What do all wealthy women have in common? Contrary to common beliefs, it is not designer handbags, luxury cars, or custom-built vacation homes. In fact, rich women share healthy money habits that allowed them to accumulate wealth over time.
Achieving and maintaining generational wealth is not a matter of winning a lottery or receiving a huge inheritance (congrats if it’s you). Instead, it’s a result of conscious daily choices we make about money.
Luckily, the growing financial empowerment of women is a reality. By 2030, two-thirds of America’s personal wealth will be controlled by women! It’s a dramatic change and it affects all of us.
But we can’t keep living our lives thinking that managing money is unfeminine, or someone else will take care of it, or that we are not smart enough to do it.
I’m telling you right now that you have the brains, enough income, and time to change your financial position for the better.
Here is a list of 7 things wealthy women do with their money that you can start doing too.
1. Spend less than you make
The reason most women fail financially is not that their incomes are too small, but because their spending habits are too grand. They spend more than they make.
This may sound obvious, but that’s where most women trip up. If you spend more than you make, you will always carry debt, be stressed about money, and will never be able to accumulate wealth.
Rich women also save a portion of every dollar they make. It doesn’t matter if you are making $50,000 or $500,0000 a year – if you don’t save, you will never reach financial freedom.
This brings me to my next point.
2. Pay yourself first
Every time you make money, you should invest some of it for the future you before you spend any of it on anything else – including taxes.
The U.S. government is willing to give you a break on taxes if you use part of your earning to fund a retirement account. Use tax-advantageous investing with 401(k)s and IRAs. It is the smartest and easiest way to build wealth over time.
When you go to work, you are trading your time for money. Let’s assume your typical workday is 9 to 5. Here is what happens to most people: the money they earn from 9 am to 11:30 am goes straight to Uncle Sam. Then, from 11:30 am to 2 pm, you are paying your bank for a mortgage. Then, from 2 pm to 3 pm you are paying your other bank for a car lease or a loan. And from 3 pm to 5 pm – it’s everything else such as medical bills, credit card debt, groceries, kids’ activities, etc.
Ask yourself, why would you work all day, every day, and not keep at least an hour of that income for yourself? Put yourself first by paying yourself first.
3. Automate your money
After you’ve committed to paying yourself first, the next crucial step is to automate your finances.
Set up automatic contributions and investments to your retirement account with your employer. You can’t spend what you can’t see. Then, have the balance of your paycheck direct-deposited to your checking account.
Use technology to your advantage. Today you can automate practically every aspect of your financial life – from investing and saving to bill paying and spending. Just Do it (thanks, Nike)!
If your financial plan is not automatic, you will most likely fail. Spend a little bit of time upfront, automate your finances, and go about your life not worrying about your money. At the end of each month, you will have peace of mind that you’ve hit your investing and saving goals, paid all your bills on time, and can spend whatever is left over guilt-free.
Download our free checklist “How to Automate Your Finances in 5 easy steps” for detailed instructions on how to set it all up.
4. Start saving and investing today
“Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it. He who doesn’t, pays it.” – Albert Einstein.
Compound interest is one of the most important concepts to understand when managing your finances. Compound interest is the interest you earn on your interest — in other words, it’s money you earn on the money you’ve already earned.
Every dollar you save and invest today is going to be worth more over time. The longer your time horizon, the greater the effect of compounding is. Even small amounts invested consistently over time will add up to substantial sums of money.
So, wealthy women make sure they save and invest a portion of their income before they spend anything. And I’m talking about going beyond your retirement savings here.
5. Buy fewer better things
If you’ve implemented all the steps above, you should have some money left over to spend guilt-free (hopefully).
Wealthy women spend money on the things they value and that bring them joy. But they buy fewer better things.
For example, a wealthy woman would invest in a high-quality handbag and would not keep adding cheaper trendy versions to her closet throughout the year.
Apart from the financial benefits of investing in fewer better things (such as lower cost per wear), there is a mental component to it. Removing clutter from our lives brings clarity and focus. Cleanliness is a sign that you are in control.
Also, there is a huge environmental aspect of buying fewer things. We can’t ignore the reality that our planet is suffocating. By being conscious about consumerism and spending your dollars with sustainable businesses, you’re aligning your money with your values. Good for the planet and good for you.
6. Invest in your physical and mental health
You must take care of yourself before you can take care of anyone else. It is very hard for most of us to prioritize our well-being over other family responsibilities and duties. But we must do so.
We all know that money can’t buy health. That’s why wealthy women understand the importance of working out, eating a balanced diet, drinking enough water, getting good night sleep, and meditating.
Consider spending on anything that contributes to your health investment in yourself. Be it a Peloton bike, an organic meal-kit delivery, a Vitamix, or anything else that will help you feel your best.
7. Use expert financial help
Lastly, wealthy women understand that they don’t have to do it all alone. They ask for help from experts.
I am a big fan of Ellevest – an investment firm that was built by women, for women. With Ellevest, you can invest, bank, and do more for your career.
For example, Ellevest will help you create an investment portfolio that will keep you on track to reaching your money goals. Their proprietary algorithm factors in women’s pay gaps, career breaks, and longer lifespans.
Also, Ellevest’s team of financial planners and career coaches offers various courses, workshops, and guides so you can learn more about your money and career.
The bigger picture
Well, girl, there you have it. The 7 things wealthy women do with the money that you can start doing as well. Start small and be kind to yourself.
Drop me a comment on which of these wealth building tips you already use and which ones you’re struggling with.