In March, we celebrated Women’s History Month and now that it’s April, we’re bringing awareness to Financial Literacy Month.
We wanted to celebrate both occasions by gathering the best money tips from a cross-section of women — from successful female entrepreneurs to women working in male-dominated industries.
Sandi Knight, Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer for HealthMarkets
Sandi Knight knows how important protecting yourself is. As the Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer for HealthMarkets, an insurance marketplace, she works to help consumers get the health coverage they need.
“I think it is important that women start young in their careers understanding finances, the need for insurance and what creates wealth – and on the opposite end, debt. Insurance, especially life insurance, is critical if they have young children and even more so if they are single parents. If something were to happen to them, how would their children be taken care of?” says Knight.
Knowing the type of coverage you need in terms of life insurance, disability insurance and more can protect you from the unthinkable. While many of us don’t want to think anything will happen to us, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Mira Violet, CEO of digital agency Amethyst Design
Mira Violet is the CEO of digital agency Amethyst Design. The agency helps companies with SEO, web design and more. As a woman owned business, she is all about getting paid what you’re worth.
Many women are underpaid with the gender pay gap and it’s key to boost your pay, says Violet.
“Make sure you’re being paid fairly. Ask male co-workers in the same position and experience level what they’re being paid. Look at sites like GlassDoor to compare your income to others in your job position. The culture of not talking about our finances only serves those who seek to underpay and undervalue us.” she says.
So, it’s key to talk to your colleagues about pay. Look up salaries in your area and compare what you’re earning. At the right time, negotiate your pay so that you get paid what you deserve.
Deborah Sweeney, CEO at MyCorporation.com
Deborah Sweeney is the CEO of MyCorporation.com, a company that helps other businesses form an LLC or corporation. Her top women and money tip for female owned businesses is to know just how you will fund your business. Funding is the bloodline of any business and you want to be clear how you will get your money.
“Starting a business is not easy, especially if you don’t have the funds,” says Sweeney.
According to Sweeney, here are seven ways women can access funding:
1. Angel investors
2. Pitch your business idea to venture capitalists
3. Apply for grants with the Small Business Administration
5. Donations from friends and family
6. Open several credit cards and increase the limits on each one. (Remember, you’ll have to pay everything back, plus interest)
7. Ask your bank for a business loan. (Most business loan applications get rejected. You’ll need to have a high credit score to increase your chances of acceptance. Also, you’ll need a detailed business loan plan. You need to give your loan provider an exact plan on how you will spend the money. Without this information, you will likely be rejected.)
Gemma Roberts, Chartered Accountant for a large non-profit organization
Gemma Roberts is an accountant and also founder of TheWorkLifeBlend.com, where she helps others build flexible lifestyles and businesses. The crux of getting your money right starts with seeing where your money goes, says Roberts.
“Carry out a full audit of your spending habits. Do you have any savings? If you had an unexpected expense, could you cover it? Do you have any loans or an overdraft?”
“Once you have a good understanding of your current situation, you can set yourself specific financial goals. It might be to pay off your debt, retire early or save for a house. This can seem like a lot of work, but it’s never been easier to improve your financial wellbeing. There are a variety of apps available that help you to budget, save money and set financial goals. Many of them can access your bank account and assess your spending habits.”
In order to improve your financial well-being, knowing where your money is actually going is the first step. Then you can adjust and set goals that work for you. You can even use a bank like Chime that helps you automatically save.
Danielle Kunkle Roberts, Co-Founder, Boomer Benefits
Danielle Kunkle Roberts is the co-founder of Boomer Benefits, an insurance agency that helps people with Medicare. She knows first-hand what it’s like to make mistakes in business. One of her top tips for female entrepreneurs is to be wise about partnering up with others.
“Don’t partner with someone you don’t know very well just because you are nervous about starting a business. I made this mistake in 2005 and it took me two years to buy out my other two partners,” saus Kunkle Roberts.
“It’s vital that you know the work ethic of anyone that you get involved with and that all parties have the same money philosophy,” she explains.
“In my scenario, I wanted to invest all the profits back into the business but my other partners wanted to take it all home every month. This left me doing the bulk of the work to generate sales while having only one-third of the profits – my own – to invest back in. Believe in yourself or partner with someone whose work ethic you are very sure about.”
It can be enticing to want to work with others but don’t use it as a crutch. Going into business with someone is like a marriage and you want to make sure you’re on the same page when it comes to your business goals and financial habits.
Daniella Flores, senior software engineer
Daniella Flores is a senior software engineer who works on an all-male team for a credit company. As a 20-something Hispanic and creator of blog ILikeToDabble.com, she believes that when it comes to women and money, it’s all about paying yourself first.
“Pay yourself first every time you get a paycheck and by that I mean, automate transfers into savings accounts and investment accounts so you can grow your money,” says Flores.
“Make payments towards debt every two weeks instead of every month. Automate as much as you can, but always track where your money is going.”
With a Chime bank account, for example, you can automate your savings through our round-up program and also save 10 percent with every paycheck. Putting money away for yourself first is a great way to ensure your financial wellness.
When it comes to women and money, it’s all about advocating for what you’re worth and going after what you deserve.
If you’re a female entrepreneur, you’ll also want to make sure your business is financially healthy, too. Just remember: Financial wellness can provide the foundation you need to weather the storms both personally and in your business life.