3 Lessons For Women: How To Empower Yourself Financially

Empowerment

3 Lessons For Women: How To Empower Yourself Financially

This may end up being the most important article you read all year. Really!

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3 Lessons For Women: How To Empower Yourself Financially

Invest in your future

Think about how you can improve your skills and knowledge to move up in your career and then create benchmarks to meet specific goals. Even if you haven’t decided which path you want to take, it doesn’t hurt to start building the foundation now.

Here are a few ways that you can work towards securing your future income:

Continue Your Education

Your current skill set may be enough to get you in the door of a company, but building upon what you already have is the key to career progression. Invest in continuing your education (you can learn new skills online for free or cheap) and make an effort to stay abreast of the emerging trends in your desired industry.

Here are a few topics to consider, that would help any woman:

  • Public speaking. The ability to address a group of people without nerves and anxiety comes natural to some while others stumble to get past pre-presentation jitters. But learning to control your nerves and speak confidently in front of crowds (or your boss) just might help you get that promotion.
  • Business communication. Knowing how to compose professional-sounding communication is paramount in the workplace, whether you’re collaborating with others on a project, conveying a message to your supervisor, or reaching out to customers. We’ve all been on the receiving end of unprofessional emails. Would you hire their author? Didn’t think so.
  • Basic money management. Many young professionals overlook the need for financial literacy courses to help them make their money work for them. And it usually doesn’t work out in their favor after they’ve spent years distracted from their work due to money woes or bounced from job to job in desperate search of more money to support their poor spending habits. Radius Bank offers a series of videos to help you understand banking and money management. And remember, there is no such thing as a stupid question if you think that the answer will help you better manage your finances. After all, none of us – from the hedge fund master of the universe to the neighborhood cookie baker in her 70s – was born knowing the difference between a stock and a bond.
  • Identity theft and online security. Make sure you’re educated about how to avoid identity theft (here are 8 simple ways to prevent identity theft), since the Equifax hack has made it even easier for criminals to take out loans in your name and steal your money.

3 Lessons For Women: How To Empower Yourself Financially

Take Advantage of Networking Opportunities

By joining a professional organization, even at the collegiate level, you’ll have access to knowledgeable individuals who can serve as mentors and valuable connections should you need a professional reference or a job hookup in the future. You’ll also be aware of industry functions, luncheons and other networking events that could potentially open the door to employment opportunities.

Start a Side Business

That cuticle cream you’ve concocted or that special cold and cough mixture you brew up each winter could be a goldmine waiting to happen. If it works for you and you love it, try giving samples to friends and family and get some feedback. Your crazy homemade creams could be worth millions!

Victoria Knight-McDowell, a teacher, came up with a cure for the common cold, right in her own home. Her formula includes Vitamin A, C, and E, and seven herbal extracts among other secret ingredients and she called it Airbourne. Within a few short years, her concoction had a revenue of $24 million!

Spanx was started by Sara Blakely, a then fax-machine salesperson who had saved $5000 and was full of determination. She did everything herself, from legal work, package design, to shipping: “I patented it myself — I bought a book on patents and trademarks because patent attorneys wanted between $2,000 and $5,000 to do it for me. I was creating the packaging on my friend’s computer with her help.” Now Blakely is a billionaire and heads her undergarment empire (she owns 100 percent of the Spanx brand), overseeing the work of over 100 employees, 90% of whom are women.

One of the most important steps of starting a business is opening a business bank account, so you can keep your business and personal finances separate. Radius Bank has a whole setup for business women that offers cash management and budgeting features, easy remote deposits using the mobile app, and you can even get a business loan from them. All without the litany of hidden fees that other banks charge.

So remember: there’s no time like the present to get educated and empower yourself financially!

Women have worked their asses off to liberate themselves, yet taking power over our financial freedom has been harder to conquer. Statistically, women tend to put their own financial needs on the back-burner, because they are so busy earning a living and taking care of their families. Just like the patriarchy would want it, while men squirrel away money in bank accounts their wives don’t have access to, or spend on themselves, women spend on their family. While women are very comfortable with day-to-day spending and budgeting, they tend to give their husband’s control over longer-term financial issues, such as retirement and investments. This makes us vulnerable when major life changes happen (like divorce).

