Many people deal with financial stress a lot like they deal with their health; that is, they ignore it for as long as possible and hope it works itself out. Even individuals who know what they should do are often unable to overcome the barriers that keep them from taking action.
It’s difficult to think about saving money for emergencies, the future, and retirement when you’re holding a large amount of student debt and living paycheck to paycheck, but that’s no excuse for not saving. Start now. That should be the mantra of all 20somethings when it comes to saving for the future.
We must continue to work collectively toward systemic change that addresses the gender pay gap, but every woman must also take individual action to protect her own financial health and that of her family. To women who want to start building a more secure future despite the gender pay gap, I recommend the following steps.
You can work your way through financing a first car or getting a good starting salary at a first job. In other words, you already know more than you think. And, wherever you stand now, you can take three steps that will translate into more financial security in the future.
Even highly skilled Americans with solid incomes can easily find themselves living from paycheck to paycheck, or worse: slipping over time into debt that seems insurmountable, causing them to put off, perhaps indefinitely, the dream of a secure financial future. A single job layoff or health crisis can trigger this situation. This is a crisis.
As a child, you watch how your parents manage their money and absorb those lessons unconsciously. And, sometimes those unspoken lessons can be damaging.