Tips to Help Women Gain Financial Independence

No matter your financial or personal situation, it’s important to play an active role in managing your finances. Specifically to women, maintaining control over your finances, understanding your budget and monitoring your credit score are essential for financial freedom.

In many cases, a spouse or significant other make take on the role of managing the family’s finances exclusively. While this may initially be a burden off your shoulders, if can lead to far greater problems down the road. You finances should be treated as a partnership so that you both have a voice in your budget and financial goals, and so that you are not left feeling financially dependent upon someone else.

In an effort to empower women through financial independence, here are key tips for taking control of your finances:

Gain a good understanding of your current financial situation 

The first and most important step to gaining financial independence is to have a full understanding of your current financial situation. What is your personal and total family income? What debt do you have? What are your spending habits? Review your most recent bank statements and start to map out your financial footprint.

Learn financial fundamentals

Now that you understand your current financial situation, start to tackle any issues you’ve found by learning financial fundamentals and best practices. Start by searching for online resources that will help you understand how to improve your credit score, how to pay down credit card debt and how to avoid bank service charges to your account. Knowledge is power!

Create a (realistic) budget 

Next, apply this knowledge to your personal and your total family budget. This cannot exceed your income if you truly want to gain financial independence. Look for ways in which you can cut back on spending or earn additional income, if needed. Most importantly, track your spending, compare this to your bank statements and stick to the budget you’ve created.

Have a debt management plan

If you realize you have debt, put a plan in place to pay down the debt with each month. Even if you can only pay a little each month, it’s better than nothing at all. Talk with the credit card companies who are happy to assist you in establishing a payment plan. If you have existing debt, be extra careful to not add to this debt further with current spending habits.

Set long-term financial goals

What are your biggest financial challenges right now? Or what are some items on your “wish list” that you want to work toward? Set long-term financial goals for yourself that will help you to visualize the reward for sticking to your budget each month.

Seek help

If you want to gain financial independence but have hit challenges or need advice, there are many resources available to you! Local businesses and organizations often offer free or low-cost financial planning seminars or consultations that will help you get started in the right direction. Begin by checking with your local insurance agent, bank or financial planner.