Empowering Women's Financial Independence: Debt Advice
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By Bromwich+Smith Staff | 1363 words | Reading Time: 6 minutes, 48 seconds | Last Update: 2023/03/17
With March being international woman's day let's take a moment to reflect and appreciate the powerful females in our life. Our moms, our sisters, ants, daughters, coworkers, powerful industry leaders and more. Women typically take an leadership roles within the household including finances child care, house maintenance, planning all well working outside the house jobs. We understand this can often lead to additional stress financial concern and uneasiness.
We know that financial challenges can have a great impact on our well-being, causing enormous stress. To eliminate this stress, lets explore easy to follow tips that can help women of all ages, no matter what stage you are at financially.
Some situations we are considering include:
- That you just graduated from college and want to pay off your student loans.
- Moms trying to balance work and career life, while struggling to make ends meet.
- Or, for those who see retirement in the upcoming years and are concerned about how they can afford to make retirement a reality.
The truth is, sometimes just staying on top of the bills and household needs can be hard, right? The difficulty can increase if you have a family to support, if you have a supportive partner helping or if you are weighed down with debt. Whether you are barely scraping by and living paycheck to paycheck, or facing down an overwhelming mountain of debt, financial stress can affect every aspect of our lives.
1 in 5 Canadians, aged 15-64 has reported financial abuse, with over 95% of females who have reported domestic abuse acknowledging they have also been financially abused. Signs your partner may be financially abusive include:
- They pressure you to quit your job, or sabotage your work advancement
- You are given “allowances” for all expenses without your input
- You are required to provide receipts for all items purchased, and provide any change back.
- You are not able to have your own bank account, or have limited access to joint accounts.
- They are not an active participant in household chores, or they do not participate in household expenses.
- They feel entitled to your money, and spend it without your knowledge
- They control how all of the household finances are spent
- They use credit cards with your name- or joint names, max out the credit and do not pay for their purchases.
- Uses money set aside for other responsibilities without your consent ie, school savings, vacation money, retirement.
- They threaten to cut you off financially if you disagree with or upset them.
- They belittle your spending, or financial choices
Please keep in mind these are not all of the signs, and if you are experiencing financial abuse it is important to get to a safe space and get help from a professional.
If you’re feeling the pressure, you are not alone. A recent survey found that females score 30% higher than men on overall debt stress tests. 61% of people in debt from purchasing household necessities are female and more than 60% of women carried credit card debt, compared to 33-36% of men (depending on the age category).
So, how do you change your finances and get back on track?
Recommended Debt Advice Tips
1. Educate yourself and do your own research. Learn about the importance of knowing your credit score- and that you have one! Many females will have a linked credit card to their spouse and never open their own bank accounts. This makes it hard to prove your own credit aside from your spouse and not having your own credit will hurt your credit ranking. Be aware of debt-to-income ratio, or compound interest, and how these things can affect your financial strength. Know the difference between good debt and bad debt ( https://www.bromwichandsmith.com/blogs/can-debt-be-good-thing) . In the end knowledge truly is powerful. Talk to other women, and surround yourself with a financially aware community of strong women.
2.Create a Budget. Building a strong financial future involves planning, strategy, and problem solving. If you can run a household, planning a budget is easy. Know what income is going into all bank accounts, and what expenses are coming out. You will be able to direct any additional funds to paying off debt or to savings accounts. Its never to early to start planning for things like retirement, emergency savings, or your childs education.
3. Supplement Your Income. Explore your options, call on your skills, and find a way to put your talents and abilities to good use. This could be by starting a home business, or a part time job outside the house- all depending on your schedule and capacity. While taking on more work may not be feasible, for those with extra time you may be able to generate additional income. By starting a business or part time job based on things you already enjoy doing, or do well the extra work may not seem like a hardship and you may enjoy the added tasks.
4. Consider Debt Relief Options. Sometimes, even with the best intentions, debt is overwhelming and may become unmanageable. If you find yourself struggling to pay the bills, are avoiding calls from your creditors, and have maxed out all available resources It may be time to consider your options. Credit counseling, debt counseling, debt consolidation, debt settlement, consumer proposals or even bankruptcy. Know that you have options, and do not need to struggle with your debt. A Licensed Insolvency Trustee is available to help and guide you through what resources are available to you.
5. Commit to Staying Out of Debt. Tips like developing smart spending habits, having an emergency fund, using credit cards wisely, following a financial plan, or being accountable to someone else only go so far. You need to understand how the debt accumulated, and be committed to changing those habits. Often an unexpected life situation like medical expenses, car or personal injury, job loss, or marital separation is the root of the increased debt. If you find that you have accumulated a high amount of debt on credit cards due to shopping, gambling addictions or other external reasons be prepared to work with a Credit Counsellor to avoid those habits in the future.
If you are facing overwhelming debt, remember that you are not alone. Bromwich+Smith has a number of debt relief strategies to help you regain control of your finances and get your life back on track. Reach out today for a free, confidential, no obligation consultation. Bromwich+Smith’s Debt Relief Specialists are available by phone at 1-855-884-9243, or request a call back at contact us page.
1- What is financial abuse?
Financial abuse is a form of domestic violence that involves controlling or manipulating someone's finances to limit their access to money, resources, and financial independence. Financial abuse can take many forms, such as limiting access to bank accounts, credit cards, and other financial resources, forcing someone to take on debt, or sabotaging someone's credit score.
2- How does financial abuse impact women?
Financial abuse can have a significant impact on women's lives, making it difficult for them to leave abusive relationships, maintain financial stability, and build a secure future. Women who experience financial abuse may struggle to access resources like housing, healthcare, and education, as well as face barriers to employment and financial independence.
3- How can I protect myself from financial abuse?
If you suspect that you are experiencing financial abuse, there are steps you can take to protect yourself. First, educate yourself about your financial rights and seek legal help if necessary. You can also secure your financial accounts and documents, create strong passwords and change them frequently, and monitor your credit reports and accounts regularly. Additionally, seek support from trusted friends and family and domestic violence shelters and hotlines.
4- What are some debt repayment strategies I can use?
There are several debt repayment strategies you can use, depending on your financial situation and goals. One approach is the debt snowball method, where you pay off your smallest debts first and work your way up to larger debts. Another option is the debt avalanche method, where you pay off debts with the highest interest rates first. You can also negotiate with creditors for payment plans or debt settlements, consolidate high-interest debt with a personal loan or balance transfer credit card, or seek help from a debt consolidation company. It's important to prioritize debt repayment and create a budget to track your spending and stay on top of your debts.