy.
Calculate how much you'll need for bills, groceries, school fees, rent, and other expenses by working backwards.
Toss in a small bit of miscellaneous. Create and stick to a monthly cost sheet.
Depending on your needs, set aside the rest of your money for an emergency fund, travel fund, savings, and so on.
Plan your expenses for a specific time period and keep track of whether you went over budget.
You can save upto 15% by following up daily and making necessary adjustments at the end of the month to optimise it.
5. Begin Saving, creating emergency funds, and building credit.
Set aside a specified amount for savings when creating a monthly budget.
Most financial gurus recommend building an emergency fund of 3 to 6 months' worth of spending.
Such funds can come in handy in the most difficult of circumstances, such as a health crisis, a job loss, or a family emergency.
Building credit is another strategy to improve your financial situation and credit score.
You can begin by paying off your credit card amounts on a monthly basis.
6. Set aside money to support your family
If your family is in need of financial assistance, you will do everything you can to help. Isn't it? Even if it means dipping into your retirement savings.
If you spend your long-term investments expecting to start over soon, you'll have to invest more money later.
If you withdraw early, you will forfeit all of the benefits of compounding. Ofcourse, you wouldn't want that.
Rather than dipping into your retirement savings, set aside a separate fund. Don't interrupt your long-term assets for emergencies.
As we mentioned even before, according to the World Health Organization, women live 6 to 8 years longer than males on average.
But they also usually outlast their money because they save less than males.
So investing for your later years for a more enjoyable retirement becomes important. Right? Go for a plan that will cover all of your requirements.
Don't trust anyone, not even your children. It's great if they help, but make sure you have Plan B in case they don't.
Do not immediately give your home or valuable possessions to your children; remember you can always leave it to them in your will.
Invest in a monthly income plan to start building a nest egg for retirement.
This will ensure that you have a monthly income for the next 40 years and that you are financially secure.
Women, whether they are the sole breadwinner or living with a partner, should actively participate in financial planning.
Contrary to conventional thought, they are incredible at personal financial planning.
Don't believe us? Have you seen your mother budgeting for your family's expenses? Managing all expenses - no matter big or small.
The planning and accuracy is so fine. Begin implementing the financial tips as soon as possible to live a life free of financial stress.