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In this day and age, managing your own finances is a crucial skill that every woman (and man) needs to learn. According to statistics from CNBC, 90 percent of women will be completely self-reliant in terms of managing their finances during their lifetime, and it is estimated that 75 percent of women in a male-female relationship will be widowed by the age of 56. As a result, it’s vital for women to learn how to effectively budget their money, pay off debt, and create a financial plan for their own future. Here are some helpful strategies to keep your finances on the right track: 1. Track Your Spending If you aren’t already doing so, tracking where your money goes is crucial to managing your spending — maybe those daily cups of coffee are making a bigger dent in your savings than you previously thought. An article by Forbes on the best budgeting apps in 2019 suggests some options to help you visualize your spending. For instance, the Mint app is useful for beginners because it personalizes budgets for you and creates automatic categories like “Entertainment”, “Food and Dining”, and “Shopping”. 2. Live Within Your Means When you know where your money is going and exactly how much you have left, it makes it easier to live within your means. It may be tempting to constantly “treat yourself” using credit, but that attitude is unsustainable and leads to unpaid bills in the long run. One helpful tip is to figure out what’s important to you. Spend your hard-earned money on select things that you value, and cut costs in other areas so you’re not risking your financial stability. 3. Pay Off Debt A useful tip from Thuli Nkomo, a private wealth manager at NFB Private Wealth Management, is that you should prioritize paying off debts with high-interest rates as quickly as you can, so it doesn’t accumulate over time. Some examples of these include unsecured loans, clothing accounts, and credit cards. In fact, she suggests avoiding most types of debt if you can, unless it’s related to your home or car installment plan. 4. Build an Emergency Fund A guide by Marcus on establishing an emergency fund, discusses how much you spend on a daily basis in order to figure out how much you need to put aside. In the event of an unforeseen crisis, whether it’s financial or health-related, it can help prevent you from going into further debt. By contributing to your emergency fund as much as you can, you can have peace of mind during these stressful events. 5. Pursue Further Education By 2020, women are expected to control an amazing $72 trillion, or 32 percent of wealth on a global scale. Janice Cackowski, partner and financial advisor at Providence Wealth Partners, spoke to CNBC stating, “With more women in the workforce, soaring careers and inheritance, women are in control of a growing amount of the wealth globally.” In addition, College Board reports that “Individuals with higher education levels earn more…and are more likely than others to be employed and to have job benefits” — that’s why it’s so important to obtain a graduate (or even a post-graduate!) degree to help you land that high-paying job. If you’re already on your journey towards financial freedom and want to aim even higher in your career, check out ‘5 Top Tips on Negotiating a Pay Rise’ by Edwina Dunn at Stylist Live. Written by: Jerah Biswell Illustration by Josephine Rais (


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