How personal finance for women really differs from mainstream personal finance advice? And what can women do to be financially well off both now and in the future? Most personal finance blogs seems to be written mainly by guys for guys and aimed mostly at people who earn six figure salaries who aren't afraid to consider throwing almost all of their cash into investments that most people might think of as a bit…well, risky.
But for you, personal finance might not seem like a very interesting topic. After all, why should you care how you plan to spend your money? And if you don't have a lot of money, shouldn't saving and spending be a matter of “discipline”?
The truth is that saving and spending should be part of every budget for any person, regardless of income level or background. And the way you define “discipline” certainly has a lot to do with the kind of habits that get built into the structure of your finances. When you have a specific goal, a specific savings goal, or a specific savings goal date in mind, it's easy to go overboard with your finances. You start to accumulate more debt than you ever imagined. And you never seem to reach your financial goals. If you want to succeed in becoming wealthy, you have to learn how to become disciplined with your finances.
Most women start with a very loose personal finance budgeting structure, especially when they're still single. They might not have kids yet, so the biggest expense is usually the ticket to an evening out. So most women see this as “free money”, since they will eventually have to pay for whatever they did – and didn't – spend the night out. But if they were to use some budgeting tools to help them set realistic expectations for their personal finances, they would realize just how much disposable income they really have, and where it's going.
Some of the best budgeting tools include the personal finance report card, the credit card bill of contents, and the net worth statement. The basic terms of this tool are that it asks you to list your income, your expenses, and your savings goals. Then it evaluates your personal finance situation to determine what your net worth is at the moment. It divides your net worth by your gross monthly income, determining what your asset value is at the current moment. That gives you a score to determine whether you need to make adjustments with your current financial goals.
A good financial goal should always be part of your long-term plan. Once you know how much you think you'll be able to save for retirement (or for a down payment on a house), start setting financial goals that correspond with that saving. This makes it easier to get there because you're not worrying about whether or not you'll have enough money to retire. It only becomes a reality once the saving starts happening. Once you know how much money you need to have saved for retirement, you can focus on your other goals such as saving for a down payment on a house, or saving for college. Your long-term financial goals will be more solid if they are properly planned and monitored by someone who is financially literate and familiar with personal finance.
Of course, if saving for retirement isn't part of your long-term plans, then personal finance for women isn't something hard that you have to deal with. You can easily find resources on the Internet that offer advice about saving, and you can even find websites that offer tips and tricks about money management. And, because there's really nothing hard about saving money, you can just let your money do the walking.
A final personal finance for women strategy involves checking on your spending habits. This part is easy because all we women do is eat, sleep, and make sure we have a good place to live. But this part is important because it allows us to see where our money is truly going, so we know whether or not to spend it on something frivolous. Keeping a daily budget is also an important part of personal finance for women. Without a budget, it's easy to loose sight of what's important, and to suddenly feel in the dumps when your bank account is bare.