We ALL know how important it is to start creating good financial habits.
But how many of us are actually doing it?
The numbers are a little scary, to be honest.
Only about ⅓ of Americans maintain a household budget. Roughly the same money have a long-term savings plan. And most Americans don’t have enough money in the bank to cover a $500 emergency.
But there are plenty of financially successful women who totally defying these statistics and kicking butt with their finances!
Here are 8 SUPER important habits that financially successful women have (and that you should have too).
Important Financial Habits For Women
They Make Their Financial Health a Priority
Financially successful women know they need to make their financial health a priority. And often, that’s going to mean putting their financial health ahead of other things.
It might mean cutting back on entertainment or eating out. It might mean renting an apartment a few extra years in order to put away extra money for a house. Or it might mean paying off debt instead of taking a vacation.
Making your finances a priority isn’t always fun.
But if you make your finances a priority NOW, then down the road you’ll be in a much better position to make room in the budget for more fun things!
They Know Their Finances Inside and Out
Financially successful women know their finances. They know how much money they make every month, and exactly where it’s coming from.
They know how much they spend every month, and exactly where it’s going.
They know how much debt they have, how much they have in the bank, and what their credit score is.
If you don’t know any of the things I just mentioned, it’s time to figure it out!
I use Mint to manage my personal finances, and it makes it SO easy. I can see how much is in all of my accounts. I can see how much I owe on my loans (student loan and car loan).
I also track and categorize every transaction so I know roughly how much I spend in each category each month.
If you’re not doing this yet, it’s pretty easy to get started! Sit down with a new spreadsheet and your bank account open and just start adding up how much you’re spending in each category. If this is the first time you’re doing it, you might want to go back a few months to get a better idea of your average spending.
They Have a Budget (and Stick to It)
Financially successful women have a budget. They PLAN for where their money is going.
But it’s not JUST about having a budget. A budget is no good unless you stick to it! In addition to creating a budget for themselves, financially successful women stick to that budget.
Don’t have a budget? It’s SUPER easy to create one. There are a lot of tools you can use to create your budget. I used to use a spreadsheet. Now I use Mint.
Remember before when we talked about going through your bank history to figure out where your money is going. Well, you can use those numbers as a guide for your budget.
Maybe you’re happy with the amount you’ve been spending in a certain category, and you can add that number to your budget as-is.
Or maybe you’re appalled at how much you’re spending eating out (this was me the first time I made a budget for myself).
You can use these numbers as a guide for how much you WANT to spend each month.
Just don’t forget to budget a certain amount every month to put into savings!
And they pay attention to when they go over budget in one category so they can make up for it somewhere else. I track each and every transaction so I know throughout the entire month how I’m doing on my budget.
They Protect Their Credit
Financially successful women know how important their credit score is, and so they do everything they can to protect it.
I definitely didn’t always understand the importance of my credit score. And then it came time to do things like buy a car and a house. And let me tell you, I REALLY wish I had paid attention to be credit score before then.
The first step to protecting your credit is knowing your credit score and monitoring your credit regularly. There are apps and websites that can help you do this.
My favorite tool for monitoring my credit is Credit Karma. I have the app on my phone and it sends me a notification any time there is a change to my credit report or credit score. It also notifies me if my personal information is ever in jeopardy because of a data breach.
Protecting your credit also means not living on credit cards!
Yes, credit card rewards can be amazing. Who doesn’t love free money for things you would be buying anyway, amiright?
But here’s the thing. If you aren’t paying your balance off every month and you’re spending money on interest, then it’s not REALLY free money. And it might end up costing you a lot more than you’re getting.
When it comes to credit cards, it really comes down to knowing yourself.
Are you someone who can use your credit card reasonably and pay it off every month? Then go ahead and collect those reward points!
Are you someone who’s going to overspend and let that balance keep building? Then skip the credit cards.
Your credit score and your future self will thank you.
They Pay Themselves First
Tell me if this scenario sounds familiar:
You get paid on the first of the month. You pay your bills, grab brunch or drinks with friends here and there, and maybe splurge on a little shopping trip.
And if you’ve got money left at the end of the month, you throw it in your savings account. Or maybe you’ve spent it all and nothing goes into savings.
Sound familiar? It probably does, because this is how many people approach saving. I’ve definitely been there are certain points in my life too.
If you really want to set yourself up for financial success, start doing it the other way around. On payday, move some money into your savings account. I have an automatic transfer set up, so I do this without even thinking about it.
Then, whatever is left after savings and bills is what you have to spend for the month.
Many of us have more wiggle room in our budgets than we think. You might think you don’t have enough extra for savings, but I have a feeling that if you do that first, you’ll be able to adjust and stick to the money you have left.
They Set Financial Goals
Financially successful women set financial goals for themselves. And then they create an action plan for those goals to make sure they come to fruition.
Your financial goal might be to save for something specific, like a vacation or a house.
You might also have a financial like reaching a certain dollar amount in savings or reaching a certain income threshold with your side hustle.
Financial goals help to create discipline and push you to really follow your budget.
It’s not just about setting the goal and hoping it comes true, though!
It’s all about the follow-through.
Once you’ve set your goal, decide exactly how much money you’re going to put away for it every month.
You will never regret investing in yourself!
They Find Ways to Increase Their Income
You’ve probably heard the statistic that millionaires have an average of seven streams of income.
Now, obviously, every single millionaire does not have seven streams of income (some have more, some have less). And it’s entirely possible that you don’t care about becoming a millionaire.
Regardless, the basic idea makes sense. You want more money? Have more streams of income. Whether you’re working for yourself or someone else, nothing is a guarantee. You never know when you may need that extra security of multiple income streams.
If you’re self-employed, this might mean adding additional income streams to your business.
If you work for someone else, this might mean starting a side hustle or finding other ways to make money.
I recently published a blog post where I shared 35 legit ways you can make extra money!
Even if your primary income stream never goes away, wouldn’t it be nice to have that extra income to create a nest egg or save for a vacation??
They Plan For the Future
Retirement may seem SUPER far away. But let’s be real – it’s going to be here faster than you think!
And we definitely should NOT be counting on social security benefits to support us. No way. If our generations want to retire someday, it’s going to be ALL on us.
This means putting away money for retirement as soon as you possibly can.
If your employer offers a 401k plan, that’s a great place to start. But it may not be enough. There are plenty of ways to diversify your retirement savings whether it be a 401k, IRAs, or long-term investments.
We all know that our finances are SUPER important. And yet, way too much of us aren’t giving them the attention they deserve!
Start following these financial habits and you’ll be well on your way to becoming a financially successful woman!