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    Women Shared 30 Important Money Tips They Want Other Women To Know

    From 401(k) plans to mortgage payments, get ready to make some waves in your own financial life.

    When it comes to money, women really have come a long way. But on average, women's financial experiences are still different from men's. Change won't happen overnight, but in the meantime women can still support and learn from each other — which is why we recently asked women in the BuzzFeed Community to share the financial advice they would give to other women.

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    Here's what they had to say:

    On sharing finance
    Kathy Hoang / BuzzFeed

    1. "My high school teacher told me this: do not plan for another person's income to reach your goals."

    CBC Television / Via

    "She was a divorcee who had realized she didn't know how to financially support herself without her husband. So if you want to buy a house someday, don't think, 'Well, if I make this amount and my eventual partner makes x...' They may never exist. Your partner's finances should be a bonus, not a need.

    P.S. I recognize it is an unfortunate reality that for some people, marriage is one of the only options for financial stability."


    2. "Make your own money. If a man (or woman) controls your money, they control you."


    3. "Have your own checking account!!! For real. Ladies, don’t slip up and let men take over the finances."

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    "Stop making excuses for things you paid for. You got that job. You get the paycheck. You see where your money is going. Also, pay your student loans. No one wants an extra $50K in debt."


    4. "Always have a separate, private bank account that you put a few dollars here and there into — even if you're single. Treat it like a savings account."

    "When I was married, I had an account that he wasn't aware of. He was incredibly abusive and that account saved me and allowed me to get out. The same account years later sent me on vacations and helped me get through other life hurdles. It's amazing how quickly money can add up when you're saving a few dollars here and there."


    5. "Be in charge of your finances (or be as in charge as your spouse, like a proper team). This will make you more knowledgeable and feel in control, therefore making it less stressful and even fun!"

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    6. "When combining finances with a partner, if there is a big gap in your salaries, combine a percentage of each income rather than a specific number."

    "If one of you earns a lot more than the other and you both say we’ll put X amount into a joint bank account, someone is going to lose out. Either one of you will be putting in more than you can afford or one of you will be putting in a small amount with the other is shouldering the responsibility. Agree on a percentage of your salaries such as 50% to go into a joint bank account and budget your lives (housing, savings, holidays, bills etc.) around that amount. Keep the rest in your own account so that you have freedom to buy things you want without feeling guilty that you’re spending your joint money."


    On personal care
    Kathy Hoang / BuzzFeed

    7. "Don't feel like you need to buy a ton of personal care products just because they’re marketed as 'necessary.' There are so many products for skincare, haircare, makeup, etc. that are not useful for every person."

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    "I’ve saved so much money narrowing down what products are actually useful for me personally! Of course, if you like having a more extensive skincare routine or like to wear lots of makeup, then you do you. But don’t feel like you have to buy lots of these items just because it’s what’s expected. Screw society’s beauty standards; be yourself."


    8. "Buy a Mooncup, or Thinx [if you have periods]. Thinx were an investment and weren't cheap to begin with, but I've since made my money back three times over, and have saved a ton of landfill."

    "I feel a lot better about my contribution to helping the planet, plus they're SO much more comfortable than other period products."


    9. "When you feel your mascara is starting to get a little dry, add two to three drops of saline solution or eye drops in it, and continue using. You can do this a few times before fully giving up and moving onto a new one."

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    10. "A lot of sanitary product companies will try to trick you into thinking, Oh this is the bigger pack it must be more cost effective to buy that one. But (at least in British stores) if you look at the price tag, it should show you how the price you would pay is being divided. That way, you can find the cheapest way to purchase at the time."


    11. "This is kind of basic but it helps me save a little every month. I subscribe to the $8 Ipsy bag. I get a makeup bag filled with sample size beauty products every month. I’m always so excited to see what I have that I rarely end up buying any others."

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    "I get face masks, perfume samples, makeup, and brushes. I even have a drawer in my vanity that’s like my own personal makeup store that I can go into whenever I run out of a product. I’d rather pay $8 a month than be tempted to buy a single item that could cost much, much more."


