The Women’s Guide to Financial Independence

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From Sarah Ban and Michael Gordon at TheSimpleDollar.com, a well-researched and fact-based guide specifically for women. This 5-step post is designed to help women arm themselves with the information that many of them may not have, to help them secure their own financial futures free from outside influence (spouses, parents etc).  The steps are as follows:

Step 1: Understand Your Cash Flow

Or: make sure you know where your money is coming from, and going to. The article suggests using financial app Mint to keep track of your expenses. Click the above link to complete a specifically tailored exercise to find out your monthly cash flow.

Step 2: Determine Your Goals and Set Your Budget

Whether it be paying off your various debts or saving to buy your first home, figure out what your goals are and how long it should take to achieve them. The article also has some handy tips to help you cut those costs, many of which are discussed here as well!

Step 3: Eradicate Debt

Remember to prioritize your debt. Paying down that high-interest credit card should take precedence over your low-interest student loan debts.

Step 4: Save!

Packed with more staggering statistics about American women’s financial education, step 4 dives into what women really need to do to prepare themselves for retirement including opting in to your company’s 401 (k) plan. There is also vital information on American healthcare costs, emergency savings, housing and car savings, and different savings vehicles to help you get the most from your hard-earned money.

Step 5: Protect Yourself 

After following steps 1-4, you will no doubt be financially secure and confident, however there are always unforeseen circumstances that come out of left field, and it is important to be aware of those circumstances and have a plan in place to help you stay afloat in even the worst of times. By nurturing your credit score, staying on top of housing, and being aware of your marital status’ possibility to change, your ability to adapt to changing financial situations will be greatly strengthened.

Click through for a much more in-depth guide that covers just about everything American women need to know to make themselves Findependent.

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