Guest Post By Lesley-Anne Scorgie | Founder of MeVest – A Money School for Canadians | @LesleyScorgie
Financially savvy women are on the rise and they are sexy. They exude confidence in many aspects of their lives knowing that they’re on a path to financial security AND they can choose what and who they want versus having to accept their circumstance.
Despite what Hollywood films like Shopaholic and Pretty Woman would have you think, most women these days aren’t relying on a man or the lottery to bail them out of whooping piles of debt. Nor are women blowing every penny they’ve earned on frivolous adventures with friends or trips to the Mercedes dealership.
Rather, the modern and financially savvy working woman has taken debt reduction and retirement planning seriously – and she’s really good at both.
In fact, these women pay down debt faster and more efficiently than their male counterparts, saving them hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars every year. Experts chalk this up to women’s natural aversion to risk and more conservative approach with their money.
These natural tendencies spill over into women’s investing strategies. Steering clear of high-risk situations and knowing when to cut losses allows women to avoid financial catastrophes and protect what they’ve worked so hard to invest.
Women also tend to pick tried-and-true approaches to investing, like Warren Buffett’s strategy of buying high-quality dividend paying stocks, and sticking with it rather than bouncing between investments depending on how the financial winds blow that day.
With the groundswell of financially empowered women, they aren’t shy to reach out for qualified advice from a money coach or financial advisor. They’ll even go so far as to gather with trusted friends, “Lean-in” style, to swap tips and hold each other accountable to their spending.
Besides retirement readiness, what’s also top-of-mind for these savvy women is earning a higher income every year; more money means greater capacity to pay off debt and save for retirement.
Sadly, there are far more women that aren’t making progress on their money than those who are. Often, they’re carrying the financial load of raising families, paying off student loans and cleaning up a litany of credit card or consumer loan balances. Layered onto this is the unfortunate reality that even today women still earn less money for doing the same jobs as men. When combined, these factors contribute to women being incredibly stressed out and the most impoverished group of people in retirement.
This needs to change.
Many of us know women whose finances are a colossal mess and are in desperate need of basic financial education, a plan for their money and an accountability partner to call them out on their spending.
These ladies need to get their “sexy” on and take control of their money; just like financially savvy women. Start with simple steps like ditching expensive credit card debt for a more affordable marketplace loan. The rates are lower and payment schedules are fixed. The trick with this is to work simultaneously on controlling spending – and there’s help for that too.
Next, begin investing for the future using tax-advantaged retirement savings plans. Small contributions are better than none and will grow over time.
Third, commit to making more money every year. This may mean changing jobs or increasing income some other way.
Today’s well-heeled woman doesn’t need to have a squeaky clean financial record; just a plan for her money and a willingness to execute. The rest is natural.
Lesley-Anne Scorgie is the Founder of MeVest.ca and the bestselling author of Well-Heeled: The Smart Girl’s Guide to Getting Rich, Rich by Thirty: Your Guide to Financial Success and Rich by Forty: A Young Couple’s Guide to Building Net Worth. Lesley-Anne has made numerous television appearances, including on the Oprah Winfrey Show, and written articles for a number of news publications. Follow her on Twitter @LesleyScorgie.