Women earn approximately $.74 for every dollar a man earns and pay over $426 billion a year on hair, nails, toiletries, and beauty products. Women pay more than men for services such as hair salon, dry cleaning, insurance, housing and healthcare. Unfortunately there is no federal law banning gender pricing which varies by state to state.
Earning less money and mishandling their finances puts women at risk for financial failure. If you mismanage your finances these bad habits can carry over in other areas of your life. When your finances are out of balance so are other areas of your life such as your career, relationships, family and health.
Managing your finances properly requires discipline, attention to detail, organization skills, strategic planning, sacrifice, and logic skills. These skills are also useful in other areas of your life. Being the CEO of your finances reduces stress, anxiety, sadness, frustration and anger and helps keep your life in balance.
Since women make less, have to pay more, live longer or may be forced into a life changing event be the CEO boss of your finances by following these 7 steps.
Spend less than you earn. Create a budget to track and control spending. Subtract your monthly expenses and debt from your total monthly income after taxes. If you have less than5% left over make some adjustments. Make your budget flexible to accommodate for unexpected expenses and include savings goals. Set short-term and long-term goals such as paying off a bill and saving for a down payment on a house. Create an emergency fund to cover monthly bills and expenses for 9-12 months. Balance your checkbook and write down or verify every transaction, including check card transactions and trips to the ATM. Spread spending for large purchases over several months to ease the burden. Reduce spending by 30% to reduce financial risks. Downsize or downgrade your lifestyle if you are experiencing a financial crisis.
Insurance is a form of protection against loss, damage or theft. Insurance should provide enough to reimburse for loss or damages. The basic types of insurance everyone should have are: health, life and disability especially if you have children. Health insurance is needed if need medical services or need to go to the emergency room. Disability insurance is used if you have a short-term or long-term medical condition that prevents you from working and ensures that you still continue to receive a paycheck, usually at least 60% of your salary. Life insurance is used in the event a family member dies and should at least be enough to cover burial expenses.
Insurance needs grow as you get older so ensure your coverage and beneficiary information remain current. Buying insurance will save you money in the future and help you get over any financial crisis you may experience. You may not see the immediate benefit of buying insurance but in the long run you will be glad you did.
Don’t be a Sponsor
Avoid loaning money to others including your children even if you can afford it - especially if you are the person who earns the highest salary in your social network. Don’t loan money if you want the money paid back. If a person mismanages their finances loaning money will only enable them to continue their bad money habits. Instead, offer to pay for them to attend a financial course or buy them a self-help financial book.
Pay down debt and get current on late accounts. Keep debt excluding rent or mortgage at 15% or less of your net monthly income. Keep credit card balances at 20% or less of the credit limit. Pay more than the minimum monthly payment. Stay current when paying back student loans or consider using student loan forgiveness programs. Pay with cash instead of credit cards to reduce your chances of going into debt. Keep an emergency fund to prevent you from going into debt. Plan for the unexpected and always have a plan A, B and C.
Go back to school to further your education to boost your salary. Many employers offer free or discounted training so take advantage. Keep a copy of each certificate in your employee file. Skip getting a tax refund and adjust your withholdings to get your money throughout the year. Get an additional stream of income such as a part-time job, invest in a profitable business or start a business.
Keep good credit. Whether right or wrong - credit is used to judge your character and affects your ability to get hired for a job, get insurance or get approval for credit. Women are more likely to carry a balance, pay the minimum payment on their credit cards and be charged a late fee. Women are less likely to pay their credit card balance in full each month and comparison shop for credit cards. Pay your bills on time or setup payment arrangements to maintain a good relationship with your creditors. Review your credit report at least once a year and at least 3 months before making a big purchase such as buying a car or home or starting a business.
Know Your Worth
Know your worth. Know your worth in your job industry and ensure you are getting paid what you deserve. Unfortunately, many women do not ask for a raise which directly affects their economic status. Avoid being shy and ask for what you want. Notify your direct supervisor and their supervisor about your top skills and key accomplishments each quarter. Maximize employee benefits and monitor your benefits package. Keep abreast of the vesting rules and updates regarding your retirement plan.
To learn more about managing your finances get your free special report at www.hefreemanenterprises.com/mailing.html.
Financial Expert and Coach is the CEO of H.E. Freeman Enterprises, a financial services company for clients aged 30-55. She has worked with couples, homeowners, business owners, politicians and celebrities to help them achieve their financial goals. She has appeared in numerous media outlets such as Huffington Post. She is the author of the book, How to Get Out of Debt: Get an “A” Credit Rating for Free. Learn more about Harrine and how to use the money you have to get what you want by visiting her website hefreemanenterprises.com.