Why Should Women Manage Money and Be Financially Independent?
It’s delightful to see women pursuing their higher studies and joining the workforce with a dream of having a flourishing career. Women are not sitting idle anymore. Thanks to the gradual change in our society’s outlook on women. But even then, when it comes to personal finance, it’s still a man’s arena. Women are still on the sidelines and can’t make big financial decisions. And that’s unfortunate. Truly.
Count the number of advertisements where you have seen women giving important suggestions on investment. How many can you remember? 1, 2, 3? Now try to remember the number of advertisements you have seen where a man with a dynamic personality is giving you suggestions on where and how to invest. The list is probably endless. This is the difference between men and women. Women are still not taken seriously when it’s about serious financial stuff. Something that needs to be changed soon.
- Because they don’t know what’s stored in the future
The future is unpredictable but women need to think about it. Their life may be beautiful at this moment but there is no guarantee that the future will be a bed of roses. After 10 or 20 years, they might be single, legally separated, or widowed. Unless they work hard and save money, their future will be bleak. And frankly speaking, saving money is not enough to secure their financial future. Women need to invest money aggressively to build wealth. Surely, there are risks involved in investments. But a diversified portfolio can help them to make money in the long run.
- Because wage discrimination is still there
The wage gap is there between men and women. This is why women have to work longer than men to earn an equivalent amount of money. For instance, if a man earns $10,000 in 3 years, a woman has to work for 4 years to earn it. This leads to a low retirement income.
As per the 2018 report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women earn a mere 81 percent of the median weekly earnings of men. The survey took on full-time employed men and women. The differentiation between men and women is loud and clear.
- Because they give priority to family
Family comes first for most women. They make a lot of sacrifices for the family too. Many women take a long career break to raise their kids. This gap in their career becomes fatal for them as their income is reduced considerably. Hence, their savings get drained. Plus, it puts a big dent in their retirement savings.
It’s high time women learn how to balance family and career simultaneously. Taking long career gaps is detrimental to their financial life. They need to look for alternatives.
- Because they have a longer lifespan than men
Women tend to have a longer lifespan than men. Statistically, a widow lives 14 years longer than her husband. This is a long time, and women have to make a plan to survive these years. Women need to save money for themselves. It’s wrong to anticipate that their children will cover all the financial expenses. If women don’t save an adequate amount of money, then they may not be able to ever retire. It’s a matter of serious concern.
How should women manage their money?
Whether you’re young or old, as a woman, you should take the following steps to manage money like a pro and be financially independent in the true sense of the word.
Get a job after you finish your education.
Give your 100% at work and don’t hesitate to ask for a pay hike or a raise.
Live as per your means to save money.
Try to manage your credit card responsibly to avoid getting into debt problems.
Open a retirement savings account and make regular contributions to build your nest egg.
Try to take fewer breaks in your career. Maintain a healthy balance between your personal and professional life.
Work with a financial advisor to find out where and how you should invest.
Work with a certified financial planner who can help you create an elaborate financial plan while keeping your goals in mind.
Work part-time or negotiate for reduced work hours at the office if your family responsibility is taking a lot of your time.
Ask your spouse to create a will so that you know what you’re getting after his death.
Get adequately covered for a health insurance policy, life insurance policy, auto insurance policy, home insurance, etc.
Create a budget so that you spend wisely and save money prudently.
Follow financial blogs and read articles to know about the various ways of managing your money.
Feminism is not women’s empowerment. Celebrating March 8th is not women’s empowerment. Real female empowerment is when females are financially independent and can lead a life on their terms.
A word of wisdom
Think practically instead of emotionally when it comes to managing money.
If you’re in a bad relationship, and that is draining your savings, then it’s better to get out of it. If you’re a shopaholic, then try to restrict your impulsive purchases. If you’re going through a divorce and want to stay in the big house for the sake of your kids or emotional attachment, then ask yourself one question.
“Can I afford to maintain this house”?
If you can’t afford it, then it’s better to move into a small apartment. It’s not wise to hang on to something that is beyond your affordability.
Managing personal expenses is significantly different from having complete financial freedom. Yes. Many women are working and managing their monthly expenses. But that is not financial independence. Women will be considered financially independent when they can maintain a decent lifestyle throughout their life, even after retirement. How many women can claim that they are financially independent?
It’s time women become good money managers in their personal life for the sake of their own benefit. The aforementioned steps can help them to do that.