We’re constantly reading checklists and money steps for newlyweds, new parents and age groups as a whole, but what about the ladies? If you’re a powerhouse of a woman (or looking to become one), read on for some financial habits that are imperative for you to maintain on your road to success.
1. Knowing Where Your Money Is Going — and Coming From
Whether you’re a full-time employee or self-employed, it’s impossible to create or build a plan around your finances if you don’t know what’s happening with your money first. Use a website like Mint, You Need a Budget, or Manilla as a starting point for tracking your money and build a spending plan. If you’re on a variable income, it’s even more important for you to get a handle on things. Once you’re synced up, you’re going to see the areas in which you’re over- (or under-) spending and where you need to make adjustments. Take note on what’s going towards saving for your future self and how much is going towards debt pay down.
2. Saving Routinely –- Set it and Forget it
Since women are known to live longer than men on an average basis – it’s even more important to build up an adequate cushion for those extra years. Saving on an ongoing, automatic basis sets you on a direct path to a healthy financial future. And not only are you training yourself to treat your savings like a bill payment, but you’re also taking advantage of compound growth along the way. If you’re using your savings account to fund your lifestyle when your checking account balance gets low, or throwing money aside “if” you have some left over, break those habits. Start saving routinely for emergency funds, retirement, and future goals.
3. Using Credit Wisely
Knowledge is power when it comes to the difference between good debt and bad debt. Student loans and mortgages are typically on the good end, while credit card and other consumer debt are on the bad end. Saving money into a “splurge” account to use instead of whipping out the plastic for impulse purchases is a great way to curb credit card use. Get into the habit of checking your credit score annually and being responsible by paying balances off in full each month or more than the minimum due to save interest build-up and reduce stress.