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Women and finances is all about taking control and managing your finances as the key to personal financial success. Unfortunately, women are behind the eight ball when it comes to not only money management but also investing.

Below are 10 women and finance tips for long-term security

1. Come up with a realistic savings goal

Start off by taking a look at your income along with all of your expenses and see how much you can realistically afford to save each month.  10% is good to start off with and then once you create a budget , you will have a clearer idea if you can save more or less than that.

2. Come up with a goal and draft a plan

Let’s say you are trying to get your emergency fund going, you can come up with a goal of saving at least 6 months of monthly expenses.  Come up with a date and then break down the savings amount by month or bi weekly amounts.  You can do this for anything you want to save money for (vacation, a home etc).

3. Get comfortable with financial apps

Apps like Digit link to your checking account and also monitor your daily spending habits along with your income.  After a few days it takes a look at the data and comes up with a an amount to set aside for savings.  This app really does all the work for you.  Here are more financial apps to help you conquer your 2018 financial goals.   If you don’t think using apps will keep you on track, a financial coach can also be helpful.

4. Create balance between your social life and your savings

Social activities with friends as well as dating can really break the budget.  It is nice to grab dinner or go to a fun brunch but you don’t want it to lead to an empty wallet until your next paycheck.  Be sure to come up with a “social” budget that will work for your life.

5.  Do not take on anyone’s debt

If you are considering tying the knot, make sure you are not taking on your partner’s debt.  Wait until they are done paying it off or get a prenuptial agreement.

6. Money should not be used to make you feel better

When it comes to women and finances, using money to make yourself feel good is a fleeting feeling.  Focus on doing things that boost your self esteem and creativity so that you do not seek them by spending money.

7. Make saving for retirement a priority

A big deal on the top of women and finances is that women are earning less than men on the dollar.   In addition, they have a longer life expectancy and they are less likely to be covered by a company pension or a retirement plan. For these reasons, saving for retirement should be a top priority for women.   By setting retirement goals, you are better able to visualize the end goal and make the right financial decisions regarding your retirement plan.

8. Set limits on how much you will financially help your kids

We all want to be there for our kids when we can.  With that being said, most women whether married or divorced, for see themselves having to help their child/children through a rough patch at some point in the future.  Even providing the means for them to attend college can be financially draining.

It is important to plan carefully now and make decisions on what will work best for your family.  Whether it is staying close to home, living at home, whether or not they will work as well as what school they will attend are all things to consider.  Sometimes your teen’s first pick may not make financial sense for you.  It may be hard to say no, but you don’t want to be left in financial ruins just to please your child.  Managing and figuring out these expectations now will help you navigate the transition easier when the time comes.

9. Be prepared for changes in the job market

Many women are concerned about careers becoming obsolete as well as what declining salaries will mean for their financial success.  Consulting with a financial planner can help you through making decisions about your workplace as well as how to handle negotiations.  This can be for anything from asking for a raise if your responsibilities change as well as how to handle an offer from a new employer.

It is important that women have a clear understanding of their worth in the marketplace.  For those women who have been out of the workforce for various reasons, they too need to be prepared by making sure they invest in themselves.  This can be done through continuing education classes or even volunteering.

10. Get life insurance

Life insurance is not only for those with spouses and children.  If you are caring for an ill parent, have debt or just don’t want to leave those you love responsible for your funeral expenses, life insurance would cover you on all three fronts.  If you are young and a non-smoker, you can get life insurance for pretty cheap.