As an African American woman over 40, being smart with your money is critical. Lynnette Khalfani-Cox notes in her article for AARP Sisters that “the burden to prepare financially for retirement disproportionately falls on Black working women.” So now is the time to lock down good financial habits if you have not already.
Some top priorities include finally talking openly about money, paying off all debt, building an emergency fund covering 6-12 months of expenses, and boosting your retirement contributions. If you do not make retirement saving a priority now, you risk ending up elderly and broke. Other recommended tips include finding multiple streams of income versus relying only on a job, spending consciously by identifying needs versus wants, becoming an informed investor, getting serious about budgeting, and teaching younger generations good money management skills early on.
While getting financially secure requires hard work, the payoff of peace of mind in your later years makes it worthwhile. By implementing even just a few of the 40 money tips highlighted in this article now, you set yourself up for a stronger financial future. As Khalfani-Cox reminds, “advance planning and preparation…are paramount.” So be proactive and take control of your money.
- Use a savings app to round up purchases and funnel that “change” into a savings or micro-investing account.
- Create a financial vision board. Spend 10 minutes weekly pinning inspiring digital images that reflect your savings goals (new car, home, retirement, etc.).
- Schedule 10-minute “money buddy” talks. Swap savings ideas weekly with a friend or relative as an accountability partner.
- Review your restaurant and delivery costs. Most of us spend more than we think.Spend 10 minutes monthly to target savings.
- Cancel unwanted subscriptions.Many service, content and retail providers bill us monthly. Take 10 minutes each month to review them, including sneaky auto-renewal payments.
- Shop your closet. Spend 15 minutes creating new outfits and purging unused garments. You’ll see what you have — and avoid buying duplicates!
- Prune your budget. Each month, pick one item to trim or eliminate.
- Repeat to yourself, “I only buy what I need,” when tempted to pay for extras or impulse purchases.
- Open your mail without fail. Even if you can’t pay the bill, knowledge is power. Know the interest rate, payoff date, loan status (active, in deferment or forbearance) and contact information for all your loans.
- Decrease debt anxiety. Schedule 15 minutes a week to journal thoughts, feelings and debt-reduction goals.
- Review credit card statements. Every month, spend 10 minutes to make sure you’re not billed for phantom charges, erroneous amounts or things you meant to cancel.
- Opt-in for special perks.Many rewards credit cards rotate spending bonuses or cash-back deals.Do a five-minute online check for the newest offers around the first of each month.
- Tap your app. Spend two minutes each morning checking account balances and financial progress. Take another minute to review your vision board.
- Guard against identity theft.Annualcreditreport.com is the government-mandated website for weekly, free credit reports from Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.Checking one takes five minutes.
- Destroy sensitive documents. Once a month, take 10 minutes to shred discards containing bank account information or your personal data.
- Add to your emergency fund. Pick a realistic amount, then take five minutes to set up a balance transfer.
- Change your banking passwords. It’s risky to use one password for years or for multiple accounts. Spend 15 minutes changing yours annually.
You can read the full list 40 Money Habits Every Black Woman Over 40 Needs on AARP Sisters.