How women can take control of their finances

As women continue to excel when it comes to entering the workforce, advancing in their careers, and earning an income, it is more important than ever that they take proper control of their finances. Discrimination in terms of wages and advancement opportunities means women need to make more of an effort to be independent and one of the most effective means of this is being financially in control. Whether you’re well into your career or just starting out, these simple tips can help you gain financial control and be more aware of how to handle your finances in a manner that will benefit you in the long run.

Define your financial goals

Whether it’s saving up for something nice or planning on investing in education, defining your financial goals will be the first step to helping you achieve them. A good way to categorize your financial goals is in short-term, medium-term and long-term goals. Having a financial plan allows women to take a look at all aspects of their financial lives. This includes incomes, expenses, retirement planning, income taxes, insurance needs and most importantly, how they all work together within the context of your goals. Moreover, by planning out your financial goals, you end up planning a financial roadmap to follow and a plan of action which is essential in financial clarity and control.

Look into getting a bank account  

In order to be in control of your finances, it’s worth looking into getting a bank account. The primary benefit of having your money in a bank account is that it keeps your money secure. Keeping physical cash at home is not a safe option because the chance of losing it through theft or misplacement is incredibly high. Moreover, the more money you have, the harder it is to keep track of the amount through physical cash. Having a bank account will also allow you to save your money in a more effective manner and help you achieve your financial goals quicker. Although the process of opening a bank account could be tedious and bank charges have an additional cost, there are a plethora of different banks to look into to compare fees as well as digital wallets that have fewer requirements/costs.

Set money aside for an emergency fund

An emergency fund is essential in protecting yourself from uncertain events and is an essential component of a healthy financial life. At some point in their careers women tend to take leave during their careers, oftentimes to care for the elderly or for children. For families, this shift from a double income household to a single income one can cause financial strain and an unexpected event could majorly worsen it. For this reason, it’s important to have enough funds set aside for emergencies so that your expenses are covered for a year. It is also important to determine the right amount of money to dedicate to this account so that it isn’t overfunded or underfunded.

Start saving up for retirement

Although the percentage of women in the workforce pre-COVID 19 was at an all-time high, women’s total earnings tend to get impacted if they take leave within eight to ten years of their careers. Given that the frequency of women taking this leave during their careers is still high, they need to start saving earlier into their careers. Ideally, a woman should start saving from the first year of her career. It is again important to know exactly how much should be saved, but given that women tend to earn less it’s likely they’ll need to save more to make sure they have enough money to support themselves after their careers.

Know your financial rights

The COVID-19 crisis brought into light the importance of being aware of your financial rights. With millions of people losing their jobs and being flung into financial insecurity, this crisis has amplified the significance of having a strong understanding of your financial rights. Having financial acumen means more than just knowing about investments. Rather, it means having awareness of the entirety of the financial ecosystem you operate in so that you can have a better grip over your own finances. This applies whether you are in the workforce or not. This awareness also helps women identify and prevent themselves against scams and frauds.

Financial independence isn’t about how much money you have, it’s about gaining the confidence to make your own decisions. By taking financial control, women can be a part of the drive for gender equality for themselves and for our future generations.