    12. "Buy everything you can in the men's section: razors, basic shirts and shorts, running shoes, etc. Not only will you pay less, but depending on your body type, stuff may fit better."


    On average, women pay more than men for similar products and services — aka the "pink tax." There's often no difference between the product marketed toward women and the same product marketed toward men — think about a simple, single-blade razor for shaving; one is pink and one is blue, but the pink one costs more. Self-care products like deodorant, lotion, and shampoo can cost around 13% more for women. And that money you save can go toward an emergency fund, a retirement account, and more!

    13. "Don't buy extra food; cook what you have in the house."

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    "Switch to soft drinks instead of alcohol. A designer name doesn't mean better quality; shop cheap but smart. Cosmetics aren't a necessity; hygiene is. Don't confuse the two."


    On getting paid what you're worth
    Kathy Hoang / BuzzFeed

    14. "If you think you need/deserve to get a raise, ask for it. Don’t wait for it to be offered to you."


    15. "The first time I interviewed for a full-time job, I wasn’t prepared to negotiate a salary or even give a ballpark. The interviewer, a woman who was the head of the department, encouraged me to research salaries for similar positions and experience, then be prepared to know my worth in my next interview."

    E! / Via

    "She said that this is especially important for women, because negotiating a salary is something many women tend to avoid or shy away from. I didn’t get that job, but now I remember her advice every time I prepare for an interview."


    "I automatically ask for 20% more when negotiating my salary since men get paid 20 cents more on the dollar to women (or something like that). I don’t get the full 20% but I’ve gotten good bumps from it. 🤷🏻‍♀️ Also, never disclose your current salary and never discuss babies. Not even after you get hired. The one exception to this is if you work at a small women-owned biz."


    16. "Apply to the jobs you think you're unqualified for. They're not requirements; they're a wishlist."


    17. "Don’t be afraid to ask your colleagues what they make. This is the best way to determine if you’re making what you are worth."

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    "I spoke with some of my colleagues, some who were still with the company and some who had already left. That’s how I found out that I was being paid $14k under my market value and then found a job that paid me $25k more than what I was making!"


    Kathy Hoang / BuzzFeed

    18. "Run an amortization schedule for whatever debt you are paying — school loan, car loan, home loan, etc. Make your regular payment, and an extra payment of the principal for that month."

    "If you can't afford it on all your debt, do it for the debt with the highest interest rate. This will pay off your loan in around half the time, and save you a significant amount of interest."


    If you're considering applying this ~wonderful~ piece of advice to your finances, there are a few small things you should know first: amortization means paying equal installments over time. This can lower the life of a loan, which means you can save on those interest charges. You can use a formula to calculate your amortized monthly payments, or you can plug your numbers into Bankrate's amortization calculator. Also, be sure to let your lender know that you want your extra payments to go toward principal, not next month's interest.

    19. "If you can afford to, start putting extra repayments toward your mortgage from day one. It's especially important to do this in the first few years of your loan because the quicker you reduce the principal, the less interest you'll pay over the life of the loan."

    Person pulling cash out of a wallet
    Vera Kandybovich / Getty Images

    "Instead of buying cute stuff for my house or doing any unnecessary cosmetic renovations, I put all my leftover money (after bills and expenses) into my loan. I'm on track to pay off my house in 10 years instead of 30. This means I'll have way more financial freedom and choice about how much I need to work by the time I'm in my early 50s. I'm a single parent with two young kids so if I can do it, you definitely can."


    20. "If you have student loans, pay them twice a month instead of once. This way, you are tackling compounding interest faster. Usually by the end of the year, you’ve saved at least one whole payment."


    21. "To progress toward getting out of debt, pay as much as you can each month on your highest interest debt, even if it means you are only paying the minimum on your lower interest debts."

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    "This advice was given to me by the CFO at my first 'big-girl job' and it helped me pay off $20K in six months after spending four years barely making a dent in my student loan debt."


