I am excited to bring you a guest post today why women should take charge of their financial future.
Today’s guest post is from Tammy Brofen.
Tammy Bronfen is a freelance content marketing manager and writer and the owner of One Day, a blog about one day in the life of different women around the world. In addition to writing about women, she also writes on a variety of types that include finding balance in our daily lives, combining routine with awesome, parenting, and more. You can follow her on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.
It’s time that women take more of their financial future
When was the last time you checked your bank account or your credit card statement? Do you know how much money you earn every month and what your average monthly expenses are?
For a lot of women, these are still hard questions. While our world has changed, many women still stick their heads in the sand when it comes to their personal finances. Some of us have been conditioned to believe that money is for men to handle and that they know how to do it better. But this is a myth that we need to overcome.
It’s essential for women, no matter what their marital status, to take an active role in their finances. Why? Because by doing this, women can get more clarity, control and confidence in their lives. This means becoming financially literate and learning whatever they can about money.
In the past, it was the norm for women to mainly be caregivers, housekeepers and wives. Men were usually the main breadwinners in the family, so it was “natural” for them to also be responsible for the financial aspects of the household. This has its roots in the not-so-distance past when women lost their financial and property rights to their husbands as soon as they got married. But this is no longer and we need to start taking control of our finances for a number of reasons.
the gender pay gap
Unfortunately, despite the progress we have made in terms of gender equality, we still earn a lot less than our male counterparts. This is due in part to our role as primary caregiver, which means that we work less hours over the course of our careers. But there are also multiple other reasons for this gap that I won’t go into right now. Still, the reality is that we earn less and therefore usually have less money to contribute to retirement plans, savings and investments. For this reason, we need to understand what we earn and what we spend so that we can develop a plan for our future and for when we retire.
women are living for longer than men
According to the World Health Organization, women usually live longer than males (six to eight years on average). For this reason alone, it’s really important that women prepare for their future and learn how to be financially independent when they are older.
an estimated fifty-percent of marriages are ending in divorce
The increasing prevalence of divorce is playing a huge role in changing the financial dynamic between men and women. According to studies, the higher rate of divorce is also affected by women being financially independent and being able to initiate divorce more than in the past. However, there are still enough cases where women are caught by surprise and find themselves needing to take control of their finances for the first time. Yet another reason to take control of your finances from a young age. I’m not saying that we should do this in case we get divorced but I do think it’s really important that we learn to take care of ourselves so that we are prepared for any scenario that comes our way.
Now that we’ve established the why, let’s move on to the how shall we?
5 tips for taking control of your finances
- If you haven’t already, ask for your bank account details. I know this sounds trivial, but it really isn’t. Most banks now have online access to accounts, so ask your partner for all the details you need to log in and take stock of your financial status.
- Create a snapshot of your finances. Start to list your earnings and your expenses for a few months. Then organize the items based on categories so you know how much you earn and spend on average every month.
- Meet with a retirement and insurance agent. This is really important. Find an agent that you trust and go through your medical and health insurance policies, and your retirement policies so that you have some idea of what your situation will be like when you retire or if something unexpected happens before. Then try and tweak things wherever possible to improve the situation.
- Become financially literate. You don’t need to be a financial wiz to take control of your finances, but it is important to understand the basics. You can watch some YouTube videos, take an online course or find other creative ways to become more financially savvy. Oh and if we’re already talking about this, share what you learn with your children (especially if you have daughters). It’s never too young to get a financial education!
- Start to speak more openly about finances. If you do have a partner, start to speak more openly about your finances and ask to be part of any financial decision that are related to your household and your future. The more you speak about it, the more confident you’ll become.
Remember that understanding money and finance takes some work, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming if you do it one step at a time. I believe that when women have the right attitude and the education they need, they can empower themselves to take control of their financial future and don’t need to be dependent on anyone else to support them!