When you are a strong independent woman out there on your own, you have a lot of responsibility. It is especially important to handle your finances. Without anyone to plan with, it can be tough to stick to a budget and set goals. Often women make less doing the same job as men. Just because the world is unfair doesn’t mean you can’t be a good steward of the money you do have. Here are some tips for keeping your finances on track.
A budget is as simple as writing down a plan for your monthly spending and sticking to it. It is vital to keep track of where your money is going. Ideally, you want to be able to account for every dollar. Setting up automatic transfers to savings and retirement accounts makes budgeting easier. You are less likely to miss money you don’t see. Along with savings and retirement, you need an emergency fund.
If you are new to budgeting, take a month to closely track your spending. You will become painfully aware of your spending habits. Seeing where your money goes will help you trim your monthly expenses as you develop a budget.
After creating a budget, set up your bank accounts to automatically transfer money to savings and retirement. This is a great way to hedge your willpower. An emergency fund is particularly important when you only have one income to rely on. You may have lower overall expenses, but if you must miss work for an illness or injury, you need money to live on.
Building up your emergency fund takes time. Start with a goal of $1,000. Once you reach it, increase your goal to six months’ worth of expenses. Make this a priority. As you get better at budgeting and saving, you are likely to find more unnecessary expenses that you can cut out. Redirect this extra money towards your emergency fund.
When you’re young, it is easy to forget about retirement. The earlier you start investing, the less money you actually need to contribute to reach your goals. Develop a retirement strategy today. If your employer offers a retirement plan, contribute at the least the minimum required to receive the company match. If this isn’t an option, consider a Roth IRA. The offer tax advantages and are a good starting point for increasing your nest egg. Women typically have a longer life expectancy, so you want to make sure you can live comfortably in your later years.
Make sure you talk to your local insurance agent. They can help you find the right kinds of insurance for your situation. You should also look into life insurance. If you have debt, elderly parents or you don’t want to saddle someone else with your funeral expenses, life insurance is the key. It covers all of these scenarios and premiums are lower the younger you are.
It is easy to go crazy with credit cards and get yourself in trouble. You may already have debt from school. Practice not spending more than you make. With the right budget, this shouldn’t be too difficult. Work on paying off any debt you currently have. This can give your credit score a real boost.
Work on keeping your score as high as possible by paying your bills on time each month. A good credit score makes purchasing a home or vehicle much easier.
As a single lady, you need to make your finances a priority. Create a budget. Start putting money aside in savings and retirement accounts. Build up a nest egg that will support you in your advanced years. Start an emergency fund. Buy insurance and maintain a good credit score. If you take baby steps, your finances will be in order before you know it.