A Young Woman's Guide to Personal Finance

Financial Advice for Young Women

Now, I'm not a financial guru, but I can certainly tell you what makes sense if you are a young woman (or man) starting out from school. There are several things you need to do to establish your credit, stay out of debt - or get out as quickly and painlessly as possible, and save for the future. You have some big things ahead of you in life, not just including retirement. You'll probably want to buy a house one day, get married, maybe even start a family. Plus, experts say that you should have at least 6 months salary set aside for an emergency in case you get sick or injured, or otherwise unable to work.

Some basic guidelines should be followed for those young graduates just starting out.

  1. Create a realistic budget. Figure out what your monthly expenses are, both "hard" expenses like rent and car payments, and "soft" expenses like dinners out and lattes with friends. Make sure that you have both some cushion for emergencies and some extra money to set aside for savings. In other words, don't budget all your money to be spent!
  2. Pay yourself first. Once you start getting paid, see if your employer can set up an automatic deposit into 2 accounts: one portion of your check into checking and one portion into savings. If not, then be dedicated enough to march down to the bank and deposit your savings (whether $15 or $100 each month), depending on your budget.
  3. Pay your bills on time. This is crucial because it reflects on your overall credit rating, and it will save you the unnecessary expense of late fees, which can run up to $60 or more! With respect to utility bills, if you pay too late, you run the risk of having your water or electricity service shut off. Not only is that inconvenient, but they then require a hook-up charge to restart service. A huge hassle and waste of money.
  4. Get a credit card. Yes, you will need to have one. Just use it very rarely, and pay it off in full. This is so you can build your credit score, to which lenders look when its time to decide to give you a loan, and at what rate. Those with higher credit reports get lower interest rates.

Guide to Personal Finance
Guide to Personal Finance

Personal Finance for Young Women

All of the above tips would equally apply to women or men, so why is this article directed primarily to women? There are several reasons. First of all, women tend to earn less than men for the same job - even in this day and age. So, it is critical for women in particular to take control of their personal finances and plan for the future as soon as possible to make up for any potential differences in compensation they may suffer.

Second, some women (hopefully fewer and fewer) allow their spouses or significant others to take control of finances in the home once they get into a serious relationship. Of course, this is a serious mistake. You must know what is going on with respect to bills and cash flow on a monthly and yearly basis. In addition, you have to plan for your own future. If you end up divorced or widowed, do you have adequate resources set aside for yourself? A personal savings account? Life insurance? What if you have children?

As a woman, you simply cannot sit by and allow financial decisions to be made for you. Nor can you only pay for the basics (paying bills and rent) and leave the rest for later. Think ahead 5, 10 or 30 years. If you cannot do this by yourself, then hire a financial planner to help you do so. Your current life situation will not be static. You need to have flexibility with respect to partners, children and jobs. Freedom is key!

Suze Orman on the Economy!

More by this Author


Comments 28 comments

gamergirl profile image

gamergirl 8 years ago from Antioch, TN

Very cool!!


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 8 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Thank you! I really appreciate the comment!


gamergirl profile image

gamergirl 8 years ago from Antioch, TN

Well, you know, it's a cool hub. I think everyone's kids should know important things about money before they're out of school.


monitor profile image

monitor 8 years ago from The world.

"Freedom is key" and as we are born into a capitalist society we need money for freedom. We make more money we have more freedom. We can make money from study. More power to you for teaching money. Mon.


mrs know it all profile image

mrs know it all 8 years ago from The Windy City Suburbs

Steph, this is good and hopefully reach the audience it needs to.


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 8 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Thanks for all the comments everyone! Its all about responsibility!


psp-downloads profile image

psp-downloads 8 years ago

Thanks for all of the great tips. I am always surprised at how little the schools teach kids about personal finance. Fortunately, I had parents who were always telling me about saving for retirement, paying your bills as soon as they come in, and saving more in your younger years. Excellent Hub!


MarloByDesign profile image

MarloByDesign 8 years ago from United States

I agree with your comments, and it is so important for woman to understand finances, whether they are single or married. I especially recommend reading books by Suze Orman, and I wrote a hub "What would Suze say?" (if I may say) that explains my passion for her as a writer. Suze would love this hub!


