Add to that a shrinking wealth gap between the sexes and a 150% rise in the number of female entrepreneurs and women in business, and you’d start to think that everything’s looking financially peachy for 51% of the UK population.
But the fact is that many smart, successful women are losing the battle for personal financial control – and it’s time we fought back. Ready to learn how to take control of your finances and add financial goddess to your LinkedIn profile? Let’s go.
5 Simple Steps to Take Control of Your Finances
1. Face Your Fear
To be able to take control of your finances, you must be honest: hiding your unopened bank statements under a stash of glossies hasn’t really made them go away.
It’s time you sat down and faced your fear. To start making financial decisions, you need to know what’s been eating up your hard-earned cash.
Find a budget planner online – we like the Money Advice Service’s detailed spending breakdown and Budget Planner’s express option for its uncomplicated format and instant results.To start making financial decisions, you need to know what’s eating up your hard-earned cash.Click To Tweet
Now you know where you stand, you can decide what your first move will be. Just take a moment to acknowledge that: you are about to make a fact-based decision about your personal finances. Goddess status is drawing closer.
If you owe and one of your financial priority is to be debt-free; start off by saving up for an emergency fund of £1000 before attacking your debts. This fund will help you deal with unexpected expenses and focused whilst paying off your debts.
Do not exceed this until you have paid off your debts. This is because the interest on loans is always going to be higher than for savings, so you’re making your money go further this way – and helping your credit rating along the way.
3. Be Realistic
You’re going to like this one: cut yourself some slack. Think of your budget like a diet. If you don’t add in the odd treat, you’ll fall off the wagon and headlong into a plate of Cadbury’s Dairy Milk before the week’s out.
When you’re setting a budget, add 10% and give yourself a little room to breathe. You’re far more likely to stick with it in the long run.
4. Be Specific
Break things down into manageable steps. If your first and only milestone is ‘save £30K for a deposit on a flat’, you’re going to lose heart quicker than Katie Hopkins at a sponsored silence.
And when you’ve set your first goal, tell your friends. They’ll know not to pressure you into any impulse buys … and they’ll be there to help celebrate every milestone with a budget-friendly reward.
5. Keep track
You’re now well on the way to achieving financial nirvana, so don’t let things slide. Don’t worry, we’re past the days of spreadsheets and double entries.
Most major banks have an app to help customers keep on top of their finances, and software like MoneyWiz (for iPhones and iPads) allows you to keep all your accounts, transactions, budgets and bills in one place. Easy.
It’s time to say goodbye to financial phobias and bask in the warm glow – OK, some unenlightened souls might say smugness – of your budgetary brilliance.
Check out our handy guide on 6 Apps to Help You Manage Your Money.
What’s your biggest non-essential spending habit? Which of these tips will you be taking on board to take control of your finances and start getting your finances in order? You can leave a comment below and let us in on how you keep on top of it. We’d loved to hear from you!