    22. "Once you’re done with your debts (except your house) start saving your money and learn how to invest wisely. Don’t put your money in something you don’t understand."


    23. "Have open credit accounts to help boost your credit score, but ALWAYS pay on time and DO NOT make purchases that you can't pay out of your bank account."

    Person holding a credit card
    Tim Robberts / Getty Images

    "If you have more than one card, cycle through them for purchases like gas or groceries, and pay that off right away. This helps keep your balance low (high credit impact) and your payments on time (also high credit impact). Fun or large purchases should be made only once the funds have been saved and are available. It is far too easy to put it on a card and say, oh, I'll pay that back later, and before you know it you owe over $10k. The shoes/TV/gaming system/whatever-it-be are totally not worth the stress."


    Five important factors contribute to your credit score: payment history (making consistent on-time payments); credit utilization (the amount owed vs. the amount of credit you have available); credit history length (how long you've had an open credit account); credit mix (having a mix of credit cards, student loans, car loans, etc.); and new credit (any recently opened accounts).

    Monitoring your credit score can help you take steps to keep your score nice and healthy. There are lots of different platforms you can use for credit monitoring, but personally, I like Experian because it helps you track your FICO score — which is the scoring model that gets used in 90% of lending decisions in the US. Another thing I like about Experian is that it analyzes my credit and suggests changes I can make to improve my score. So it's not like you're just given a score and left to your own devices to figure out what to do about it!

    On saving and investing
    Kathy Hoang / BuzzFeed

    24. "If you work in a place where you receive cash tips, save 10–50% of it from each shift (depending on your situation). This will add up super quickly and you can use it on a trip or whatever you deem worthy!"


    25. "START CONTRIBUTING TO YOUR 401(k)! If your employer offers any matching, max out that matching (free $$ for your future!)."

    NBC / Via

    "Six percent of your income is so little that you won't even feel it — and if your income is on the cusp of a tax bracket, it could even save you money! Also, make a meal plan for the week and grocery shop with lists! I get distracted without lists and wind up spending too much $$ without any cohesive meals to make of it (and it helps to know what's for dinner when my brain can't function after a long day of work).


    "Save for retirement no matter how early in your career you are! More money means more champagne you’ll get to drink by the beach. ;) At least that’s how I envision my retirement."


    Saving for retirement can sound a bit intimidating. There's just so much to learn and so many different accounts — but we've got you covered! We got experts to answer 10 of the most common questions about 401(k) plans so you can feel a little less confused and more confident about retirement.

    26. "This is more appropriate for UK audiences, but start paying a decent percentage into your pension as soon as you enter employment. Don’t wait until you’re in your thirties."

    "People always underestimate how long they’ll live for and what they will need or want to live off when they do retire. You could be retired for 30+ years and potentially need £20k a year to live off, depending on your circumstances. That means you’d need a pension pot of £600k! Start saving now. Your future self will thank you!"


    27. "Save $1,000 (or $500 depending on your situation) toward emergencies! A scheduled trip to the dentist is not an emergency but if you fall and hit your head and loose three teeth....I would call that an emergency."

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    Experts generally recommend stashing away enough to cover 3 to 6 months worth of your expenses in an emergency fund, but a goal like $500 or $1,000 is a great start and can come in handy if an unexpected bill comes your way.

    28. "Invest your money in a Roth IRA. Stop buying the next trend or luxury item. Pay off your debt."


    29. "I worked in a jewelry store and a woman told me to never be afraid to buy high-quality jewelry. They are easy to pawn in case you need to leave a relationship quickly and need cash."

    Person holding a necklace
    Agung Pratama / Getty Images

    30. And, "honestly look at where your 'fun money' goes specifically. For instance, I found out how much I was spending on iced coffee vs. makeup vs. meals vs. alcohol, and it made it a breeze to decide where to cut back in order to save without feeling like I was changing my lifestyle drastically."

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    Ladies, what tips would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments below!

    And if this sounds like music to your ears (and bank account), check out more of our personal finance posts.

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