Though times have changed, there's still a prevailing sentiment when it comes to finances that young women don't need to be armed with the tools necessary to look after their finances. Despite the fact that less and less people are getting married, and of those more and more are getting divorced, it still persists that women will eventually be living as a couple at which point the man will handle the finances of the household. This is simply archaic thinking, and women who truly wish to live independently, or at least want to be prepared for that scenario should learn all they can about finances now so they don't become stressed out by the prospect of handling them in the future.
First up on the financial front is education. The choice of college could lead to your ability to find high paying work out of it, but will also unequivocally determine the amount of money you owe back on a student loan. Recent studies have suggested that high cost, elite colleges do not get those students into any better paying positions on average than their less elite countertops. Unless the prestige on a purely vane level is worth $50,000 to you, you'll be better served in the long run by going through a less expensive college or university.
Many students don't expect to move back in with their parents after college, but this can be a good way to get settled and save money before fully embarking on life's path on your own two feet. This may of course not be possible depending on your future line of work and the location your parents reside in, but if it's a good choice for anyone who can swing it.
Unlike their own mothers, today's young women have easy access to credit cards and other lines of credit. Women are also at a greater risk than women to abuse their credit and spend money frivolously, especially while in college and surrounded by peer pressure, parties and other considerations. While college can be a tough go on the finances without working a part time job, it's better to wait on getting a credit card until college is through and you have a regular job already in place. Better yet, avoid the credit cards altogether if you can contain yourself.
When first looking for professional work, take the time to look around and weigh your options. It can be tempting to jump at the first opportunity, and the chance to go from single digit part time wages, to large annual salaries, but there's no reason to rush. Beyond just the salary alone you should also take other factors into consideration.
What other employee benefits exist, how good are the health care and 401k plans, and when do you qualify for raises and how much will your salary increase by? You may also want to consider the location of the business in relation to your residence, and also how it fits into your long term goals and how it will likely get you set on the path you want to reach.
Once those first paychecks start coming in, you'll really need to set good habits right out of the box. Making large payments on your debts to get them paid off as quickly as possible, as well as making investment in your 401k plan and other long term savings plans are all wise choices. Yes, it may be boring for a young woman to squirrel her money away like an old lady, but the sooner your debts are paid off and you have a solid start on your savings, the sooner you can start spending that money without any worries about whether you can afford it or not.
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