5 Things Financially Smart Women Know About Their Finances

Some women seem to have it all together. Their lipstick never smudges, they’re never late for work, and they know all there is to know about their 401(k) plan. They throw out words like “interest rate,” “savings account,” and “direct deposit” without a hint of fear in their voice — they’re smart about their finances, and they know their stuff when it comes to making financial decisions.

Okay, so maybe we can’t help you out with your lipstick and commuting woes, but we can help you out with your money. You too can be knowledgeable about every aspect of your financial situation, regardless of where you are monetarily. Whether you’re interested in building a fortune, paying off your student loan debt, or you’re somewhere in the middle just trying to figure it all out, there are simple steps you can take in order to take control of your financial situation once and for all.

Not sure where to begin? We get it. There’s a lot to keep track of. But there’s one simple place to start: find a bank that understands you. That’s why we love Radius Bank — it’s the perfect bank for the modern woman, the kind of Everygirl who understands that a life well lived is a life well financed. Radius Bank allows you to manage all of your banking needs online — so you don’t have to deal with the hassle of waiting in lines or having confusing conversations with a stranger. Radius Bank understands that you’re busy and that you’re smart — so they’re not going to treat you like you’re not. Want to get in on the action? Read on for the lessons you should know when it comes to your finances (and how the right bank can help you get to a place of financial security once and for all).

 

1. They stick to a budget — always.

First things first, you have to know your own necessities and how much they cost. Even those who have lots of disposable income know how much they can afford to spend on what. We’re not here to tell you how much to spend on rent, on groceries, or on fancy specialty cocktails — but we are here to tell you that you should decide what’s the best amount for yourself. Once you’ve factored how much you can afford to spend on something, STICK TO IT. An easy way to hold yourself accountable? Use an app to maintain your self-set restrictions. With Radius Bank’s mobile banking app, you can set up alerts to remind you when you’re spending too much and when you need to pay your bills, — and you can even pay those bills (and outstanding IOUs from your friends) right there in the app. Goodness knows I have trouble talking myself out of making big irrational purchases, but now I have no excuse but to stay on top of my necessities — which is the first step to becoming financially secure.

 

 

2. Their financial goals are lofty yet attainable.

There’s a pretty common rule in financial planning called the 50/30/20 Rule. This states that you should spend 50% of your income on necessities like food and rent and 30% on discretionary and incidental purchases — and that the remaining 20% should go right into your savings. But when you put money into your savings, what is it there for? It’s important to note that those savings are not meant to be a rainy-day fund or a big splurge. Theoretically, you should have enough money saved to feel comfortable and taken care of should disaster strike — should you lose your job, become seriously ill, or experience some other life-altering situation that would cost you a lot of money. The necessary amount of money you would require to live on is different for every person — but a good place to start is to calculate six months’ worth of living expenses (everything from rent and car payments to groceries and utilities — and don’t forget the small monthly tabs for things like Photoshop subscriptions, monthly parking or public transit fees, and that Spotify account), then keep that much in savings.

That being said, once you have that portion of your earnings saved for emergencies (and retirement), it’s also useful to save up for more exciting things as well. Whether you’re saving for the down payment on a house, a big trip to Europe, or just the financial freedom to feel confident ordering guac on your burrito bowl, it’s important to always have something to work toward. Having something to reach for is important because it will force you to save, to give special consideration to certain purchases, and to build toward positive assets for yourself. But here’s the catch: setting too outrageous of a goal may cause you to lose patience and digress. Make yourself a goal you can attain within the year, then don’t stop til you get there! There’s no better feeling than checking a major item off of your #adulthood to-do list.

Additionally, something all financially savvy women know is that one of the best ways to save extra money is to do so “passively.” While we don’t all have investments that pay off without us lifting a finger, choosing the right personal savings account can provide passive income as well. Radius offers users who have savings balances of $2,500 or more to earn 1.20% APY — so your savings account will grow without you even trying.

 

3. They don’t waste money.

Do you really need that $4 latte? Did you get fined for forgetting to put more money on the parking meter? Do you honestly use both Netflix and Hulu? While some small charges are super necessary, others fly by without you even noticing. Avoid unnecessary charges (for things like tickets, forgetting to cancel certain services, or allowing companies to charge you automatically) by staying on top of everything that costs you money. Eat out less (I know, I know), check your accounts to see what apps and services you’re paying for without realizing it (I once paid for 6 months of an HBO subscription that I never used — all because I wasn’t paying attention), put auto-renew dates in your planner, and get in the habit of making small changes to your lifestyle in an effort to avoid unnecessary fees for violations (Re-load that parking meter, stop canceling already-requested Uber rides, walk instead of taking the bus…) — all those small charges will add up, and you’ll be saving before you know it. Think ATM fees are one of those stupid unnecessary charges? Yep, you’re not wrong. Radius will let you withdraw from any ATM and will always reimburse those pesky ATM fees for you. So feel free to cash out, girlfriend — free of guilt!

 

 

4. They always know where they stand.

Your entire life is managed on the go. You call a car at the push of a button (#ThankYouUber), you can order lunch delivery without leaving your desk chair (I once ordered McDonald’s to the office twice — in the same day #ThankYouUberEats), and now, thank goodness, you can check your bank balance on your phone as well. If I can find a boyfriend on my phone, I sure as heck should be able to do other more practical things on there as well. I’ve always wanted an app that gives me everything I need to know about my personal balance without having to visit a physical location or swipe into an ATM, and now I have one. Log in from anywhere and from any device — not only can you make transfers, check balances, deposit checks (my personal favorite), AND scroll through all your recent transactions (Yes, you really did spend $40 on margaritas last night…), but you can also find nearby ATM locations too. So grab your cash, drink your margarita, and stop stressing — Radius has got you covered.