Blogger Mom profile image

Blogger Mom 8 years ago from Northeast, US

Excellent tips. Personally, coming out of college, I was in credit card debt up to my eyeballs. Not pretty. I wish my parents really took more time to explain the responsibility of having a credit line before I went to school. It's too easy in this country to spend money you don't have. We're very careful with credit these days - paying off balances each month and watching our budget. Sometimes it takes a bad financial experience to set you straight for the rest of your life.


mrs know it all profile image

mrs know it all 8 years ago from The Windy City Suburbs

Amen, blogger mom. I had exactly the same experience. To boot, credit card companies prey on us when we are young and feeling spendy with no income to back it. It's a dangerous combination. It took me years to get my credit back on track. For sure I'll be taking great care to teach my boys how to manage their finances at an early age.


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 8 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Good thoughts Blogger Mom and Mrs know it all - the scariest thing a few months ago when I told my kids I didn't have money for something they were begging for and they said, "you have credit cards, right?" Yikes. We had a talk right then and there! You have to pay the banks that loan you the money back! It can be a smack in the face at the end of the month when those bills come in the mail box...


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 8 years ago from Southern California, USA

Great tips for everyone, especially teenagers who are getting their first jobs and cars.


midnightbliss profile image

midnightbliss 7 years ago from Hermosa Beach

nice hub with excellent advice and insight.


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 7 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

thanks Midnightbliss


Ravindra 7 years ago

Hello,

Your comments are really helping me to develop my site which is regarding the same topic "Personal Finance". Will you please help me by visiting my site and using the features so that I can improve the site using your comments/reviews/suggestions.

You can contact me at ravindra.khaire@gmail.com

Thank you,

Ravindra.


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 7 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Hi Ravindra, I am happy to visit your site and let you know what I think. Do you have a URL? I am glad to hear that you're working on a personal finance blog or website. I think there is a great deal of need for guidance on the topic. Best, Steph


samuilgr8 profile image

samuilgr8 7 years ago

Hello stephhicks, Nice to see you.......!!

Good hub

http://www.go4funding.com/ click on this URL


Ravindra 7 years ago

Hello Stephhicks,

Sorry for so late reply.

Yes, here is the link for my site on "personal finance". http://rkhaire.info

I made it like a community site to attract users and to let them know about the purpose of the site. Later I will change it to look like a personal diary where everyone will feel confortable to keep their data or expenses. I am not tracking any of the bank information from them. It will be their own responsibility but I am not encouraging them to do so.

I want to build two separate modules 1. expenses tracker and 2. Budget planner but not getting it how to implement it so need your help.

Will you help me? I will wait for your reply.

Thank you,

Ravindra.


ravindrak profile image

ravindrak 7 years ago

Hello Stephhicks,

Firstly, please let me know your real name.

Please note that I changed my sites domain to www.mydiary.co.in and also I have started one more site which gets its popularity at the early stage called www.crickfans.com.

Many organizers already started using my site for uploading their tournament scores and teams also started contacting me for registration.

Please have a look to mydiary.co.in. I am waiting for your review on it.

Thanks,

Ravindra.


ravindrak profile image

ravindrak 7 years ago

Hi,

Ravindra here again. I am still waiting for your review and comment on my site www.mydiary.co.in regarding personal finance management software.

Also, please take a look to my one more site www.crickfans.com

Ravindra,

Have a nice day.


Which4u profile image

Which4u 7 years ago from Leicester, UK

Nice hub, catch em while they're young!


MoneyManagement profile image

MoneyManagement 7 years ago

good information,

unfortunately most people will probably ignore it on their way to crippling debt :o)


mili 6 years ago

Very cool!!


halifax mortgage calculator  6 years ago

Lots of sources here to help some one that is in need of advice, the kind of information a lot of people are looking for thank you. Some times it hard to ask for help, but with this kind of information it all becomes easier.


Neil Ashworth profile image

Neil Ashworth 6 years ago from Ireland

I love this hub. Your writing is original and the photos are beautiful.


Steve Nichols 6 years ago

This is an often overlooked area of personal finance -- how a young professional woman can take care of her money to secure her future and avoid being "taken" or scammed. Nice!


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 6 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Thank you Neil and Steve - managing personal finance is one way to empower yourself. I completely agree!


The Best Money Blog 6 years ago

It really is a shame that even in a high school economics class there is not even a mention of personal finance. Not only is it not in the curriculum, but the person teaching the class is in debt up to their eyeballs and is making no forward progress.

The US really needs to wake up and take this seriously. It is a lack of personal finance knowledge that gets people into debt, not the housing market or credit card companies. No one forces people to spend their money irresponsibly, and now there is no one left to blame but themselves.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working