Want to know the #1 thing that I believe interferes with a woman’s independence? Money management. Women have it going on when it comes to earning college degrees and high GPA scores. We multi-task easily, and the number of us who are running departments and companies is increasing. We’re hammering away at the pay gap, and we’re most often the ones buying things for the household; but, when it comes to financial planning and long-term investments, we fall far behind our male counterparts.
It could be because the financial industry has been historically dominated by males, so the terminology and practice is culturally embedded into our minds as something that we as women are not privy to or aren’t that interested in. I admit that 401k talk is not nearly as interesting as perusing Pinterest for cool home décor, but it’s way more important.
Money management is important for many reasons:
Naivete with finances could leave you in big trouble. If your spouse or partner leaves or dies, where are the passwords kept? What type of funds do you have? What do you owe and when is it due? How will you pay the monthly bills? Not knowing could lead to months or even years of stress and vulnerability.
If you are single, failing to plan for the future could mean a lifetime of scrimping and chasing bargains instead of taking opportunities for company matching funds and having an emergency fund.
If you get sick, lose your job, or some other emergency occurs, being financially savvy could help you avoid a lot of pain.
And, finally, stay out of debt! Live within your means and save for things and pay cash for them. Learn the difference between a want and a need. Hint: HUGE difference!
But, isn’t credit important? Yes, but be wise about it. Establish credit by making small purchases on a credit card for gas and then pay it off entirely each month. Being in debt is like wearing a chain wherever you go. It limits your future and is a burden for years. True financial independence is not being beholden to credit card companies.
We cannot afford to take our eyes off of the financial ball. We need to catch up here and own our financial future. Strong, independent women are everywhere, and we need to throw in financial savvy to make the list of awesomeness complete. Take a look at Daily Worth to get started!