 

5. They know that every person’s situation is unique.

Your salary, debt, and rent are all different from those of your friends and family — so why should you act like everyone’s situations are the same? It does no good to compare yourself and your finances to anyone else’s, so customize your experience to fit your own needs. Don’t feel guilty if you don’t stress about loans the way your friend does, but also don’t feel embarrassed when you need to clarify what exactly it means to get a Roth IRA. The most important thing you can do to be financially intelligent is to admit there’s always more to learn, always more to save, and always room to grow.

Not really sure where to start when it comes to tackling all that growing room? Check out Radius Bank’s online class, Money Management Academy, to learn to become more financially savvy and aware of your own financial situation. Sections of the class take less than 10 minutes to complete, so you can fit financial strength into the morning commute, those few minutes while your coffee cools down, or that awkward time waiting in line for your takeout order.

 

Financially smart women know that the right bank should fit into your life, not the other way around. Interested in learning more about the many benefits of Radius Bank’s personal banking services? Check out www.radiusbank.com — you won’t believe you didn’t switch over sooner.

 

What are your best tips and tricks for staying on top of your finances? What’s the best financial advice you’ve ever received?

 

This post was in partnership with Radius Bank, but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board.

  • I grew up in poverty, and even though I’ve just barely climbed out of it and have some occasional disposable income, I’m definitely not one to splurge on anything I don’t need. I can’t remember the last time I got coffee at Starbucks – it’s free to use the company coffee machine.

    I would love to be able to start saving money for the first time in my life though – I have a lot of necessary expenses at the moment, but it’s still a dream of mine.

    https://on-th3-cusp.blogspot.com/

  • Daria

    Smart ! Daria
    https://www.bloglovin.com/blogs/daria-edu-19010657
    http://dariaed.com/ “

  • This is a really great post! I want to start being more aware of my discretionary spending (rides, food, coffee…) because that’s where I can cut the most and also where I spend a lot of my money!
    -Sienna
    http://www.modernbeautygirl.com

  • Bethany @ CuteCapsuleLife

    I thought I was pretty savvy but I definitely could stand to improve on a few of these. I agree with them all!

  • Anamika

    The first paragraph of this article – my thoughts, every.single.day 🙂 Just a great article because it’s common sense and yet, so easy to be trapped in a state of perpetual convenience via iPhone only to wake up one day and find your chequing account dwindling away. Great article!! I’m saving it to my reading list.

    http://www.anamika.ca

  • RugosaB

    My husband and I have a cell phone for basically, emergencies only. $5 /mo. We have never used an ATM. We arranged our lives so that our mortgage was paid in 11 years (at a time the mortgage int. rates were 12%!)
    My husband got a job that allowed us to have me stay home with the kids. (I could never make what he made in overtime pay also) The kids were raised in such a way that they knew they had to have college. We involved them in the decisions we made when my husband got laid off (what we felt was appropriate for their ages at the time), stressing how important college is. So they knew they would be responsible for any college after the first year. Ohio, when they were born, at the time, had a program that we could buy college credits for them at the current price and be used for credits free at any Ohio college. We bought each of 3 kids 1 years worth before they were 3. In the end, our youngest son ended up giving his credits to his sister. (He was in the Nuclear Propulsion rate in the Navy, so came out of that very educated) Our daughter was very very bright and skipped the 8th grade. Didn’t save any money but started a pattern for her.
    There were no college classes at our high school back then, but our oldest arranged it so he graduated from high school with 2 years of college credit (by going to a local community college) – and timed it so he got to play on the high school’s golf team. He kept his grades up and another college in the area had 2 years tuition free if a 3.5 was maintained in highschool. He had scholarships for the rest.
    2 have purchased homes before they were 30, and all 3 seem to be continuing their money management skills and do not seem to opt out of a social life.

    So, my advice is, if you have kids, college does not have to be a big expense, for you or the kids.

  • cori

    I dislike that this article makes women sound stupid. It’s like my Dad talking to me when I was a teen about money. You don’t see articles like this towards men.

    • Hi Cori,
      We’re sorry you feel that way! We’re trying to reach all levels of financial knowledge with this article — especially beginners who might not know much about their finances. Thanks for reading!

  • carrie

    nice tip!

  • These are very good advice, it actually got me motivated again as I have been losing track of my financial situation once I quit my job 🙁

  • Natalie Redman

    Great pointers!

    http://www.upyourvlog.com

  • Love these tips especially the 50/30/20 rule, that is definitely something I am going to start looking into as it sounds very wise! So many smart tips, I feel far more on track thanks to this blog post so thanks so much!

    Holly from The Art of Being Holly xo

  • Olivia

    “They throw out words like “interest rate,” “savings account,” and “direct deposit” without a hint of fear in their voice.”

    Maybe this article is for 23 year olds?

    I’m under 30 and I need an article about women who throw around words like “restricted stock units”, “ESPP disposition survey form”, and “short term capital gains and losses” when referring to their personal finances. These are the types of finances I have to contend with as an employee and are on the low-end of complex amongst my peers.