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  • Ann C Wood

Strategies for Financial Independence on International Women's Day


Financially Independent Women


Give a woman a dollar, and she can put it to good use. Teach her about how money works, and she can change the world, — Linda Davis Taylor, CEO of Clifford Swan Investment Counselors.


Every year, on the 8th of March, a powerful resonance of celebration flows in the air - It’s International Women’s Day.


This day serves as a tribute to acknowledge the resilience and accomplishments of Women across the world.


This year, International Women's Day has a theme of #InspireInclusion


A world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. A world that's diverse, equitable, and inclusive. Together we can forge women's equality.


As we continue to shed light on the achievements of women, let’s take a moment and acknowledge a major challenge that most women are facing today i.e., Financial Independence. 


Research has shown that:


  •  Nearly 62% of working women are behind in their retirement savings. Compared to 48% men.


  • The number of Women working towards retirement planning dropped by 11 percent to 57 percent in 2023 compared to 2022.


  • Nearly 6 in 10 working women (at 52 percent) feel behind on their retirement savings, down from 62 percent a year ago.


Now, before jumping into the strategies that can help women attain financial Independence let us understand what being financially Independent truly means:


Being financially independent means having enough money or assets to support your lifestyle without needing to rely on a regular job or anyone else for financial support. Essentially, it's the ability to cover your expenses and live comfortably without having to work for someone else or worry about running out of money.


Why Should Women Even Bother To Be Financially Independent?  


A financially independent woman holds several benefits that extend far beyond just economic freedom. Here are the 5 compelling reasons:


1. Freedom to make life decisions: 


A financially independent woman has the freedom to make life decisions without facing any economic hindrance.


 Financial independence offers several benefits such as freedom to pursue education, career opportunities, and personal passion without relying on anyone else's support.


Whether it’s starting a business or furthering their education, financial Independence grants women the autonomy to shape their destinies.


2. Breaking stereotypes: 


When women are financially independent, they become role models and inspirations for others. This increases their participation in different industries thriving in a world where differences and discrimination are nonexistent.


3. Building Self-Confidence and Self-Esteem: 


A financially independent woman reviews her payslips and understands her employment contract. She is well aware of the benefits she can avail of at her workplace.


 As women overcome their challenges and achieve their goals, their confidence and self-esteem naturally flourish.


4. Empowerment in Relationships:


Financial independence contributes to creating equal partnerships and healthier relationships. 


When both partners contribute financially, there is a sense of shared responsibility and mutual respect.


This encourages open communication about money, leading to stronger bonds. Additionally, financial independence ensures that women are never trapped in unhealthy relationships due to financial reliance on a partner.


5. Retirement planning: 


Financially independent women can plan for their retirement with confidence, ensuring that they have the resources to enjoy their later years comfortably.


What Strategies Can Help You Become Financially Independent? 


To celebrate International Women's Day, 2024 and to promote financial planning for women, we have come up with 6 effective strategies for financial independence.


1. Education and Skill Development: 


Education is the first step towards financial Independence. By investing in education and skill development, women can get access to better career opportunities. 


In today’s rapidly evolving job market, acquiring a skill is particularly crucial. Girls and women should be encouraged to pursue higher education, vocational training, and skill development programs.


Example: Acquiring digital skills in digital marketing, data analysis, and social Media Management can contribute to skill development. 


2. Saving and Investing:


Regular saving requires strategic planning. Women should prioritize saving a portion of their income and consider various investment options to build wealth over time. Diversifying investments helps in reducing the risks and can lead to long-term financial stability. 


Example: Mutual funds, systematic investment plans, and working with a financial advisor can offer personalized guidance based on individual goals can help them in their Investment

journey.


3. Creating Multiple income streams:


The skills you share don't have to be related to your day job," said Clark, adding that they can be related to a hobby or personal passion. “


Diversifying multiple streams of Income provides financial security and increases resilience in times of uncertainty. Beyond a primary job, women can explore freelancing, consulting, or side businesses. The gig economy offers various opportunities for flexible work arrangements that can be tailored to individual skills.


Example:  A woman can create multiple streams through Coaching or Consultation services, She also can start her own Blog or provide different services as a freelancer.


4. Entrepreneurship:


Whether a woman is establishing a business or choosing a path of Entrepreneurship, in both cases various resources are available to support female entrepreneurs, women-

owned businesses contribute significantly to the global economy.


Government programs, nonprofit organizations, and private initiatives offer funding and mentorships for aspiring women entrepreneurs. 


Example: A single-location restaurant, one grocery shop, or a retail shop can be a great way to start your entrepreneurial journey.


5. Retirement planning:


Retirement planning can be done by investing in a range of retirement plans that can help ensure a steady stream of income to maintain a certain lifestyle post-retirement.


Few tips to get started with Retirement planning:


  1. Start saving and stick to your goals.

  2. Learn about the employer's pension plan.

  3. Know your retirement needs.

  4. Put money into an individual retirement account.

6. Organizing finances:


By organizing their finances, women can successfully transform their financial outlook and set on a path to long-lasting financial well-being. 

There can be several processes involved such as defining financial objectives, reviewing budget, and tax planning.


Whether it's cleaning their financial books, and statements, or seeking assistance for hoarding financial documents, taking action this fall can set women on the path to financial success.


Example: A good way to start is by following the 50-30-20 rule. Allocate 50% of your income to general living expenses like lodging and food, 30% to savings, and the remaining 20% to living life queen-size.


Conclusion

Despite decades of progress, we still have a long way to go and International Women's Day is a beautiful reminder to celebrate the strength and resilience of women in our communities. By Promoting education, skill development, multiple income streams, and strategic financial planning, we can empower women to overcome economic barriers and contribute to a more equitable and prosperous world.


Let’s continue to celebrate and inspire each other not just on International Women’s Day but every day.


FAQs on women being financially Independent.


Q1. Can financial Independence lead to better mental health? 


Ans: Yes, financial Independence can contribute significantly to better mental health. 

It reduces stress and anxiety, increases the sense of control, and can positively influence relationships.


Q2. How does Financial Independence impact future generations?


Ans: Yes, when a girl or a woman is financially independent, she serves as a role model for future generations.

This makes a profound impact on younger generations shaping their opportunities, mindsets, and overall well-being.


Q3. What is the first step towards financial Independence?


Ans: The first step is setting clear financial goals. Create a budget, save and invest wisely, and continuously educate yourself about personal finance. Planning is crucial for your journey to independence.


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