All my single ladies, hands up—don’t be shy! It’s your time to not only to enjoy adventures and the freedom of being unattached but to also get your finances in order for your future—whether it includes a beau not.
In fact, the numbers are in your favor: more women are outliving men, snubbing social stigmas by buying homes without a spouse. Likewise, more women are waiting longer to marry, especially in the higher-earning groups. Being single is a great time to make investments and tap into the extra income you may have, before it’s time to buy diapers, pay school fees, or split extra bills with a mate. Or, if you are a single mother, it’s a great time to think about ways to enhance your financial outlook to ensure the future of your family.
“When you’re single, you have to fend for yourself financially at all times, versus having a spouse that can help contribute to the household bills. So, for single women, it’s even more critical to ensure that you have a healthy savings account, in the event of an emergency,” says Dominique Broadway, personal finance expert and founder of Finances De•mys•ti•fied.
Below, Broadway offers five more savings tips for single women to take charge of their financial freedom, one step at a time:
1. Determine a realistic savings goal based on your current financial picture.
“You want to sit down, look at all of your income and expenses, and determine how much you can actually afford to save every month,” Broadway says. “You can start with saving 10% of your income as an initial goal, however, once you do your budget, you will be able to determine if you can save more or less than that.”
2. Be clear on exactly why you’re saving and draft a plan.
“For example, if you want to create an emergency fund, you can set a goal of saving three to six months of your monthly expenses,” Broadway says. “Set the date of when you want to reach this goal, break the goal down into monthly or even bi-weekly amounts, start saving the amount automatically, and watch your savings grow. You can do this same strategy if you are saving for a house, trip, or whatever your heart desires.”
3. Find something or someone to keep you accountable.
“Apps like Dobot are a great tools that help you set a goal and plan to save toward it,” Broadway says. “Digit is great as well for enhancing your monthly savings by automatically saving small amounts for you, so you won’t even miss it. If you need more accountability, working one-on-one with a financial coach can ensure you don’t stray away from your goals.”
4. Create balance in terms of your savings goals and your social or dating life.
“Dating and your social life can hurt your finances if you let it,” she says. “It’s great to hang out and have a good time, just make sure that fancy brunch on Saturday doesn’t have you eating Ramen noodles for the next two weeks. Set a ‘Going Out’ budget that can keep you happy and entertained.”
5. If you get off track with your savings or hit a financial road bump, take action to change course immediately.
“It’s important to identify what threw you off track so you can be alert if that issue rises again,” Broadway says. “Don’t beat yourself up about it, but make a conscious effort to get back in the game and reach your goals.”