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    Posted August 14, 2014 by
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    The Female Financial Paradox: Put Yourself First!

    One of the most widely observed societal norms among women that appears to be as much socially ingrained as biologically inherent is the tendency for women to put themselves last in virtually all things. This also holds true with the concept of the female financial paradox.

    Many women have it as part of their personal make-up that money is a means to take care of the home and hearth. Money is viewed as a means to take care of their loved ones. But most women were also raised to believe that their husbands would take care of the finances. In reality, few women now in their 40s and older were raised by moms who were the main financial decision-makers. In fact, neither mom nor dad advised their daughters about investing or saving. Even some women in their30s and younger have grown up with the perception that they would be the secondary earners with the man being responsible for the long-term saving and investment in the relationship dynamic.

    Even today, some married women ignore such issues until a situation forces them to pay attention. For many, the day of reckoning comes when they are least prepared (emotionally or financially) to handle it: after they lose a spouse through divorce or death.

    Here are some eye-opening statistics:

    • 25 million women live at the poverty line that is barely above $11,000 a year.
    • 42% of working women lack financial security.
    • 3 out of 5 women over the age of 65 live in abject poverty, barely surviving.
    • 50% more women live in poverty than there are men living in poverty

    This is why it is imperative that women realign their priorities and realize that they have all the necessary innate building blocks to make financial decisions for their future.

    Putting yourself first ultimately helps your family.

    This is a hard concept to grasp if you has been taught that family always comes first. You may even think that it sounds pretty selfish. But in order to be successful in today’s climate, you have to go after what you want, knowing that the end result is the betterment of you and your family and your future as a whole.

    While the basics of solid financial planning are the same for both men and women, women often face lifestyle and economic issues that require special consideration. One of those considerations is that women tend to live longer than men on average. Women are also more likely to be responsible for the household budget, Add to that the external demands of caring for aging parents or spouse and possibly financially supporting adult children and it becomes less possible for them to think “me first” is ever an option.

    But these stressors provide even more reason for a woman to carve out the time, space and energy to put herself in the front of the line. Taking care of yourself will improve your capacity to continue to care for others. In fact, if you are not fulfilled, you are only to see others through the filter of your own unfulfilled needs, leading to conflict and resentment.

    What the best way to put yourself first?

    You are your family’s greatest asset. Nothing in your family thrives or succeeds without you being happy, healthy and mentally fulfilled. Having a sound financial plan is the best way to support you and your efforts.

    Examine what drives you emotionally when it comes to money decisions and try to figure out the mental stumbling blocks that may hinder you from becoming financially focused.

    5 Things You Need To Do Now:
    1. Don’t rely on someone else for your financial wellbeing. Educate yourself about investing and money management.
    2. Set realistic goals. It is the primary key to your success.
    3. Be involved in the day-to-day management of your family’s finances.
    4. Build an emergency fund. A financial safety net is critical.
    5. Don’t let fear of failure or fear of losing money stop you from investing.
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