Women are often the backbone of most American families. They are the caregivers and the glue that keeps everyone together. They’re also typically the financial stewards and keeper of the checkbook. But, studies show they are a vulnerable demographic when it comes to having personal finance knowledge.
Usually, it’s the men who make the money, do the investments, prepare for retirement, and because of this, more women leave it to their husbands to figure all of that out. Women who have a credit score below 700 are particularly inept at being financially prepared.
A survey by Elevate’s Center for the New Middle Class revealed that only 39% of women believe they have the right skills to manage their money. Because women live longer than men, it’s imperative that they prepare for life outside of retirement with their spouses. They need to go above and beyond knowing how to balance a checkbook.
Of course, these statements do not imply women are just dumb with money, but rather they fall behind their male counterparts in taking the initiative to understand and prepare for their financial futures, leaving it to their husbands to figure it all out. This can leave them in an incredibly difficult personal finance situation.
Women are more likely to have their hours cut at work, three times as likely to have lost their job than men, and rarely have a safety net around them, like emergency savings.
Here are 3 ways women can educate themselves further and bridge the knowledge gap:
1) Unleash the Power of Apps
For women who aren’t knowledgeable in finances and struggle to keep up, there are a lot of apps out there that can help you figure it out. Apps can be helpful by showing you how to budget properly and stash away cash for an emergency. Doing this not only offers you better control of your finances, but peace of mind as well.
2) Get Aggressive About Personal Finance Education
Surveys show that non-prime women with lower credit scores have basic knowledge, usually learned from their parents, on how to manage their money. Beyond that, they’re clueless. Times have changed and women must be more aggressive in learning what they don’t know about saving, investing, and preparing for retirement.
You can study blogs, read books written by experts, take classes, and even counsel with professionals to catch up on tips and strategies you can use every day.
3) Follow Up on All Your Options
It’s sort of like having a contingency plan. Look ahead at all the issues and problems that could happen. What if you suddenly needed $2,000? How would you get the money? What if your car fell apart and insurance failed to pick up the bill? What if the economy took a downturn and you lost your job?
Be prepared for any and all personal finance situations that could happen any given day. By being prepared for these things, you won’t be caught in a stressful situation without a plan.
Personal finances aren’t too difficult to master if you give it time and energy to learn. If you find you’re struggling to save money or work isn’t that stable, a lot of women turn to online entrepreneurship to fill in the gap. It allows to make extra money while still being flexible around their family’s needs.