I am a firm believer that regardless of what it is that you do, whether you have a corporate job or are a small business owner or a stay at home mom, you need to clearly understand your financial picture and prepare a backup plan for your future self.

BEING YOUR OWN BACKUP PLAN MEANS:

Paying off debt

Controlling your spending

Paying bills on time

Saving for emergencies

Saving for retirement via a diversified portfolio of investments

Creating multiple streams of income

Putting aside your own fun money

IF YOU ARE MARRIED OR HAVE A SIGNIFICANT OTHER:

You need to participate in your finances as a team. Make financial decisions – discuss investments and spending – together.Understand where your money is going and how much money you have in savings and in investments – together.

If you are a stay at home mom or homemaker, which in itself is a full-time job, you need to be the CFO of the establishment that is your home. Be involved in all of your family financial decisions and make sure you clearly understand your family’s financial picture. Help manage your family’s savings and investments. Plan your household budget. Stay involved.

WHEN IT COMES TO JOINT & SEPARATE ACCOUNTS:

As women, when it comes to bank accounts, having joint accounts is great but I also believe in having your own personal savings accounts as well. They should not, however, be secret; after all marriage and committed relationships are all about openness and honesty, but as women we need to build our own sense of security and have our “own thing” going. At a minimum, you should have your own accounts where you save for your personal splurges or other things. Be open with your spouse, let them know what you have saved and set the same expectation for them as well.

Not everyone will agree with me on this and that’s ok but look at it this way, in the event that something serious happens or your significant other makes a poor financial decision that causes you to loose it all – wouldn’t it be great if YOU could be the backup plan instead of there being no plan? How about having your own exit strategy if need be? Money should not be the reason you stay trapped in a bad relationship that you know you need to get out of.

Don’t sit around waiting for  anyone to improve your financial situation. You owe it to yourself to take charge of your own financial situation.

Bola Onada Sokunbi – clevergirlfinance.com

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