In 2020, we can say with a degree of certainty that women are enjoying more financial independence than at any other point in modern history. This is a good thing and represents real, hard-earned progress. However, it doesn’t mean that actually managing one’s finances is any easier than it ever has been, no matter who you are or what demographics you fall into. Because of that, I wanted to provide this guide with a few universal tips that can help any woman better manage her finances this year and beyond.
How To Manage Your Finances: 5 Easy Ways:
Start Tracking Your Spending:
If you search for financial management tips generally, the most common tip you’ll find is probably that of working out a personal budget. It’s hard to argue with the idea that a detailed budget is one of the best tools you can build for yourself if you want to stay on top of your finances in a comprehensive manner. However, I’d also argue that you can’t get to that point without first taking steps to track your spending.
Nowadays, this is easier than ever to do thanks to any number of different mobile apps that are specifically designed to keep a record of all of your daily expenses, from automated bank transactions to coffee shop purchases. They can require a little bit of strategy and effort to set up, but once you have everything in place these apps can help you to gain a far better visual picture of what you’re spending. From there, you can begin to form a more sensible personal budget.
For instance, Every Dollar’s “plus” feature streams transactions to your budget and allows you to drag and drop them to the correct space. It then compiles the data to provide you with a budget balance based on your spending, showing you how much more you have to spend in a given time period, and where it’s needed.
That’s merely one example, but by taking advantage of tools like this you can understand your habits better, eliminate excess spending, and maximize your savings, putting you in an optimal position for personal financial growth.
Find Expenses To Cut Out
I just mentioned the idea of eliminating excess spending, and this indeed is linked to the idea of tracking spending and working out a functional budget. To further emphasize the point though, I’ll state that the ability to identify wasteful expenses is one of the best benefits you can enjoy from forming a budget. While it’s great to have a clearer picture of your financial situation and to feel more organized about your month-to-month habits, the biggest functional difference you can make is to use your tracking methods to find sustainable ways to spend less. You may be surprised how productive this can be!
Have A Plan For Emergency Cash
You never know when something unexpected is going to cause a sudden need for significant funds. Most of us face this kind of situation at one point or another, and without a plan, it can be a major financial blow. For that reason, I’d suggest making 2020 the year you develop a plan or two for emergency cash.
Such a plan should include savings and the establishment of a so-called “emergency fund.” However, it can’t hurt to have some backup strategies as well. One is to look into the kinds of personal loans that might be available to you in a pinch so that when the time comes you know what to do. An example might be a title loan, which is one built around your own car or property. Such loans can look a little bit different depending on where you’re located or what lender you’re using, but just looking at a few prominent examples can clue you into the benefits.
For instance, title loans available in Youngstown, Ohio provide fast funding and generous repayment plans, sometimes delivering funds to Ohio residents in as little as 24 hours, with three-year setups for small repayments. People can even pick up funds in person at various Youngstown locations.
If a personal loan doesn’t appeal, or your area doesn’t have arrangements as appealing as the example just given, you may also want to maintain a list of friends and family members who may be able to help you in a pinch. This is a step most people would rather avoid, but in a true financial emergency, it never hurts to know who to go to for temporary help!
Prioritize Your Job Performance
Hopefully, this is something you’re doing already! But it’s worth mentioning specifically as a means of financial management as well. Now, it’s not as if this means that having a good couple of weeks will result in a bonus, a raise, or a résumé boost. However, a steady, constant focus on doing your job to the best of your ability is one of the best ways to maximize your earning potential and thus safeguard your financial future.
I recognize that advising women to try to perform well at work isn’t revelatory. However, I do believe this mindset – thinking of strong performance as a positive financial maneuver rather than a daily obligation – can be motivating.
Work On Your Stress Level
Last but not least, remember that your stress level plays a role in your financial wellbeing. In this previous article on how to handle bad habits resulting from stress, it’s been pointed out that one of those bad habits can be compulsive spending. This practice (sometimes more gently referred to as “retail therapy”) is actually a surprisingly common response to stress, and it can act as a constant drain on your bank account. So, while you should be working on your stress level anyway to maximize your general wellness, keep in mind that less stress can also lead to more responsible financial practice!
Hopefully, with these tips across various areas of personal financial management, you feel better prepared to take a responsible and productive approach to handle your money in 2020. If you’re successful with all of these practices, you may find that you generate more savings, feel better prepared for an emergency, and worry less in general about money.
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