7 Ways Women Can Dominate Finances

November 9, 2022

For some, self-care involves meditation, a trip abroad, or a facial. Self-care for all women should include planning for our own financial independence. While there are many aspects of our life from which we can never truly retire, there will come a day when working should become an elective option. This topic affects everyone, but it is especially pertinent for women. We’ve created a partial list of key strategies with CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional (CFP®) Nicole Mosley to help you pursue your path to financial success—and perhaps an earlier retirement.

1. Budget wisely.

With inflation at an all-time high, it’s important to make careful consideration of extraneous expenses. Once you review your budget, consider where most of your money is going outside of essentials like housing, car payments, and utilities. If you have large clothing expenditures, consider shopping at secondhand or handmade retailers, like Poshmark and Etsy. Also, are you a daily coffee drinker? If you make a daily Starbucks stop, that $3.95 Caffe Latte adds up to nearly $1,500.00 over the period of one year, excluding taxes. That’s the cost of a vacation! Also consider cooking your food in large batches and freezing leftovers in meal-size portions. Research meal delivery services like Sun Basket, Hello Fresh, or Factor—many of these services can be less expensive than shopping for your own groceries.

2. Stockpile emergency funds.

While it may sound daunting, saving a year’s worth of living expenses for an emergency can be crucial to financial security. While it may be tempting to withdraw money for other expenditures, it’s essential to always maintain one year’s living expenses: Don’t dip into that money for anything other than emergencies. Keisha Blair, author of Holistic Wealth: 32 Life Lessons to Help You Find Purpose, Prosperity, and Happiness, learned this firsthand when she was widowed at age 31—just two months after giving birth to her second child. Her salient advice and comments in the Real Simple article, A Singles Guide to Successful Retirement, are worth a read.

3. Consider beneficial benefits.

Have a 401(k) at work? Maximize your contributions, especially if your employer matches them. Earning interest on pre-tax dollars is an essential component to a healthy retirement nest egg. If you don’t have a 401(k), look into the benefits of an investment vehicle like a Roth IRA, as you can withdraw money from it before retirement age in the case of college expenses, first-time home purchase, and birth or adoption expenses. Also, discuss your retirement planning and insurance needs with a financial professional to evaluate the most suitable tax savings vehicle for retirement, long-term care, life, disability, and critical care needs. You may want to consider health savings accounts, as spending pre-tax dollars on medical items can help save over the long term.

4. Diversify your investments.

Think about balancing a mixture of real estate investments with stocks, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, bonds, and other securities to diversify. Also consider creating passive income from your existing assets. Have a nice car? Rent it on Turo! Have a pool? Rent it on Poolshare! Have a huge backyard? Add an Accessory Dwelling Unit or tiny home and list it on AirBnB! Have an Airstream trailer? Rent that out, too! Have a business? Create paid workshops to help other business owners in your specialty. Try to see your assets objectively, and discuss with your advisor and tax professional to consider how to capitalize with both active and passive income.

5. Hire an accountant—and perhaps a wealth advisory team.

Having a savvy accountant is especially crucial if you’re a business owner. Position yourself well for tax time, as you won’t be able to take advantage of some of the married filing jointly tax credits available. Consider hiring a full wealth advisory team, that would include an accountant, wealth advisor, and estate planning expert, depending on your personal needs.

6. Get selfish.

Review your Experian or Equifax credit reports quarterly, and consistently align your objectives and time horizon while planning for retirement—annually, at the very least. Your needs will likely change throughout the decades, so review our plans on how to slay your money dragons from your 20s to your 70s and beyond.

7. Continue seeking financial literacy.

Several resources are available to help you on your journey to financial wellness. Check out The Women’s Institute for Financial Education (WIFE), a non-profit organization devoted to helping women on the topics of retirement, widowhood, divorce, and more.

Small changes today can make a big difference to your financial future. Meet with your wealth advisor if you’re unsure about how to reach emergency fund goals or retirement and remember, it’s never too late to start caring for your future self.

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