Money Tips

6 Things Every Millennial Woman Should Know About Money

Things you should know about me:

  • I’m a woman (if you don’t already know) and a feminist.
  • I’m all about empowering women. I love seeing women helping each other and watching each other grow.
  • I want to inspire as many millennial women as possible to take control of their financial life.
  • I started this blog originally for the millennial women in Malaysia, but my male friend told me that he can relate to the articles I’ve written, too.
  • I love pizza. (not relevant)

Unfortunately, many women are lack of confidence and knowledge when it comes to managing their money and many are still hesitant in taking charge of their finances. And this shouldn’t be the way. So, my sisters, here are the 6 things you–as a millennial woman­–should know about your money.

  1. Education is the first crucial step to your financial success.

Being in control of your finances is the first step to many long-term goals, such as buying a house, traveling around the world, starting a business etc. But in order to achieve financial success, the first essential step you need to take is to educate yourself as much as possible. Pick a few personal finance related books at the book store and start exploring the concept and ideas. If you malas nak spend money on books (which you should), there are tons of free online resources like blogs, news sites, online courses, webinar etc for you to pick the masterminds’ brain. My favorites are iMoney Learning Centre, Ringgit Oh Ringgit, KCLau.com, the list goes on. Another thing I do to keep stepping up my personal finance game is to listen to podcasts. Podcast is a wonderful way to gain insights by listening to others’ stories and experiences, basically like a talk show without the visual. But because podcasts are still unpopular and underrated in Malaysia, I have yet to find any personal finances related podcast created by Malaysian. Most of which I listen are from the US. If you’re interested, simply search some of my favorites “HerMoney with Jean Chatzky”, “Money Tree Investing Podcast”, “You Need A Budget (YNAB)” and “Money Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for a Richer Life” in Podcasts app on iPhone or Google Play Music for Android users, you’ll have instant access to endless of free advice and knowledge-sharing.

  1. A man is not a financial plan.

Ladies, you are the one who is in total control of your financial life. If there’s someone who should rescue you from your financial mess, that person is you. If there’s someone who should bring you good fortune, that person is you. We are powerful, and we can stand on our own feet to earn and create more money in today’s modern world. You don’t need a man to support you financially, and a man is not a financial plan. My view? Completely relying on a man (or men) financially is riskier than not having any savings.

3. Set realistic money goals.

I know this is a no-brainer, but still, there are lots of millennial women out there either do not have any financial goals or have vague and unrealistic ones. Having specific and tangible money goals allow you to keep track on your progress and to stick with them.

The 5 baby steps you need to take are:

a) Grab a pen and paper and make 3 columns. Put down “short-term”, “mid-term” and “long-term” into each column.

b) Determine what goals should go under each column and write them down. As a general guideline, goals you want to achieve between 1-5 years belong to short-term, 6-9 years for the mid-term and long-term is for 10 years and above. For instance, your short-term goal might be “go on a 30-day Europe trip”, your mid-term goal might be “paying off student loan”, and your long-term goal might look like “retire at the age of 45”. Remember, set realistic goals.

c) Have a good estimate of the amount of money you need for each goal. Do your research to get the amount as accurate as you can.

d) Pin down the actions you need to do to achieve each goal­–for example, in order to pay off your PTPTN loan with X amount of money in Y years, you are going to apply for online direct debit to take advantage of the 10% discount. Another example is you might decide to contribute 10% of your income every month towards your Europe trip fund in order to achieve X amount of money in Y years.

e) Now that you have everything in place, stick the paper on your wall (okay, I know I’m probably the only one who still stick papers on my wall, but no shame!) and take actions!

4. Don’t be afraid to ask for a pay raise.

If you think “meh, this is something I can never do”, it’s time for you to think again. Look: I know how hard it can be to go to your boss and say “hey, I think I’m worth more than what I’m paid for!” We, women, tend to not negotiate for a pay raise in comparison to our male counterpart because we are reluctant to advocate for ourselves. Maybe we don’t want to come off as greedy, maybe we dislike confrontation, or maybe we get nervous just having the thought to talk about it with our boss so we put it off until forever. Regardless of which reason, asking for salary increment when you know you are worth it is the rightest thing you can do for your career. Also, do you know not negotiating for your salary can costs you over time? Two college grads who are offered the same job with the same amount of salary at the same time might have a huge wage gap in 10 years time simply because one negotiated for a better starting salary. Read this for tips on negotiating your next pay increment.

5. Find an accountability partner.

Your accountability partner can be your significant other or your best friend, someone who you can trust and support your goals. Here’s the difference: you need someone who supports your goals, not someone who achieve your goals for you. Like I mentioned above, you should be the one who take charge of your finances, but keep in mind that it is also important to seek help. Say if you’re trying to save for emergency fund and tackle your consumer debt at the same time, it’s crucial to find a reliable partner who can talk you off the ledge when you are tempted to burn your money on things. The last thing you want to do is to have a partner who tempts you into spending more.

6. Have open conversations about money.

It is important to know how to talk money in an open and honest way. Real friends should be able to talk about money just like any other personal issues e.g relationship, health, the bossy colleague that annoys you at work etc. Many of us have the idea of talking money is equal to bragging about it, but that’s not right. It’s vital to share your money concern and experience with your girlfriends or trusted ones so that you keep each other informed and help each other when needed. Remember, remain silent is remain ignorant. The money talks that my girlfriends and I share with each other are:

  • salary (yup, no shame about it.)
  • saving and investment strategies
  • discounts/offers/specials
  • finances in romantic relationships
  • we recently talk about buying property and keep each other up-to-date on the property prices and other relevant information
  • etc

Women should empower and help each other.

“You can find me somewhere in between inspiring others, working on myself, dodging negativity, and slaying my goals.” –Unknown

Let me know and comment down below if you have any other ideas to share, I’ll be happy to hear from you. 🙂

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