My Reality Check
As I get older I am so much more focused on my financial future. I made plenty of mistakes in my early 20’s that followed me into my 30’s. And even though I now have some savings and a 401K I am now starting to think about how my life would be if I retired or if I had to go on medical leave. The reality for some of us single princesses is that we may not get married or be in a committed partnership. Our financial well being is solely on us, so whether you’re just starting your journey in your 20’s or getting ready to retire soon this blog post is for you.
Financial Planning For Single Women
If you are a single woman, you no doubt know that the sole responsibility for your financial future rests on your shoulders. Are you in charge of your finances? Do you know where your money is going? Or are you like many women, lost in a sea of financial information with no idea where to start planning for your future?
Whether you choose to couple up or not, you need to take control of your money. Knowledge is power, and action steps toward careful planning will mean the difference between a comfortable retirement and one where you are scraping pennies to get by. Here are some simple money management tips you can employ to make sure that you are left with savings at the end of your career and beyond.
What To Do In Your 20’s–Embrace The Single Life Budget
So you’re fresh out of college, and you’re making more money than ever before. The temptation would be to spend beyond your means and show the world your newfound lavish lifestyle. Don’t do it! Start by tracking your spending on a daily basis; write down your monthly expenses and then list your monthly income on a sheet of paper. If your income exceeds your expenses, congratulations! You’re on the right track!
If, however, you have bills left over at the end of the month, and not enough coin to go around, then it’s time to take a good hard look at your spending and find out what you could conceivably cut out in order to make ends meet.
I didn’t do this in my 20’s and I sure did regret it. When you don’t understand how credit cards work you can put yourself in the rears. However, now they are so many great programs and apps to help you manage your coins. I recommend Mint. And in your 20’s you should get used to checking your credit score I use Credit Karma.
What To Do In Your 30’s–Prioritize Savings
When thinking about your financial needs from month to month, it is now important to invest some in savings and simple retirement accounts. Putting something aside into an investment portfolio will allow your income to work for you. It is typically recommended to have six month’s worth of income in reserves for emergencies, unplanned unemployment, etc. If you don’t, it’s time to shave back a bit and look at what is necessary vs. what is desired. Do you really need that Friday morning latte? Could you make it yourself at home and save a few bucks? Little expenses like these do add up over time; don’t be afraid to examine your finances to see where you may be leaking, and how that could be put to work for you.
One of the smartest things I did was open up a savings account that receives deposits once I got paid. I started out with ING, but then that changed to Capital One. With online savings accounts, you always want to get an account that has a high interest rate so you get some return on your money. I now use Ally. Having that extra cushion saved me a few times when I needed to pay or bill or when I had to be out from work from surgery for a few weeks.
What To Do In Your 40’s–Be Realistic About Retirement
When your golden years are light years away, it may seem that you have plenty of time to plan. This will sneak up on you, though, so it’s important to talk to an investment and retirement planner and find out what your best options are for setting up a portfolio. Contributing something to your company’s 401K is a good place to start. Due to our longer life expectancy, we need to have systems in place to support us when we need it most.
I am looking into this right now to see how I can grow my 401K and put more money into savings. One of the things I am doing to add more money is to pay off any outstanding debt. I recently consolidated my credit cards by getting a loan from a Credit Union. I recommend using a credit union because the interest rates are so low. Check out MCU.
What To Do In Your 50’s–Don’t Forget About Insurance
Life insurance is designed to provide you and your loved ones with extra security in case something happens to you. Just because you may not have kids and a spouse doesn’t mean you can’t make life insurance work for you, however. If you have debt, if you are responsible for taking care of aging parents, or if you simply do not want anyone else paying for your funeral expenses, then taking out a policy on yourself is the right thing to do.
The good news regarding insurance is, women tend to get lower rates than men do, especially if you are a non-smoker. Many full coverage term policies come in at around $30 per month for $100K of coverage. This should be enough to cover expenses, debt, and other incidentals that may come up.
Taking care of your finances should not be a daunting process. It is an investment that should be made in yourself and your future. Consider enlisting the help of qualified investment and retirement planners that can steer you in the right direction. With a couple of well-timed investments and some smart choices, you’ll be living in comfort well into your golden years!
I hope this blog post helps you start thinking about how to maintain your kingdom of one. Please pass this on to anyone who you think may need to start thinking about their financial future. As always please feel free to share or comment below. You can follow me on Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter.