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Financial advice for modern day women: Taking charge of your money is important

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By: sanderspatricia29
on 5th Apr,2017

Women should know the importance of money to secure their financial future. They should take advantage of financial benefits provided by the Federal Government and private organizations. Check out tips for women to become financially independent.
financial-advice-for women

Managing money is significant for all of us. It doesn't matter whether you have a significant income or earn relatively less. You need to secure your financial future irrespective of what you earn now.

The concept that men should be the breadwinner for the family doesn't exist in our society anymore. Now, women are doing great at their jobs and earn well, too. They have learned how to manage their hard-earned money as well.

However, some Cinderellas are still there who think money worries are only for their partners. Those women are unaware that they're moving toward a dark financial future by depending on others.

Women should know the importance of money

Life is not a fairytale. An accident can happen that you've never dreamed. Many women fall in deep misery after the death of their husband, disability or divorce.

These incidents are sad and raise certain questions:

  • Why should women allow financial crisis in the absence of their partner?
  • Why shouldn't they understand the importance of money?
  • Why shouldn't they learn to take charge of their money?

Once we learn how to manage money or how to deal with banks, credit cards or savings account, we can manage our finances independently. Thus, women will not suffer after an emergency and can manage the mishap.

7 Financial benefits women should take advantage of

To finance the basic needs, modern women can take advantage of these monetary benefits:

1. Social Security benefit for widows

Social security was there for ages. However, the benefit was less effective for women. Fortunately, Congress had modified the old rule and included more benefits for widows and disabled widows. The Social Security benefits are now gender neutral. Most importantly, divorced spouses are now eligible for the benefits under some terms and conditions.

Mainly three types of widow benefits are available, which are discussed below:

Retirement benefits:

  • If you're receiving widow's benefits, you can switch to your retirement benefits as early as 62 years.
  • You can start receiving one benefit at a reduced rate and then switch to other benefits at full rate at your full retirement age.
  • Rules vary depending on specific situation.
  • Survivor benefits:

    • Full retirement age for survivors is 66 for people born in 1945 - 1956.
    • A widowed woman can get benefits at any age if she takes care of her child less than 16 years or disabled, who's receiving Social Security benefits.
    • Medicare tax:

      • For a woman's tax filing status showing a qualifying widow with dependent child, the threshold amount is $200,000
      • However, a woman will not receive widow's benefits if she remarries before age 60. But, if a woman marries after 60 years (or after 50 years if disabled), she can continue receiving benefit payments based on her spouse's work.

        2. Grants for single mothers

        Raising a child is tough when you're single and living on one income. A statistical data in 2014 shows that nearly 80% out of 12 million single parent household are living in poverty.

        Some financial assistance programs for women are mentioned below:

        Name For Whom Availability Eligibility
        TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) Low-income households Up to 60 months
        • Recipient's income shouldn't be greater than the income set by the State.
        • Criteria vary from state to state.
        WIC (Women, Infant, And Children Program)
        • Pregnant mothers
        • New mothers
        Up to 6 - 12 months
        • Depends on the family size and income.
        • Single mothers under FPL (Federal Poverty Level), especially TANF recipients get priority.
        SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) Neediest households mainly with no or low income ABAWDs (Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents) aged 18 - 49 years can get for 3 months in 3 years if they don't meet certain special work requirements Families with children (under 18 years) need to submit form
        CCAP (Child Care Assistance Program) Low-income families for child care --
        • Recipient's income shouldn't be greater than the income set by the State.
        • Criteria vary from state to state.

        3. Women's privileged access to credit

        The Equal Credit Opportunity Act in 1974 has granted women better-privileged access to credit cards. As a result, women become independent of their spousal or parental income.

        Special privilege offered to women with established good credit history:

        • Lower interest rate on credit cards (also on mortgages and private student loans)
        • Higher credit limit on cards
        • Along with,

        • Lower insurance premiums
        • Better rentals and jobs, etc.

        4. Free government grants and money to fulfill the need

        Government grants are available for people, especially women.

        For example:

        • $50,000 for unwed mothers, single moms, and minority women
        • $80,000 for women-owned businesses

        Types of grants and free money

        Name of Grants Eligibility Use the Money For Grant Amount
        Personal Need Grants
        • Aged 18 years or more
        • US citizen
        • Meet the Government agencies' criteria
        • Mortgage
        • Rent
        • Medical bills
        • Utility bills
        • Child care
        • Education
        • Debt repayment
        • Disability expenses, etc.
        Up to $130,00
        Business Grants Up to $250,00
        Educational Grants Up to $50,00

        5. Scholarships for educational venture

        Affording college can be a big issue for many women. Below are top 3 scholarships for women who want to complete the college education:

        Name For Whom Eligibility Grant Amount
        Executive Women International ASIST Scholarship
          With economic, social or physical challenges
          [13 Scholarships to nontraditional students every year]
        To apply through one of the 38 local chapters participating in the organization $2,000 - $10,000
        PEO Program for Continuing Education With incomplete college education Local chapter must agree to sponsor the application Up to $3,000
        Jeannette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Planning to pursue undergraduate degree
        • Aged 35 or older
        • Has low-income
        • College acceptance letter mentioning income and expenses
        • Applicant has to write 500-1000 words personal statement with 2 references for written recommendation
        Up to $2,000

        6. Grants for women entrepreneurs to grow small business

        2 Small business grants are mentioned below:

        Name Eligibility Grant Amount
        Federal small-business grants Recipient should participate in competition organized by the US Small Business Administration. Top 3 finalists will win $40,000, $20,000 and $10,000, respectively.
        Private small-business grants for women Participant needs to describe the business and pay $7 application fee.
        The foundation advisory board decides to whom the grants will be given.
        • $500 every month
        • Additional $2,000 every year

        If you are a self-employed who is working from home, then you are eligible to deduct up to 100% of the cost of your health insurance premiums as a Schedule C deduction on your taxes. The deduction is for medical, dental or long-term care insurance premiums that self-employed people often pay for themselves and their family.

        7. Scholarships for undergraduate married working moms for career advancement

        Top 2 grants are as follows:

        Name Eligibility Grant Amount
        Women’s Opportunity Awards, sponsored by the Soroptimist Club Low-income women who represent the primary source of income for their families. $1.5 million
        Federal scholarships (Pell Grant)
        • Us citizen
        • Low-income working mom
        Up to $5,550

        What should be a woman's approach to money?

        Money is a powerful resource. It gives you freedom, independence, power to think logically, and so on. Every woman should know how to deal with money.

        • Fnancial knowledge is important, no matter if you possess a degree or not. You should read financial guidebooks to develop your financial insights.
        • Money talk is necessary before tying the knot. Discuss every financial issue with your would-be husband, including debt. Opt for a prenuptial agreement based on the financial obligations both of you have. After marriage, discuss day-to-day money with your partner, to manage your daily finance.
        • Give up the depending mentality on your partner, boyfriend, or son for your financial future.
        • Building an emergency fund is a very wise decision to fight against emergencies like illness, job loss, and accident.
        • Learn to manage money like a professional. So, invest money to get profitable returns. If you always fear about losing money, then you'll never reach your financial goal.
        • Build a positive attitude and learn from your faults. Keep positive thinking as well.

        6 Evergreen money rules for modern age women

        According to NCWRR (National Center for Women and Retirement Research), a woman's nature and her approach towards money are correlated. If you start thinking about money independently, you can avoid poverty in future.

        Here are a few tips to make yourself money smart

        1 Opt for a life insurance policy

        Obtaining a life insurance policy is essential for every woman, especially if you're a single mother. You can opt for term insurance or cash value insurance. Talk to an efficient agent before purchasing life insurance.

        2 Build an emergency fund

        Emergencies are cruel and blow away all savings. So build an emergency fund so that you don't need to take out money from your savings account during financial emergencies.

        3 Save more and spend less

        Having a good income doesn't mean you have to be on a shopping spree. You should learn how to save the hard-earned money without depriving yourself.

        4 Update your skills to grab a raise

        Work hard at job to achieve appraisals. If you think you're doing great, ask for a raise. Enhance your skills and stay updated by reading recent journals/magazines. Thus, you can save your job and earn more.

        5 Set up financial goals

        Earning money is not enough; set a plan and start saving for retirement early. Discuss with your partner about financial priorities (like child's education, buying a house, planning for trip, etc.) and plan accordingly.

        6 Live on less

        You don't need to spend a lot to feel good. You can enjoy even by spending less. Donate to others, voluntary some good cause, spend time with kids, etc. You'll feel more blessed than ever.



        Source:

        - Social Security Handbook
        - United States Department of Agriculture - Food and Nutrition Service
        - U. S. Free Government Grants & Money
        - U.S. Small Business Administration
        - Federal Student Aid

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