Declare Yourself Worthy
10 Tips from DailyWorth On How Women Can Create Their Own Wealth
DailyWorth.com is a free daily personal finance email for women, with practical tips and empowering ideas about how women can become financially stable and successful. For Economica, the women of DailyWorth offered the following inspired words to encourage all women to recognize our self worth and to create our own wealth. You can sign up for DailyWorth here.
You've heard it before: In 2010, women still earn less, save less and retire with less money than men. While gender prejudices still exist, that's just a small part of the problem. We as women must take full responsibility for our financial destinies. No one is going to fix financial inequity for women. Not the White House, not Nancy Pelosi, not even Oprah or Suze Orman. We have to recognize our own self-worth and create our own wealth: Negotiate for higher salaries, become financially educated, and invest more aggressively.
Here are 10 financial steps for every woman to take in 2010 that will put us on par with how the other half lives.
1. DECLARE YOURSELF WORTHY Appreciate all that you are, and all that you do for the world-not just the workplace. According to Salary.com, a stay-at-home mother, for example, works about a 90-hour week and her full-time labor should be valued at a baseline salary of $90,000 per year. No matter what job(s) you hold, put a price-tag on what you do. Know your worth.
2. CELEBRATE WEALTH We know, true wealth is more than just money. But for the sake of this conversation, we're talking about cash--and lots of it. The kind that can fund charities, allow you to take time off, fund a restful and comfortable retirement AND pay for the college educations of all of your grandkids, should you choose. Many women have ambivalent feelings about earning that sort of personal comfort-wanting it, deserving it, seizing it. Embracing wealth doesn't have to mean sacrificing your self. Money is a tool that helps to engineer the life you want.
3. GET IN THE SAVING HABIT It's not how much you make (though it helps), it's how much you save.
- Make saving a regular habit. You wouldn't skip paying the electric bill. Don't skip savings!
- Prevent impulse withdrawals. Set up your savings accounts in a different bank from your checking.
- Have multiple savings accounts: one for dire emergencies (job loss, injury), one for unexpected expenses (car repairs, lost phones) and others for vacations, gifts, your 40th birthday trip to the Antarctic.
Studies show that you're less likely to spend money specifically earmarked as "savings."
4. BUILD YOUR ASSET BASE Your net worth is equal to your assets minus your liabilities (debts). Consider how much you have saved and invested + the equity in your home + the value of all of your car and other possessions. Subtract debts, loans and other liabilities. The ideal result would show that you have positive net worth. Even if you don't, that's the goal. Focus on building assets.
5. INVEST IN BONDS Women need a different kind of BFF-a best financial friend. Open up money talks with your pals. Find kindred fiscal spirits. Take seminars together, swap 401k advice, inquire about best interest rates. Men don't sit around talking about shopping and kids, OK?
6. DUMP DEBT Debt isn't just what you owe, for millions of people debt has become a way of life. If you're in debt, tear apart your brain, soul, psyche (and read a few months' worth of credit card bills) until you get to the bottom of why you're spending more than you have. Then, make the tough choices to dig yourself out of that hole and live a profitable life.
7. EARN WHAT YOU DESERVE Are you earning your market value? Do you even know what your market value is? If you're an entrepreneur, are you charging premium price or always discounting. Learn how to ask for what you want, and you'll be surprised how often you hear "yes."
8. CHANGE YOUR MIND Rid yourself of psychological issues-- Chuck the Rescue Fantasy, ditch the Princess Problem, or lose a Life of Noble Poverty. Our minds can be so inconvenient when it comes to building wealth.
9. MARRY FOR MONEY No, we're not urging you to marry a hedge fund manager, or put wealth above love and trust. We're urging you to make sure that your beloved is also your financial partner and co-pilot. It may take work. Love and money aren't natural bedfellows. But prosperity starts at home.
10. BECOME MONEY SAVVY Don't know the difference between an IRA and a Roth IRA? Don't know how home equity loans work? It's time to take your financial education into your own hands, girl!
Sign up for DailyWorth--we're a free, daily email about personal finance, for women, by women. Then you can cross "financial education" off your To Do list for 2010. And...you're on your way!