Over the last few decades many women have, unfortunately, given their financial security to their spouse or “significant other” and, when divorce or death suddenly occurs, are plunged into severe financial problems and even poverty.
Statistically speaking, more women than men spend more money than they earn and become swallowed up in debt that takes ages to pay back and can negatively affects their credit for years.
A recent study by the National Center for Women and Retirement Research showed that there was a direct correlation between a woman’s personality and her habits financially. The study found that women who are assertive, optimistic and open to change are usually the ones that make the smartest choices when it comes to money, and have the fewest financial problems.
One of the smartest people around when it comes to finances is author and financial planner Suze Orman. Ms. Orman believes that, for many women, financial problems are simply manifestations of other problems in their life, including their relationships. In her opinion if a woman works on relationship issues the money problems that she faces will inevitably take care of themselves.
The fact is, talking about money is an emotionally tough issue for many people, not just women. In many relationships money represents control and power and the belief that many people have about money, as well as these emotional attachments, affect the way people handle and spend their money every day.
If you’re a woman who isn’t where you’d like to be, financially speaking, you’d do well to examine the emotional connections that you have with money and try to erase any psychological “stumbling blocks” that are keeping you from the financial independence you deserve.
Below are a number of tips that, while helpful for anyone who wants to be “financially healthy”, are particularly helpful for women.
The first is simply to never rely on someone else for your financial security. The best way to avoid being left destitute is to educate yourself about money, finances, investing and managing money.
Setting financial goals, including a retirement goal, an emergency fund goal and even a goal for putting enough money away to take a nice vacation, are all very helpful and great way to become financially successful.
Avoid using spending to make yourself “feel good” as, in almost all instances, the emotions that you’ll have will be fleeting at best. There are a number of books on the subject including “The Urge to Splurge” and “The Psychology of Spending Money” that you should definitely read.
Always remember that the key to creating true wealth is to spend less money than you actually earn. Another key to real wealth is having a degree of one type or another. It’s a well-known fact that people who have college degrees will, in their lifetime, earn significantly more than their counterparts who do not.
We mentioned having an emergency fund and, no matter who you are, it’s essential in this day and age. Heaven forbid you lose your job, lose your spouse or for whatever reason are unable to work, but, if you do, having an emergency fund will save you from going into deep debt or worse.
Finally, whether you are married or not, you should always be involved in the management of the finances in your home and, on a regular basis, talk to your spouse about money matters, spending and any plans that you have for your money.
The fact is ladies that any financial security you have in your life depends on you, what you know and what you do. If you want your financial future to be sound, you must take it into your own hands and not leave it in the hands of anyone else.