Being financially free can sound like a far-fetched idea for most single women. The average American today spends more than they earn and can barely keep up financially. Becoming financially free is not impossible, no matter what you might think today! Keep reading to find some personal finance tips that every single woman should know.
Start with a budget. Whether you make a lot of money or a little money, you need a budget to know where you are going. Think of your budget as your financial road map for your future. If you were going some where you have never been, you wouldn’t start out just driving, would you? It’s unlikely. It would be a waste of time and gas to do that. The same goes for your finances. Why would you continue to work week after week without taking some time to plan how you are going to use your money you worked so hard for? Budgeting can help you do just that. Make a budget a priority so you are not wasting time working and the money you earn. Even if you are single and don’t think you make enough money, you need a budget to know where your money is being spent.
Save early and often, even if it seems impossible. Saving money each month is important on so many levels. Not only does it give us something to fall back on when times are tough, it helps us remain disciplined with our money. Think of saving your money sort of like the gas you would put in the car for the trip in example one. Without saving money, how will you have anything for the future? If you have nothing in savings, your first goal should be to have $1,000 in an emergency fund you can fall back on. The emergency fund allows you to rely on your own cash rather than credit cards when something unexpected comes up. Once you get your emergency fund built up, start contributing to your retirement but investing in your company’s 401k plan or start your own fund. It’s never too early or too late to start saving for the future! This is especially important for single women. If you wait until you have a better job, more money or more of something else, you might just never get started.
Debt can be crippling to personal finances. In order to be financially free, debt needs to be eliminated so the income coming in can go towards savings, rather than paying off debt. Begin small by paying off the cards with the smallest balance first. After that card is paid off, start applying that money towards the card with the next smallest balance and so on. If you receive a raise or a tax return, apply this money towards debt instead of spending it. This “snowball” effect is an excellent way to pay off debt quickly. This can be done on just one income! When you see debt being eliminated, it is rewarding and motivating!
The little things can have the biggest impact. While it may not seem like it, the little things can add up the most when it comes to your money. Spending just $5 extra a day can add up to $150 in unplanned expenses for the month. But this can also work in the opposite way. Adding $5 a day to pay off debt can equate to an extra $150 paid off in debt each month!
It can seem next to impossible for a single woman to start to get her personal finances under control. The most important thing to remember is personal finance is nearly always about behavior. If you can change some of the habits you are accustomed too, you can start to see huge a huge impact on your financial situation.