5 Top Financial Habits Of Successful Women

By Katherine O’Chee

Ask any other woman, and chances are, her recipe to success will look different to yours. Maybe it’s hitting certain career goals or mastering the work-life balance. But while ‘no spice fits all’, there’s one ingredient every successful woman shares: financial savviness. 

In other words, she’s in control of her own finances, rather than letting her finances control her. Instead of buying designer high-heels on a shoestring budget, she knows how to live within her means. She knows how to spend wisely and save for the future. And when it comes to paying off her bills or debts, she’s never late. 

Healthy money habits like these keep you focused on what’s important. Sure, they take time to nurture, but the secret is, no successful woman got to where she is by standing still. Her habits started with moves you can make today.

She keeps a sharp eye on her finances

Spending hundreds of dollars a month on takeaway? Or signed up to subscriptions you don’t even use? These little money wasters aren’t always easy to spot, but they do leave a dent in your hip pocket. 

That’s why successful women make a habit out of tracking what goes in and out of their bank accounts. It gives them a better handle on their own financial situation, including areas where they can trim back on spending. 

So record all your income and expenses for the month. Then do the math to see how much of your paycheck, plus any other earnings (say, from a side hustle), go into meeting costs like your rent, electricity bill and purchases you may have made on a whim while scrolling through Amazon or eBay. 

If you aren’t comfortable using Excel or pen-and-paper spreadsheets to log your cashflow, there are plenty of free apps on the market like Pocketbook and Spendee to help you do the job. 

She has a budget – and sticks to it!

Once you’ve done your deep dive into current spending habits, the next step is to devise a budget. Successful women turn knowledge into action, and budgets are a great practical way to help you regain control over your money. 

The number one rule is to be flexible. Don’t expect your budget to stay the same across the whole year, as circumstances can and will change. While a major car repair might leave you tighter on cash one week, you may find more wiggle room another week to treat yourself. 

The best kinds of budgets are realistic and easier to commit to. They hit that sweet spot between being strict with your spending and giving you just enough space to say ‘yes’ to the occasional manicure or movie. 

If you feel stuck, the ‘50/20/30’ rule is a great place to start. Dedicate 50% of your monthly income to essential expenses like rent and utility bills, 20% to savings, and 30% to fun! 

She stays on top of all IOUs 

While you can be forgiven for missing a credit card repayment once or twice, consistency is a hallmark of financial success. 

A successful woman always pays her bills and debts on time. That way, she avoids the sting of late fees and high interest charges, not to mention a tarnished credit score

The good news is, managing IOUs is more straightforward than you may think. If you’re simply forgetful, it takes just a couple of actions to put you back on track: 

  • Use reminders. This includes jotting down the due date on your calendar, and putting alarms on your phone (for a day or two in advance, so you have time to get your funds ready). 
  • Set up automatic payments. Just make sure to have adequate balance in your account beforehand, so you aren’t hit with a direct debit dishonour fee.

She saves for a rainy day 

From a natural disaster damaging your home to an economic crisis leaving you out of work, unforeseen circumstances could happen to anyone and squeeze them into a financially tough spot. But a successful woman prepares for those moments by keeping an emergency savings fund up her sleeve. 

This safety net is designed to help you retain financial independence, so you don’t have to rely on credit cards or personal loans to get by. The rule of thumb is that it should cover at least three months worth of essential expenses, which includes rent or mortgage repayments, utility bills, groceries and transport fares. 

The trick is to have just enough coverage to survive those rainy days. While you may be tempted to save as much as possible, keep in mind you also have other financial responsibilities to balance, like paying off any loans and making super contributions. 

She plans for the future 

We all have dreams, but a successful woman knows how to build a nest egg in order to reach them. Whether it’s purchasing a property or globetrotting in her retirement years, she has financial goals that she regularly puts a part of her earnings towards.

To set yourself up for success here, remember to pay yourself first. Rather than spending first and then saving only if you have money left over, do it the other way around. 

On payday, move some of your income straight from your bank account into your savings account. Some banks even offer customers a ‘set and forget’ option that will automatically transfer the funds for you between your two accounts. 

A final note

At the end of the day, it’s not about how many zeroes you have in your salary. Rather, financial success comes from making the most of what you do earn, and that starts with good money habits.

Katherine O’Chee is a personal finance writer at mozo.com.au where she spends her days digging into banking fine print and sharing her latest money hacks with consumers to help them make smarter financial decisions.

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