In the spirit of independence and the 4th of July, we want to share some thoughts about financial independence. Last week, the Momentum blog posted on money and fearlessness. The post challenged traditional stereotypes regarding finances, particularly a woman’s tendency to rely on a man as the “breadwinner.”
Financial independence is increasingly important for women. Data suggests that 9 out of 10 women will be solely in charge of their finances at some point in their life.
Not only do women have a longer life expectancy than men, but they are expected to work fewer years in the workforce while being paid less than men. Yikes.
Consider these statistics on American women from The Simple Dollar:
- According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD),
women possess a lower level of financial knowledge than men.
- In another study by Financial Finesse, a survey found that 65% of women have control of their cash flow (as opposed to 83% of men), 45% of women have an emergency fund (64% for men), and 48% of women pay their credit card balances in full (70% for men).
- 87% of American elderly in poverty are women.
The site goes on to present a guide to achieving financial independence:
- Understand your cash flow.
- Determine your goals and set a budget.
- Eradicate debt.
- Protect yourself.
For further tips, here is a great Ted Talk about financial literacy delivered by Alexa von Tobel.
However, perhaps the most important tip falls back on this idea of fearlessness. Don’t be afraid to seek financial advice, negotiate your salary, or overstep cultural gender roles. Seek out financial knowledge to better understand what you do not know. Take care of you. Financial independence will never occur without the discipline, humility, and drive required to change.
The principles are simple. The results will change your future.