Ideas & Insights

Women: Make Your Financial Voice Heard!

Women: Make Your Financial Voice Heard!

In recent months, we’ve seen a groundswell of support for gender equity issues in Hollywood. Most recently, as a sponsor of Variety’s Power of Women event, I’ve had the chance to witness first-hand how some of the industry’s most powerful women are using their voice to ensure others are heard. I’ve also seen that often the most important step a woman can make toward empowerment is financial independence.

No matter how many strides forward we make as women, there is still a gap in the pay structure in more employment situations. There are constantly different women in places of power who are trying to make a difference and get us all more equal pay, an example of this being the women in Hollywood behind #timesup. Since 1980, our pay gap has narrowed, but according to a new PEW study in 2017 women earned only 82% of what their male counterparts did in the workplace. If this trend continues; it would take women 47 more days a year to earn as much as a man, but does that mean we need different financial advice than men do?

Everyone is conscious of their finances. Most people just focus on the day-to-day of keeping their finances up and running. They check account balances, and develop or revise budgets based on upcoming life events and situations. But, if you want to have financial success and true financial planning for the future, you need to move beyond day-to-day thinking. What are some ways that you can step out of the day by day financial rut and be a successful financially savvy mined woman? Read closely and I’ll let you in on some very easy trade secrets.

Work on that debt. Any kind of establishment of good credit starts with the simple act of paying down your debt monthly (if not more often if you can afford it). Paying down on existing debt and always paying your bills on time can have a hugely beneficial impact on your credit. Women (just the same as out male counterparts) need to establish good credit for themselves and their families in order to build a strong base for financial independence. So start now to chip away at your debt and pay it at the very least once a month.

Change the way you look at spending and saving money. Become a “saver” versus being a “spender” and a consumer. In the same PEW study, there is a higher rate of women participating in consumerism than men. With many women describing themselves as the “spender” of their families. This was especially true amongst younger women.
It’s the old tale of the grasshopper who played away the entire summer instead of saving food for the winter, and then had to beg his friendly ants for food and shelter. Don’t be the grasshopper. Later in life, as we age, you will never find yourself thinking that you should have saved less, because you have an over-abundance of money. This new “saver” mentality doesn’t mean you give up your lifestyle or even your creature comforts in entirety, but start curbing spending and make more of a concerted effort to build that nest egg. Make better choices and be selective about how and where you REALLY need to spend money.

If you happen to have children, here’s the perfect opportunity to influence the next generation of spenders and savers. Most women share their income with a partner or spouse, which certainly helps in the long run of creating a safe and secure savings plan for the future. There is an equal amount of women and men in the study that are the financial planner for their relationship and for their children as well. Women need to take an active role in financial planning and show their children that they can be financially active and responsible as well.

Obviously in cases of divorce or separation, women have no other choice but to take the financial reigns of both their current lives, and their futures; but in many cases these same women still need to be nudged in the correct direction to successfully evaluate what their earning and saving potential is. Never sell yourself short. You are a commodity to be brokered and you should be earning what you are worth!

Experts in financial fields have said that women don’t feel as confident, despite strides in fiscal education and the workplace, simply because they aren’t as knowledgeable about financial matters as men. There are still large gaps in financial literacy in any age group, and there is a hesitancy for a good portion of women studied, to even consider any kind of investing decisions. This doesn’t have to be the case. Seek out advice from professionals and learn what your options are. Take control of not only your financial future, but that of your family and your retirement. It’s time for women to step forward and be an active voice in all arenas. Only we can decide for ourselves how we make a better future, and who better to decide what kind of golden years we will enjoy; than ourselves?!

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