26 Aug Why You Need To Be a Strong, Financially Independent Woman
Over four million women aged 65 and older in America today are living in poverty. That translates to a yearly income at or below $11,756. At less than $1000 per month, money is stretched thin as can be for these women. Groceries alone account for 26% of their monthly expenses, and Medicare average costs (for this example, Part B health insurance and deductible) are another 15%. That leaves less than $580 per month, or $145 per week, for housing, transportation, utilities, toiletries, entertainment, and everything else one needs to live. Those are scary numbers, and they highlight why it’s vital to become a strong, financially independent woman now.
Get the Big Picture
A great place to start your journey toward financial independence is by tracking your income and expenses. If you are married, your spouse should be an equal partner here. You can’t save for your future if don’t get your spending under control. Determine where every dollar that comes into your home is being spent. That way, you can curb unnecessary expenses, and gain control of your finances.
Once you have an accurate picture of your financial situation, make sure you stick to your budget and live within your means. No matter how nice it looks on Instagram, if it’s not in your budget, don’t buy it. Purchasing that designer dress now may afford you temporary happiness, but a financially sound future will give you happiness andsecurity in the long run.
Plan for Emergencies
A huge consideration in your financial planning is emergencies. Stress runs high when the car needs new brakes, or the dog needs an unscheduled visit to the vet. It can be downright unbearable when an unforeseen occurrence pops up, and you don’t have the funds to handle it. That’s why you need to set aside money into an emergency fund. Your emergency fund helps keep you from making poor financial decisions (e.g. putting an emergency expense on a credit card). How much money you set aside is entirely up to you, but six months’ worth of expenses is what most financial experts recommend. Make sure the money is only used for emergencies, but remains easily accessible (such as a separate checking or savings account). Also, be sure you inform important people in your life that the fund is there, should you become incapacitated.
Set Retirement Goals
Do you have a retirement fund? Do you maximize your contributions to take advantage of employer matching contributions? You should. Two-thirds of women living in America have less than $10,000 in retirement savings, some of whom actually have no money set aside for retirement. Yikes! Your future is just as important as your present. Use the money you’re earning now to cushion your nest egg for later. Whether you don’t have a retirement fund at all, or you’re using yours ineffectively, it’s never too late to turn that around.
We’re here for you if you need help gaining financial independence. Set up an appointment for a no cost/no obligation financial review. We’ll use our experience to help you gain confidence in your financial future.