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to control your long-term finances, or to talk about how much you and your friends make, save, and spend. When a friend comments that they like my shoes, I often brag about how I got them on the cheap on eBay. To me, saving money is cool! As women, we need to have a non-judgmental, very logical, and vocal relationship with money. Money is a key component of our lives that deserves the same analysis, concern, and proud discussion on a girl’s night out.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me in partnership with Radius Bank. The opinions and text are all mine.

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A writer, artist, and designer since she was young enough to put pencil to paper, Hilary taught herself code and created Urbanette when she was a teenager. Currently, she spends most of her time traveling around Europe, with pied-a-terre's in Zurich, London, Milan and Lyon, France. Hilary spent the past decade living in NYC, still considers herself a New Yorker, and visits regularly. She's always looking for hot new topics, destinations, and life hacks to bring to Urbanette readers.

Reader Discussion: 164 Comments

  1. Edna Stumpf

    When you really want to cut your expenses, it’s time to start considering the small things first. But why the small things? In my experience, it’s the small things that amount to bigger amounts of spending. Maybe because I assume that it’s so cheap and spending on it won’t create a dent in my bank account. However, once I start adding up those small amounts, they amount bigger than the rest of my monthly expenses. I was honestly so surprised because it’s really the harmless purchases that really drain your account.

  2. Kelly Dziedzic

    Uh, I think companies have written rules in their handbook regarding sharing how much your salary is so you might want to double check that before talking about it with your fellow co-workers. I was about to resign that time and the manager that we were close to urged me to tell her how much my pay is because she was so curious about how little my salary was because I kept complaining about it and it was my main reason on why I was going to resign. She told me that she’ll keep it a secret because we’re not supposed to be discussing it. She just wanted to help me out with my decision.

  3. Raquel Kepner

    I’m not going to say that we should marry a rich man, but I think it’s smart to marry a man who knows how to handle money and is earning enough money to be able to support a family in the future. It’s not about looting his money for your own sake, but for a tandem of financial stability. Let’s just say that I don’t think it’s ever smart to have a good paying job, then for your partner to have no job or for him to have a very low paying job. Not only is it a recipe for arguments and insecurities, it’s just not… Smart. 🤨

    • Victoria Carson

      I understand what you mean. It’s not similar to marrying a rich man, but more on financial security.

  4. Angela Linville

    When women marry, it shouldn’t be about joint accounts. I think a good man will always appreciate his wife’s financial stability and respect that she has savings of her own. Sure, she has to contribute to the household income but a good man will always let his wife be successful under her own wing. When people get married it only says for richer and poorer but it doesn’t say there that they should merge their assets… LOL. So ladies, have an income that’s solely yours. It’s for your pride and glory.

  5. Betty Galicia

    Control– that’s what most of us need. Do you really need that lipstick? Do you really need those shoes? Do you really need that bag? Do you really need to go shopping 2-4 times every week? That’s what we need to ponder on! Don’t use stress as an excuse to go shopping when you still have no savings for the future. Always remember, even if that lipstick, bag, or shoes are on sale, DO YOU NEED IT? You have to keep in mind that something as little as a dollar can multiply in a matter of weeks and months… YEARS even.

    • Barbara Jimenez

      I don’t even have control.😭

  6. Barbara Scott

    Business isn’t for everyone. So I don’t think this part is applicable to most people. Let’s not give them an idea that it’s the only way for their money to double up or triple up.😚

  7. Georgia Helwig

    I sometimes despise the thought of money making the world go round because it’s the source of all evil as well. Everyone wants to get ahead of another person just for the sake of earning more. Sometimes I just hate whoever it is that invented this shit. Now I have to earn and my whole life depends on it.

  8. Gertrude Molina

    I recently read about a study that a higher percentage of Americans are living from paycheck to paycheck. Almost as if it’s already a luxury for people to have money saved for their future. I would probably appreciate this article more if it was about helping women NOT live from paycheck to paycheck despite the income they have. It’s not for me to judge that the job they have is the one at fault for them living like this, because I know that opportunities differ from one person to another. Not everyone who had a higher education background can always land a good job and not everyone who has no educational background can have little to no luck.

    • Patty Aguilar

      Hmm… This is true. But I guess the readers of Urbanette has certain demographics. So let’s just assume that this isn’t for everyone.

  9. Frances Murphy

    I don’t think something like public speaking can earn me anything. I’m a graphic designer. They appreciate my output but rarely my input.

  10. Rebecca Harris

    We’re a bunch of jealous and insecure beings. Talking about money is synonymous to talking about your stature in life. Not everyone is willing to humiliate themselves or take pride in whatever they’re earning.

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