Financial independence is something that has probably crossed many people’s minds at one time or another.  As the pandemic continues to affect the lives of so many people around the world, finances are really getting a lot of attention these days.  For women, personal finance has always been a hot topic.  According to Gobankingrates.comonly about 62% of women have $1000 saved.  Couple this with the fact women are often the ones to abandon their careers to become full time moms and you can see the reason why women tend to struggle with personal finance.

1.  Financial independence means knowing your credit score

We have all heard the phrase “knowledge is power” and that cannot be more true than with your credit score.  Your credit score is one of the most important numbers associated with your name.   It is a true picture of how you manage your money and how good you are at repaying your debt.  If you currently have a low score, you can expect to pay higher interest rates and securing any new credit or loans may be difficult.  The best way to stay on top of your credit score is to check it for free each year at annualcreditreport.com.

If you are suffering from a low credit score, making your monthly payments on time is a great way to help increase it.  If you access your credit report and find errors, you may want to enlist a credit repair company to help you fix your report.

2. Learn how to negotiate your salary

We have all heard the notion that women do not earn as much as their male counterparts.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women earn 81.4% the amount that males do.  If you want to strive for financial independence as a woman, you need to know how to negotiate your pay.

When it comes to negotiating your salary, here are some suggestions:

  • Know how much you are worth.  Take the time research salaries on websites like Payscale and  Dice.
  • Figure out how much your accomplishments are worth.  If you have come up with a new idea that has saved your company thousands, quantify that.
  • Know what the minimum salary looks like for you as well as how much you hope to make.
  • Practice negotiating with someone.  Ask a friend or family member to rehearse with you.
  • Don’t forget about benefits. This can be anything from flexibility to work from home to payment of your cell phone bill.

Check here for more tips on how to negotiate your salary.

3. Paying down debt will lead to financial independence

Anyone with debt knows the amount of stress it can put on your life.  When it comes to maintaining your credit in good standing, paying down your debt and making your monthly payments on time is essential.  In an effort to further build financial independence, women really need to work on establishing and maintaining good credit.  This goes for whether you have a family or are single.  This pandemic has showed us that our lives and our finances can be upended at any time, so you need to be financially prepared.

4. Be a good financial role model for your kids

If you have kids, one of the best ways to teach kids financial literacy is to model it for them.  This looks like using a budget and depending on their age, get them in on the conversation.  Show them how you work with your budget and make it a point to not spend what you don’t have.  This may look like having to say no to buying something you really want or that your kid really wants.  Not giving in to that want if you really can’t afford it will teach a very valuable lesson to your kids.

5. Save for retirement if you are married

If you are married, your husband may be the only one putting money away into retirement savings.  If both spouses work, both should be contributing to their employer-sponsored retirement accounts. Especially if their employer’s offer match contributions.