Education on money management and investing is critical – but especially for women. Women are playing an increasingly critical role in the American entrepreneurial space and in the workforce. Greater purchasing power means women need more resources now more than ever when it comes to money management.
Thankfully, it appears that women are already off to a good start. Women tend to be strong savers. In fact, a 2017 Fidelity survey found that women saved an average of 9% of their annual paychecks, compared to an average of 8.6% by men.
Women are also, on average, better investors than men. The same 2017 Fidelity report found that women’s portfolios performed better than men’s by 40 basis points or 0.4% in total.
Nevertheless, there is a ton of work that needs to be done. This is why we’ve compiled a list of the top money management tips geared towards women. No matter what your goals are, here’s how to take charge of your finances and free up funds to invest in your future!
1. Take charge of your budget
One of the secrets to financial wellbeing isn’t really a secret at all – it’s the age-old piece of advice that involves creating and sticking to a budget.
No matter if you’re a man or woman, everyone should be analyzing how much money they have coming in and where that money is going. Developing a budget will help you become more aware of your spending habits and ultimately save you money down the line.
If you share household expenses with your partner, sit down with them to discuss long-term financial goals like investing and retirement. Most importantly, don’t be afraid to take charge and share what you’ve learned to improve your household budget!
2. Take your career into your own hands
Always look for opportunities to hone your craft and increase your pay at work. Special training, certifications, seminars, and continued education will give you a competitive edge. Be on the lookout for ways to improve your skills and be an asset to your employer. With more education and experience, you’ll be eligible for better-paying jobs. And if you feel like you’re contributing a ton of value at work, don’t be afraid to ask for a raise.
3. Look for remote work
Are you a stay-at-home mom? Finding the balance between being home with your kids and earning income is possible thanks to remote work opportunities. Take advantage of the ever-growing culture of online remote work. Working remotely gives you the ability to create your own schedule and monetize your skills.
Start by honing in on your existing talents or skills. You could write, create graphic illustrations, tutor, consult individuals or companies, or even become a virtual assistant! Sites like Fiverr, Upwork, and Indeed post hundreds of remote work opportunities daily. They’re a great starting point for searching for remote work opportunities.
4. Start a side hustle
Aside from remote work opportunities, it may also be worthwhile to explore side hustles. Maybe you have an entrepreneurial passion you’re looking to develop or you simply just want to earn some extra cash on the weekends. Side hustles can be a great way to hone in your skills and boost your earnings potential simultaneously.
5. Invest early
Learning how to invest early on gives you an edge when it comes to securing your financial future. Setting money aside for retirement and having your money work for you sounds easy enough right?
Knowing where to begin is another story. We recommend looking into various no-fee or low-fee brokerage accounts and investment platforms. You may want to explore a mixture of stocks, bonds, and ETFs.
In fact, low-cost ETFs can be a great way to get started investing because they are typically well-diversified. In fact, famed billionaire investor Warren Buffet has been a long-time fan of index ETF investing for its diversified approach and long-term gain potential. He’s even gone on the record suggesting investors buy an S&P 500 low-cost index fund; “Keep buying it through thick and thin, and especially through thin.”
6. Stay on top of your credit score
Not only does having a high credit score directly affect your credit limit, but it gives you major buying power as well. When looking to buy a car, lease a rental, or get a mortgage – having a stellar credit score keeps your interest rates lower, credit limits higher, and can help you land a sweeter deal. Plus, with a higher credit score, you’re also less likely to need a co-signer on any loans or leases.
7. Talk to other women about finance
Networking and sharing knowledge is critical in any field – but especially when it comes to money management. Find ways to discuss and share ideas with people who are also taking charge of their financial futures. You may learn advice, share career opportunities, or at the very least – meet interesting people.
You can find Facebook or local meetup groups with other women in your area to discuss financial strategies and career moves. Speaking with others about successes, failures and growth is a great way to keep you motivated and inspired. Cultivate a tribe of like-minded individuals to surround yourself with.
8. Follow female finance leaders
Uplift and support other women on their financial journey. You’ll feel empowered and connected to find that others are in your shoes or have already been through the trenches. Listening to podcasts or reading books from women who are paving the way in the financial world is a game-changer. The knowledge you’ll gain from the daily input of podcasts and books is priceless!
Here are a few of our favorite women-centered podcasts and books.
- Clever Girl Finance by Bola Sokunbi
- The Fairer Cents Podcast hosted by Tanja Hester and Kara Perez
- Millennial Money Podcast hosted by Shannah Compton Game
- The Financial Confessions by Chelsea Fagan
- On My Own Two Feet: A Modern Girl’s Guide to Personal Finance by Manisha Thakor and Sharon Kedar
Own your financial future
More and more women are stepping into their power and taking control over their financial journey. After all, when you create a plan for your finances, you’re giving your money a purpose. And as you continue your financial journey, remember that consistency is key. Whether it’s investing or budgeting or even your side hustle, you won’t see results overnight. But with the right amount of dedication and commitment, you will see progress.