These are the three important things women say would indicate financial independence

These are the three important things women say would indicate financial independence

Select’s editorial team works independently to review financial products and write articles we think our readers will find useful. We earn a commission from affiliate partners on many offers, but not all offers on Select are from affiliate partners.

While the idea of financial freedom can mean different things to different people, a recent report by Bank of America pinpointed the top three areas many women say indicate financial independence.

To get the results, more than 3,500 women ages 22 and up were surveyed about their thoughts on financial confidence, especially when it comes to investing.

Here’s a look at the top three indicators of financial independence, according to survey respondents, plus a few easy tips to help you meet those goals.

Subscribe to the Select Newsletter!

Our best selections in your inbox. Shopping recommendations that help upgrade your life, delivered weekly. Sign-up here . Being debt-free

For starters, 47% of respondents felt that being debt-free was a huge indicator of financial independence.

While some forms of debt — such as a mortgage or student loan — can buy you the flexibility to be able to afford an opportunity or acquire an asset, for many, the idea of actually owing money is enough to create a feeling of dread. A great deal of people are emotionally uncomfortable with debt , and those feelings of discomfort are reason enough to prioritize making their balances disappear.

Paying down debt also allows you a little more flexibility in the face of tough circumstances. For example, if your credit card limit was $5,000 and you were carrying a $4,500 balance, you would only have $500 left to float the cost of an unexpected car repair or roof leak if you didn’t have an emergency fund to pull from. If, however, you were to pay off that balance, you would still have more room to cover a necessary expense if your emergency fund won’t suffice.

There are many strategies out there when it comes to paying down debt . The popular debt snowball method involves eliminating the smallest debt balance first while paying just the minimum on your other debts. The idea is to work your way up to the largest balance until you’re completely debt-free.

Another tactic, the debt avalanche method , involves eliminating your highest interest debt first while making minimum payments on the others, and working your way down to the debt with the lowest interest rate. This particular method will help you save the most on interest charges.

Debt consolidation is another strategy that can potentially help you save on interest charges while also organizing your debt into just one monthly payment. With this option, you’re essentially using a debt consolidation loan , such as the Marcus by Goldman Sachs Personal Loan or the LightStream Personal Loan , to have your funds sent to each of your creditors to pay off those balances. After that point, you’re just left paying back the debt consolidation loan you took out.

Another alternative is to use a balance transfer card with a 0% introductory APR period , such as the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card which has a 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 21 months from date of first transfer, (15.24% – 25.24% variable thereafter; all transfers must be completed in the first 4 months) or the Chase Freedom Unlimited® , which has a 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on balance transfers, then a variable APR of 15.74% – 24.49%, to transfer a credit card balance with a high interest rate onto a new credit card that charges no interest fees for a limited time. The idea is the 0% introductory APR period will buy you enough time to have your entire monthly payment go toward the balance and not the interest, which should help you pay down your debt faster. Being able to withstand an unexpected expense

Emergencies are bound to pop up, which is why 39% of women who responded to the survey said being able to weather an unexpected expense was a sign of financial independence.

Having an emergency fund — a lump sum of cash that you can access in the event of a dire need — can help to offset these unforeseen expenses. For example, you could use money stashed in an emergency fund to replace a damaged car part, fix a leaky roof or pay a medical bill you weren’t planning on.

Emergency funds can also help you make ends meet in the event you’re laid off from a job with […]

source These are the three important things women say would indicate financial independence

Leave a Reply