Unfortunately, even today, many women aren’t taught how to deal with money in the same way that men are, and that results in a few common problems often appearing. But it takes only a little bit of knowledge to recognize and fix these issues. These are the types of mistakes we wish we realized earlier!
Taking on debt
This world is one that is built around excess. The most popular Instagram influencers are the ones that have the coolest houses, the biggest pools, and the nicest clothes. But don’t let that illusion trap you. Many people make the mistake of trying to live a life that they aren’t financially ready for, and this results in them taking on unnecessary debt. Debt can be taken strategically (student loans could potentially pay off in the long run), but generally try to use less than the money you are making. It’s really that simple.
Letting someone else handle the finances
Money isn’t really a fun subject to deal with. It can be a bit scary if you think about it for too long. Many of us end up just not wanting to deal with finances at all, and that leads us to let other people in our lives manage our money. But your spouse or your parents shouldn’t be the people making your financial decisions for you. Take charge of your own monetary journey by keeping track of your own records and purchases. Control is empowering.
Accepting the bare minimum
This is a mistake that we typically see younger women make, but people of any age are also capable of making it. If you’re fresh out of school and looking for a career, odds are that you are going to accept the first offer that comes your way. This can sometimes work out, but most people decide to take that first offer simply because it’s the first and not because it’s the best. Remember your own worth! Negotiate your salary. Interview at multiple places. This sounds like career advice, but it’s more financial than anything.
Not taking advantage of technology
We live in a really crazy time. Technology is all around us, and it can seem a bit intimidating to try to learn all the ways that we can utilize tech to our advantage. But there are actually a ton of simple ways that you can use your tech to help out your financial situation. For instance, an app like Acorns will invest any change you have laying around for you. You don’t even really need to understand investing to use it! Other services like Honey can help you passively save money while shopping. Get on it!
Here’s a mistake that a ton of people make, men and women alike. If you’re making money, you should be investing a portion of it. It’s really that simple. The amount of money that you end up investing will end up being a personal decision, but even having a small portion of your net worth tied up in a low risk account will help your money increase over time. In a sense, not investing means that you’re losing money over time because of inflation.
Starting saving too late
Okay, if we’re being honest, there never is a time that’s “too late” to start saving. But that’s our point: you should be saving as early as possible! Many young people get jobs and immediately spend all of the money that they make on rent, clothes, and whatever else it is that they want. But what happens when you lose that job? What happens when you need to put down a security deposit on a new apartment? Put away a bit of your paycheck and watch the money slowly pile up. It’s actually a great feeling.
Ignoring your retirement savings
Thinking about the future isn’t very fun. You know what is fun? Thinking about what you wanna do today, or tomorrow, or the next day. But it not being fun isn’t a good reason to never do it. We all need to plan for our futures. We don’t mean to scare you, but you’ll be old before you know it. Starting your retirement fund as early as possible is the best thing that you can do. Your older self will thank you when she’s chilling out in Miami Beach as a classy, retired woman.
Buying expensive gifts
Here’s one that applies to both young and older individuals. It’s really fun to spend money on gifts for other people, but it’s not always financially responsible. Yes, maybe your best friend really deserves those $200 front row tickets to Ed Sheeran. Or maybe your nephew would look great in those $300 sneakers. But you can still show your love without breaking the bank! Never buy gifts that will mess up your money situation.
Never setting up a budget
Setting up a budget is one of the most important financial decisions you can make, yet very few people do it. Why? Because it’s no fun to have to turn down a dinner date with friends because it doesn’t fit into your budget. But you’ll end up having a ton more money saved up (as well as a much greater understanding of your own finances) if you actually have a budget. It’s not really as complicated as it sounds either. Simply deciding, “I will only use 15% of my paycheck as spending money” makes a big difference.
Comparing with others
At the end of the day, all of us are going to compare ourselves with others. That’s just the way life works. But believe us when we say that you will have a much more stable and happy financial situation if you stop worrying about where you are compared to others. Your friend from down the street might have more money saved up than you, but who cares? Make decisions based on what works best for you rather than what will help you compete with others.