March 8 marked a worldwide celebration of the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. This year’s theme is #BeBoldforChange, and there are plenty of ways to get involved, not least of which is to take a pledge and commit to being bold for change. Once you’ve done that, why not move your fearlessness one step further down the line? Let’s commit to boosting our financial confidence together. Here’s how.
4 Ways Women Can Boost Their Financial Confidence
1. Start Building Your Emergency Fund
As the name describes, an emergency fund is just that: money that you can access in case of an emergency. It is your ticket to financial freedom. In 2016, freelance writer Paulette Perhach wrote a story for The Billfold about the importance of building an emergency fund. By doing this she started an economic revolution for many women. In summary, the article encourages women everywhere to make sure they have enough money saved that they can make a hasty exit from any situation in life that may require it.
An emotionally abusive boyfriend? Say goodbye. A terrible boss? Again, say goodbye. The sooner you start building your Emergency Fund, the sooner you can feel financially safe. You don’t have to start big either. $500 is a good starting point and then beef it up from there. Aim to have between 3-6 months saved. If you’re a freelancer or an entrepreneur, try to build your fund higher.
2. Get Comfortable with Money
For reasons we’ll never fully understand, money is a taboo topic. We don’t like to share the details of our salaries. We don’t like to reveal what we spend. We hate talking about our debts and our budget issues. But if money equals freedom, then there is no better way to get there than educating yourself. Start by talking to a financial planner and laying out your current situation. They’ll be able to advise you on what you should be focusing on right now and what you should focus on next.
Woody Allen once famously said: “There are worse things in life than death. Have you ever spent an evening with an insurance salesman?” Despite the many jokes about insurance, it’s there for a reason. Insurance will have you covered in (almost) any situation. This rule doesn’t just apply to health insurance, either, although health insurance is a must-have. You may want to consider income insurance, which will partially cover your salary if you’re injured or suffer an illness that puts you out of work. Also, life insurance may be worth it for you, depending on your lifestyle. Life insurance is especially a good idea if you have children or dependents.
4. Prepare for The Future
Change is inevitable, but it’s also really scary. If you want to feel confident when big changes arrive in your life, the best thing you can do is be ready. For example, think about your career path. Technology is changing the way we work. Many jobs will soon be fully automated. If you work in an industry that will change as technology evolves further, you may want to future-proof your career by looking down the line and figuring out your backup plan.