When my husband and I bought our first home in 2008 to say we had no clue how to manage money was an understatement. At the time I started to study personal finance to see what the money habits of women were. Could we thrive in our early 20s on low salaries? The answer was yes!
You may be curious about which money habits of women I picked up over the past 12 years. I am excited to share with you how we now manage our money to pay off debt and enjoy traveling while having money in the bank.
Adopt These 9 Money Habits of Women to Live Your Dream Life
Create a Budget
Budgeting was the first money habit of women I adopted back in 2008. Budgeting allows me the freedom to make my money work for me. I never wonder how a bill will be paid or if I am spending too much at the grocery store.
At first I tried to use pen and paper. That worked for a while but I knew I needed something more.
I invested in YNAB (You Need a Budget) early on and still use it today.
I love YNAB because it allows me to budget only the money I physically have in my bank account. I am not projecting what will happen for the month.
Rather, I am giving every dollar a job as the money comes into my bank account. If a paycheck is ever lower (or higher) than normal we can work with our budget to ensure all of our bills are paid.
Pay Yourself First
One of the best money habits of women is learning to pay yourself first. This can be paying yourself in the form of investing in your 401k, Roth IRA or putting money aside into an emergency fund.
If you are just starting with paying yourself first, I suggest starting with your work sponsored retirement fund. The money should be taken from your paycheck each week so you won’t even miss it being deducted.
Then add in automatic savings for your emergency fund. This habit can be done through auto transfers within your online bank account.
Be sure to account for these savings in your budget.
Break The Paycheck To Paycheck Cycle
Going back to paying yourself first is working toward living on last month’s income. This will break the paycheck to paycheck cycle and ensure that you always have 1 months worth of expenses in your checking account.
This money habit took us quite some time to achieve but now that we are in this place we will never to back.
The easiest way to break the cycle is simply put money into a sinking fund called “next month’s bills”. It will take some time to build enough to cover next month’s bills but once you reach that place you will see how freeing it truly is.
If you are able to sell things or start a side hustle then you can speed up this process quite a bit. We were able to break the cycle when we sold our house and immediately put enough money in checking to cover 1 months income.
Menu Plan and Shop The Weekly Ad
This is still one area that I fail at but am working diligently on approving this important money habit of women.
Creating a menu plan for your family based on the weekly ad can save money each month. The sale cycles tend to rotate every 4-8 weeks depending on the item so you should be able to plan accordingly.
We also like to mix in a few of our favorite dishes that may not be on sale each month. We try to plan for these meals in advance by stocking up when the food is on sale. This works well for dry items as well as meat we can freeze.
One of the best ways to start meal planning is to utilize what you already have on hand and then use the sales flyer to add in additional meals.
Practice Positive Money Mindset
Money mindset is very important when it comes to creating and living your dream life.
One of the newest habits of women I am working on is practicing positive money mindset and moving myself away from the scarcity mentality.
Do you believe there is an infinite amount of money in the world and we can all prosper? If not, it is time to start working on your money mindset.
By having a positive money mindset you will earn more money, make better buying decisions, and set yourself up for the future.
If you are interested in working on your mindset I highly recommend joining Grow You with Natalie Bacon. This program will help you reset your mindset so you can create a life based on your values.
Give Back to Your Community
One important money habits of women we should all work toward implementing is giving back to our local community.
Find an organization that you love and want to help. This can be done both financially and with your time.
By giving back you’ll be doing something positive for others and yourself!
You will be surprised how much will change within you when you begin to give back.
Live Below Your Means
Living below your means is another money habit of successful women. When you are able to budget and live on less you’ll be more likely to become debt free, invest in your future, invest in your family, and give back to the community.
When you live below your means you open doors that you never knew were possible. It gives you so much more freedom than you ever knew you needed or wanted.
Makes Value Based Purchases
When you are creating new money habits knowing what you value is important.
Do you value going out with your girlfriends for cocktails every Friday? Or do you value staying home and cuddling up with a book?
Do you value going on vacation to new countries every year? Or do you value staying close to home and spending more time with family?
Knowing exactly what your values you are will help you spend and save your money in a more intentional way.
I suggest writing your values down so when you create your budget each month you can ensure that you are spending your money exactly how you intended.
Be sure to check back in often on your values and make adjustments where needed. Our lives are constantly evolving and something you value at 25 may not continue to be a value at 30.
Create SMART Financial Goals
The last money habit of women I will recommend you implement as soon as possible is to create SMART financial goals.
SMART Goals are:
By creating smart financial goals you will be able to achieve more and really put your money toward what you value.
Following Good Money Habits of Women will Help You be More Successful
When you look at what successful women are you are doing with their money you can make adjustments in your own life to ensure you are successful too.
You’ll notice many successful women have the same habits. These are the habits you want to replicate for yourself. It will help set you up for the future to live your dream life.
Be sure to create money habits based on your values as well. You don’t want to replicate the habits of someone else and realize that you are not living your best life. Make tweaks and changes when necessary to keep moving forward in your financial journey.