Just about every woman out there strives to have a very successful, stable life as a professional. One of the best ways to have stability is to be completely in control of your finances.
Unfortunately, too many women, mostly at a younger age, don’t quite understand everything that goes into developing great financial habits. Here is a look at 14 financial habits of successful women that make a difference.
1. She Has Self Control
It’s very easy for any person who makes a decent living to go a little overboard with purchasing some items that simply aren’t needed. You should always have self-control so that bills don’t start to add up.
Understanding that there is a specific budget available for having fun and enjoying life is perfectly fine. You should also put a halt to putting purchases on credit cards and wait until you’ve actually saved up money. The sooner you learn how to delay gratification, the sooner you can get your finances in order and use money that could be put into savings or towards a retirement fund. If you like using credit cards because of the rewards benefits or the convenience factor, make sure you pay your balance in full each time a new bill arrives.
2. She Knows Where Her Money Goes
It’s very easy these days to lose track of where the money goes every month. It is also very easy to swipe a card and worry about things later. A successful woman knows where her money goes. Everything is tracked and accounted for.
A common way some adults start to get into debt is by simply not paying attention to their spending habits. Everyone knows about the bills they pay, but reoccurring fees due to subscriptions, going out to eat too many times and other factors can give an unhappy surprise at the end of the month.
To make sure your expenses isn’t exceeding your income is to budget. Once you notice how your morning coffee adds up over the course of a week or month, you’ll realize that making small, manageable changes in your daily expenses can have a positive impact on managing your spending.
3. She Sets Specific Financial Goals
You should always be setting financial goals so that there is something to work towards every single month. It doesn’t have to be anything impossible to reach, but it should be attainable and will help you to stay on track.
Early on, it can be something as simple as saving 50 extra dollars a month. That might be cutting out too many trips to the coffee shop or maybe buying one less shirt when shopping. The change isn’t really that big, but it will add up over time.
4. She Gets Paid What She Is Worth
Early on in your career, it might be difficult to understand exactly what your worth is as a professional. It’s all about getting that perfect job opportunity in the field you are trying to pursue. As time goes on, successful women will understand exactly how much they are worth, and they won’t settle for anything less.
It’s a difficult process to move up professionally in any field, and too often people don’t know how to value themselves. You should always have a great idea of what you can bring to the table before reaching out to an employer or renegotiating your current salary. Start by evaluating your skills, job tasks, contribution to the company and going rate for the job at hand. If a job offer comes along but the pay is not what you believe you are worth, keep looking for something else.
5. She Has a Savings
No one is immune to the possibility of having something unexpected happen. It’s recommended to have, at the very least, savings that can allow you to take six months off without working.
Ideally, it would be great to never use this savings. It is something that’s meant to give you peace of mind so that you are well prepared for the unexpected. Set aside a minimum of 5% to 10% of your salary for savings before you start paying bills. Even better if you have it automatically deducted from your paycheck or bank account after getting paid.
A savings app like Qapital can do this for you with ease!
Once you build up a good amount of savings, that money can then be put towards other safety nets like a retirement fund, investments and more.
6. She Has a Budget & Sticks To It
Every person should have a budget, but instead of looking at budgets every week, create a budgeting system that accounts for every known expense. This is usually a more realistic way of taking a look at everything.
Write down what you bring in and what you spend each month. Be honest here because if you aren’t, the budget won’t work. Write everything down from the essentials to the stuff you don’t need. Once you do this, you’ll find it is much easier to get a bird’s eye view of where your money is going, what you have to keep in your budget and what can potentially be cut out.
Then use the 50/20/30 rule (also known as the 50/20/30 budget), a type of income budgeting strategy that is well-known. This one is a little more sophisticated than a basic budget where you write down how much you make and how much you spend.
This type of budget can help you allocate your funds so that it’s a little easier to accomplish your financial goals. Here’s how it breaks down: 50% goes to essentials like mortgage/rent, groceries, bills, insurance, etc. You know, the things you have to pay no matter what. Then 20% goes to your savings (such as an emergency fund or retirement plan) and paying off debts. The last 30% goes to personal spending or your wants. That doesn’t mean going crazy like buying new clothes or taking a trip to Hawaii. It’s the basic necessities you enjoy like having HBO, an unlimited text messaging plan, and the like.
Take the time to set up at least a fairly simple budget to keep everything in order. This just ensures that there is not going to be any issues at the end of the month.
7. She Invests In Herself
Every single woman should be investing in themselves throughout their life. A successful woman knows her value so every once in a while she allows a budget for investing in herself. Self care is worth putting money towards whether that’s going to a spa or going out to a fancy restaurant with friends instead of cooking at home.
As long as you don’t throw the budget completely off, these investments are necessary for your emotional and mental well being. It’s perfectly fine to reward yourself every once in a while after meeting goals.
8. She Understands The Importance of Having a Retirement Plan
Retirement might be decades off, but it is never too early to start looking at putting money towards the future. In fact, the best time you should be contributing to your retirement plan is in your early 20s, because the money will start to accumulate as years passes by.
It doesn’t have to be much at first, as you should never contribute a crazy amount of money if you need it for other things. However, every successful woman looks into putting money towards retirement sooner rather than later.
A service like Wealthfront can help you start a retirement plan with ease!
9. She Stays Out of Bad Debt
Debt is very easy to accumulate, but it’s important to identify issues before they get out of hand. If someone is going out too much and spending money they don’t have, after paying interest it could be very costly.
Before going into any type of debt, look into every other option out there. Maybe it means waiting for something you want an extra month or so to have the money needed to pay without a credit card. The amount of money owed can snowball in a hurry, so don’t get too caught up in trying to keep up with everyone else.
10. She Understands That a Credit Card Is Not Free Money
Along the same lines as that, you should never be thinking that a credit card is free money. Eventually, it needs to be paid off. Even with a good interest rate, a person is going to pay significantly more if they carry a balance month after month.
Try to limit yourself to only one or two credit cards. This ensures that people are not as tempted to just spend, spend, spend.
11. She Spends Less Than She Earns
This seems like a pretty simple concept, but too many women at a young age spend more money than they actually earn. This is a terrible habit to be in, and it is not going to be helpful for any Woman.
Most women have a pretty good idea of how much money they are going to make every single month. Until you land a higher paying job, stick to your level of means.
12. She Has an Emergency Fund
An emergency fund is slightly different than a savings account, but they are both used in case there is an issue. There is always a chance that life can change in a hurry, so having an emergency fund makes a lot of sense.
People sometimes use this fund when they are relocating for another job. You can also use it to help out family if someone finds themselves in trouble.
13. She Maximizes Her Employee Benefits
Always look at employee benefits as part of your regular pay. If employees didn’t give out all those benefits, you probably would receive more in your salary.
This means getting regular check-ups at the doctor’s office and going to the dentist at least two times a year. Make sure that your vision is sharp and ready to go. Take advantage of any financial benefits as well.
14. She Knows Her Expenses & Pays On Time
Paying on time sets great habits for every person out there. Don’t be the one who is constantly behind on their bills. Not only does this possibly put a person in a bad situation from a credit card perspective, but it leads to recklessness in the future.
Expenses are pretty much set in stone every single month. You know exactly what needs to be paid. Take care of things and move on.