4 Financial Resolutions Every Woman Should Make This Year


4 Financial Resolutions Every Woman Should Make This Year

Creating resolutions about our waistline is second-nature but there is another area of health that needs to be addressed and has been avoided as much as the scale during the holidays: our finances. In a country where 42% of the ladies lack a sense of financial security (Women, Money and Success, 2013), we need to act, umm yesterday. It is not okay nor anywhere near comforting to see the statistics- no, we are not “leaning in” Ms. Sandberg, we are covering our eyes with patterned silk scarves, hoping our financial problems will never find us.

This is not only a female-issue, my friends… our guys are no different, falling into statistics like how 70% of Americans are living pay-check to dwindling paycheck (Wall Street Journal). We look forward to 2014 as a new chance, which we should, but don’t ignore 2015, 2050, and on in your financial timeline.

While I will not sugar coat your savings, I can put a little emphasis on 4 key areas you can take steps on this year that will impact your stress levels, happiness and maybe even help you sleep a little easier at night.

  1. Reduce your debt. In our twenties debt likely comes in the form of student loans, car payments, credit card bills and possibly a few hospital stays. While it can seem overwhelming and slightly tempting to pay the minimum on your statements, it will never help you climb out of your bunny hole. Look over all of your debt, place the papers on the cocktail table in front of you and begin to zero in on the lucky bill that will cease to exist in 2015. I am a big fan of paying off all credit card debt- just imagine spending 3 times as much as you thought you did on that sweater from the mall… that fell apart after four washings.

green machine girl

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Build your emergency savings. “40% of Americans will never have a net worth in excess of $10,000” but you are not going to reflect that statistic (American Dream Education Campaign). It is humbling to know you are not alone with your empty piggy bank but even more empowering to know you can help yourself grow into a brighter future. A good rule of thumb I heard years ago was to save three months’ worth of bills and keep it on hand at all times, in case of an emergency. You will have to decide what numbers feels comfortable to you, but create the goal and then forget you have that stash. In the recession we hit an all-time high with lay-offs and underemployed people across the country- do you really want to be stuck if your lottery ticket doesn’t pay off?

board games authentic

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Have a solid retirement plan. I am super-duper-ridiculously passionate about this one. One day a finance director I worked with asked me how much money I thought I would need to retire on. My answer? Embarrassingly low, when the reality is likely well over a million buckaroos. Sorry 401 K, I thought you would just do it for me! According to Women, Money and Success, “The average annual income for an elder man ($24,300) is almost 75% higher than an elder woman’s annual income ($14,000).” Gulp. I wish they taught me how to retire in middle school.

401k account

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Save for something that makes you smile. Don’t make your money parallel to the juice cleanse you will commit to and hate later in the week. It is important to remember the value of money and its uses. Ensure you are setting aside money for the happier things in life- vacations, presents, pampering and indulgences. You work far too hard for far too many hours to not take a moment to see a movie, take a cruise or splurge on some bling for yourself. If you plan for it, you will give yourself a longer time to look forward to the event and a relieved feeling that it will not be going on your credit card. Find yourself a green glass duck (okay, that’s just me) or whatever receptacle you feel works for you and add a little moola to it each week until you reach your goal.

there's a secret place

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the end of the day, ladies, money is like a lot of women I know: angry when she’s hungry and exhausted when she is overspent. Treat your wallet like you want to be treated, I do believe that is the green rule. Here’s to 2014.

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