“Women’s Finances” is a bit misleading, as you may think it means there’s something fundamentally different about a woman’s financial needs compared to a man’s. Perhaps back in the days when women relied on their husband’s income, and virtually everything the family owned belonged to him, there was. But no longer. With more and more adult women living alone, running their own businesses, and leading independent lives, it’s no longer enough to know how to balance a checkbook. The finances of a household or business do not change depending on the gender of the person in charge, so it is necessary for women to know how to take charge of their own finances.
Some might say they don’t have enough to “manage” while others might say they have enough not to bother. But in either case, taking proper care of your finances can confer rewards far beyond the time you take in doing it. The woman who thinks she doesn’t have enough might find herself able to take a holiday or invest in a pension plan. The woman who thinks she has more than enough might find herself needing to deal with an expensive accident or loss. There is no telling what life may bring you, so when it comes to your finances it is always wisest for any woman to be prepared.
For women who can afford it, consulting a professional financial advisor about the details of budgeting, taxes, savings plans and investment is well worth the time and expense. Take your time and find an advisor you’re comfortable with, who doesn’t leave you feeling belittled during your consultation. A good financial advisor is worth their weight in gold, especially for individuals with significant assets or who run their own business, so don’t hesitate to “shop around” until you find the right one.
If you don’t have the resources to hire a private consultant, you may wish to consider one of the many financial planning products available for your PC. This software ranges from relatively simple tax-preparation programs you’ll only use once a year, to comprehensive bookkeeping and investment management programs that can walk you through every step of your regular financial routine. Many of these programs are designed to double-check your entries, finding mistakes, irregularities or missed opportunities to maximize your financial benefit.
Many women of course – as with many men – cannot afford the services of professional accountants and advisors or high-priced software. In this case, the internet can be an essential tool in your financial planning. Find reputable sites, perhaps affiliated with known banking or investment firms, that offer planning advice on their websites. Many financial planning sites offer online calculators, where you can enter your income and expenses and get personalized suggestions for savings plans to suit your budget.
At any income level, though, the key to taking control of your finances is learning what your options are and getting the personalized information you need to make the most of the opportunities you have. Thanks to the internet, a modern woman of any income bracket can access the tools she needs to make the most of her financial options.