Despite women managing the household as well as professional corridors efficiently, they are still considered the weaker sex. While they have come a long way in terms of equality, the gap is still too wide. They even get paid less for the same work than the men. With statistics showing a decline in income capacity of women over time, the term “financial independence” assumes far greater importance for women than for men. To help them acquire financial literacy and independence, they need to start planning early. Below is some actionable advice to help them achieve the same.
Understand Your Cash Flow
The first step to financial ownership is to understand the cash flow. You must be aware of your fixed and flexible expenditure per month as well as our total cash inflow per month. This requires a diligent and conscious tracking and consistent updating. Once you start getting aware of it, then you can fix your monthly budget as well as fix your savings per month. Here you need not be a miser but just make some intelligent moves so that you are not spending rashly and draining out your savings without consciously realizing it.
Determine Your Financial Goals
While making your monthly budget, you should never forget your financial goals. For instance, you may be required to gift your friends your relatives on their birthdays, anniversaries that month. To balance it, you must try to balance it with some inexpensive substitutes or looking for ways to earn some extra cash. Likewise, if you are keeping some money aside every month for such expenditure, then that would make things easy for you. You must be intelligent in using and managing your resources efficiently.
Focus On Cost Cutting Measures
Cost cutting measures are something that can turn out to be a woman’s most powerful arsenal. A woman should resort to it when and wherever possible. You never know when this money can come in handy. For instance, you can dine out fortnightly instead of weekly and save the done out money twice per week without feeling deprived of not able to eat outside. Buying and storing seasonal vegetables and fruits when they come cheap would help you save money as you need not buy them when they come at a higher price. A little effort can save you plenty.
If you have any kind of debt, eliminating them should be amongst your top priority. You must always pay off your higher interest debts first. For instance, a credit card would fetch a much higher interest rate than a consolidated student loan. Taking care of them at the right time would reap you huge dividends in the future. Be careful in taking loans and debts. Take them only if there is no other option.
Save, Save, Save!
It’s very easy for a woman to splurge money. Thus, it’s very important to keep track of your expenses, keep them under control and save at every opportunity, even if it a cent or a dollar per day. Try to avoid mindless purchase irrespective of how cheap it is available at that time.
A little consciousness and intelligent planning will help any woman lead a satisfying life as well as save well.
Here is a great guide to finding financial independence in the book: “Financial Independence for Women: Take Control of Your Money and Live a Balanced Life:”