“Find a man that will provide for you and your children.”
“As long as your husband is taking care of you then you are fine”
“Treat your man’s finances as your own security blanket.”
But what happens when that rainy day actually comes, when he loses his job, or there’s a break-up? Why should women overlook their own finances to focus on someone else’s? It’s time to break the stereotypical gender roles that say only men should be the breadwinners. Women need to learn the importance of being financially independent because A) it’s only right, and B) so you will never have to feel trapped in an unhealthy relationship because you “couldn’t afford to leave.”
Financial independence gives you the freedom to choose how you’re going to live your life regardless of someone else and their decisions. It means choosing a path for yourself, living by your own rules, and having the added stability. The incline for women to be self-sufficient and career driven has grown tremendously, but we still have plenty of barriers to break. Millennial women have shattered gender roles and stereotypes by showing they too can be providers of their home. Women have more access to equal rights than ever before, but true equality doesn’t exist just yet. We must continue earning higher degrees than men, fight for equal pay, and lead the way in small business entrepreneurship.
If you aren’t financially independent just yet, there’s nothing to feel ashamed about because it takes time, and a certain level of wisdom to get there. For now, I want to share some universal tips that will lead you in the right direction, and create the opportunity that you may need.
First thing is to recognize the behaviors and habits that can potentially stand in the way of becoming financially independent. This includes:
- Splurging on unnecessary items that you really don’t need. Start by asking yourself “Do I need this, or do I just want it?”.
- Emotional shopping. It’s quite common to use shopping as a coping skill, but you will almost always come out spending more money when you aren’t thinking clearly.
- Using your credit card when you don’t have the money to cover your expenses. I know it’s so tempting to do but stay far away from this bad habit.
- Taking money out of your savings to use for things that do not count as a bill or emergency. Save for when you really need it the most.
Next, it’s time to adopt a hustle mentality.
Having multiple incomes is always a good method to go by. This will help you to always have more money coming in than you are putting out. You could have more than one job, freelance on the side, or become your own boss. If you don’t know where to start, tap into your talents or hobbies by turning your passion into a hustle. You can easily promote your services and items on social media.
Finally, invest and build your credit profile.
Investing is one of the easiest ways to make your money work for you. Although it takes a few calculated risks, the outcome will definitely be worth it.
Written by: Kisha Smiley