During the 19th century, women had no choice but to work in order to financially support their families. They used to work in factories, or did domestic service for richer households. This was an addition to their regular unpaid work at home, which included cooking, cleaning, taking care of their children... When the First World War was declared, a large number of men had to join the forces, that's why many women were asked to occupy these jobs. The history behind women and work goes on and on, and there are a lot of things that still have to change (why do women earn less than a man doing the exact same job? why isn't well accepted for women to certain jobs because they are supposed to be "for men"?), but we could say that nowadays, we have become a very important part of the working world.
Because women earn less over their lifetime than men and live longer in retirement, they also tend to have less saved, that's why it is so important for us to start managing our money as early as possible. Part of the reason I'm writing this post is to inspire women to manage their finances well and help close this gender gap.
When it comes to staying financially organised, my mother is my role model. She keeps control of everything money-related in our house and she does more than well. I decided it would be a good idea to share some of her tips, so here they are:
- Ask for your receipts to see how much you spend: one of the things I admire the most about my mother is how she collects all the receipts and keeps them in an envelope. At the end of the month, she uses Excel document to write down everything she spent, I recommend you to separate it in different sections such as food, clothes, gas... This way, you have more detailed information and it's easier to see where most of your money goes.
- Save now, benefit yourself later: Woman usually assign money-related tasks to their husbands, that's why sometimes, they face financial struggles later in life. The problem is that when husbands die, women often find themselves with less money than expected, and they don't know how to manage it. Free tools like Personal Capital's retirement planner and calculator can help with this. It allows people to manage their finances and plan for retirement on a simple platform. So start saving now girls!! When I talk about saving I also include holidays and other things to treat yourself. It's also good to have savings for the unsexpected expenses you may have (like having to fix the toilet, breaking your leg...)
- Avoid wasting your money: it's sounds obvious and pretty hard to do, but if you have your list of expenses it's way easier. The only thing you need to do is check on what you spent the most money on and find out a way to change that. Let's say you go to Starbucks every morning... you could cut down on that, or maybe you go shopping when you're hungry and you end up buying more stuff that you weren't supposed to get (I don't know why all the examples that came to my mind are related with food...). I would recommend you to invest on a good coffee maker so you can have coffe at home and to have a shopping list with you (don't forget eat something before going to the supermarket)! Quick tip: if you want to spend less, go cash! Having your card with you makes you more likely to spend money. Plan purchases ahead and take the money you need for the week and forget about your card!
- Set up a budget: I love budgeting!! I may have inherited it from my mum. Wether it's a small thing like your winter clothes or a bigger one like buying a car, I think it always comes handy to have an aproximate budget so you don't overspend. Be realistic when elaborating it, I would suggest to set a lower figure to make sure you don't get any surprise. If it ends up being cheaper than you planed, save the rest of the money! If you find something you extremely like that doesn't fit your budget, look for other places where it's sold and compare, compare and compare! You never know when you'll find an amazing deal.
That's it for today's post. I hope you found those tips useful and if you have any advice, don't forget to share it with me in the comments below! Have a nice weekend :)
Disclamer: all the pictures are from UNSPLASH except the first one.