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Usually women are not centered in financial conversations. We are more likely to learn how to save money and earn pennies than grow our wealth. But that’s absurd. Women have just as much incentive as men to invest in their future and build wealth for a better life. More than ever, women should strive for financial independence. Here’s how to get started.
What is Financial Independence?
Financial independence is the ability to live on resources you have acquired for yourself, without being dependent on a job. You have spent time and energy accumulating wealth to protect yourself from life’s misfortunes and you no longer have to work. You can still choose to work, but you don’t have to. Financial independence can be a way to achieve gender-based financial equality.
Steps That Make Every Woman Financially Independent
While you cannot become financially independent overnight, you will become financially independent if you stick to a financial plan. Becoming financially independent is a process that takes years. How many years will it take?
Some financially independent women have achieved it in five years, such as Purple from the blog A Purple Life. Kitty from Bitches Get Riches is retiring at age 35. For others it takes longer. There is no right or wrong way to achieve financial independence. Personal finances are personal and you will have to decide what works for you to achieve financial freedom and increase your wealth.
Start Improving Your Financial Literacy
The first thing you want to do is make sure you are financially literate. Are you budgeting well and able to save money? If not, it will be more difficult to achieve financial independence.
If you’re having trouble budgeting, try one of the popular budgeting systems, such as the envelope method or the zero-based budgeting method. There are also plenty of budgeting apps that can make this process easier. One of our favorites is You Need A Budget.
If you’re struggling to save money, try automating your investments. It’s easier to save money if you’re not part of the equation. Let technology do the heavy lifting for you.
Personally, I have found it helpful to have a personal responsibility partner. We meet a few times a month to see how our expenses are going and to make sure we are on track to meet our goals. We also keep track of our expenses together. Peer pressure, when used correctly, can be a powerful tool.
Calculate your financial independence number
Next, you want to create a financial plan to achieve this goal. You can work with a financial planner or create your own, if you’re comfortable with that. Either way, you want to make sure your financial goals are achievable.
If you choose to create your own plan, start saving an emergency fund. That should be 3 to 6 months worth of cash assets.
Next, you’ll want to follow the 4 percent rule and set SMART goals. The 4 percent rule is based on the idea that your portfolio should allow you to withdraw 4 percent per year without draining the money.
If you’re unsure of your math, there are plenty of FIRE calculators that can help you determine what your retirement number should be.
Creating a plan for financial independence
Once you know what your number should be, you need to create a roadmap to financial independence. The math gets a little tricky here because you would have to invest your money in the market. I recommend using a retirement calculator to help you see how many years it should take.
Let’s say we make $50,000 a year (after taxes), and spend only $40,000, leaving us $10,000 to save a year. If we saved without investing, it would take us 100 years to save $1,000,000. That’s a little too long a timeline. If you invest the money instead, assuming a 7 percent return, you’ll have a million dollars in 35 years instead.
If you can reduce your expenses or start earning more, it will take less time.
Creating a passive income to be financially independent
Another way to become financially independent is to create passive income. Passive income is income you earn while doing nothing. Sounds pretty sweet, doesn’t it? Sometimes it takes quite a bit of work in advance, for example if you are writing a book or making a product. But the purpose of passive income is to make money over time. The possibilities of passive income are endless.
Start a blog, podcast, or Youtube channel Write a book Create printables Sell stock photos Rent out your garage with a service like Neighbor Invest in real estate
Ideally, replace your need for a job with your passive income. You can diversify your income streams and do several passive income-generating projects, or you can stick to just one. This, like everything else, is adaptable to your needs as a woman.
Common roadblocks for women seeking financial independence
While I’d like to say that once you’ve come up with your personal formula, the road to financial independence is easy; unfortunately it isn’t. Like all good things in life, it comes to those who pursue it diligently. You will have to work hard and stay consistent to reach a place of financial security.
Burnout is a huge problem for people seeking financial independence. If you try too much and too soon, you won’t be able to do anything at all. Seeking financial independence is like running a marathon. It takes a lot of training and dedication. You cannot change your lifestyle overnight and be successful. Instead, just like training for a marathon, you should strive for financial independence in small, bite-sized steps.
Lack of support from your social circle
Friends are great and all, but sometimes they don’t understand your financial decisions. As women, we are judged on everything we do, and it can be overwhelming to turn down plans because they don’t fit the budget. Keeping peer pressure to spend money can be a major obstacle on your journey to financial independence. But you have to keep the end goal in mind. Being financially free feels better than a night on the town.
Slipping into debt
Another silent culprit is debt. It’s easy to spend too much money and get into credit card debt. Make sure you watch your expenses so you don’t have to dig yourself out of a financial hole. If you already have debt, make a plan to pay it off so it doesn’t get in the way of your pursuit of financial independence.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Why should women choose to pursue financial independence?
The pursuit of financial independence can:
Let you pursue motherhood without worrying about money You can rely on your own money instead of a partner’s Give you the opportunity to travel and see the world Weather medical emergencies without worrying about work Care for relatives for a longer period
What are the benefits of being financially independent as a woman?
Every woman can benefit from pursuing financial independence. You have a financial buffer between you and the world. And you have more choice.
Some people choose to retire early when they become financially independent. Others choose to pursue work that is meaningful to them without worrying about pay. Still others choose to start businesses to change small parts of the world.
If you are not concerned with the basic necessities of life, you can choose to do whatever you want.
It comes down to
Becoming financially independent should have nothing to do with your gender. Whatever gender you identify with, you can amass wealth and achieve your financial goals. It will just take some time and dedication. If you want to become a financially independent woman, go for it! Improving your finances can be a solid way to advocate for women’s empowerment. You will have no regrets.
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was original published at “https://millennialmoney.com/financially-independent-women/”