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The 3 Biggest Money Mistakes Single Women Make (And How to Fix Them)

Let’s face it, ladies, you’ve conquered the boardroom, mastered your side hustle, and maybe even aced those sourdough experiments. However, the savviest of women can slip up when managing their money and setting themselves up for the future they deserve. I’ve worked with countless highly successful single women, and I’ve seen the same mistakes come up again and again, especially when it comes to women and investing. Today, I’m dishing on three pitfalls to avoid regarding your finances.

Before we jump in, let’s look at a few staggering statistics. Only 37 percent of women feel they are making real financial progress, according to the 2024 BMO Financial Progress Index. Their 2023 Progress Index reported only 53 percent of women felt financially confident about retiring at their target age. One of the biggest shockers was that 74 percent of women had no financial plan to reach their goals! These are not the numbers you want on your financial report card.

While those statistics are pretty sobering, here’s the silver lining: if you see yourself reflected in any of those numbers, you have the power to change your trajectory. It takes being willing to identify the mistakes that might be holding you back and make some course corrections.

Mistake #1: Failing to Get Organized and Financially Plan

Between your high-powered career, keeping up with the latest binge-worthy show, those hot yoga classes you love, and attempting to have a social life, your schedule is absolutely packed. When things get hectic, the last thing on your mind is getting your financial life in order.

But trust me — letting this slide is a biggie. You’re operating in the dark without a clear handle on what you earn, spend, owe, and invest each month. It’s so easy to mindlessly blow money you could be saving or find yourself drowning in debt because you lost track. And forget about working towards bigger goals like retirement — how can you plan for the future if you don’t know where you’re at today?

The fix? Set aside an hour or two every month to reconcile statements, categorize spending, download your investment balances, etc. Make it a self-care ritual paired with your favorite beverage and music if needed! Just get it on the calendar and make it non-negotiable. Having an up-to-date money snapshot will help you gain clarity and make smart, intentional choices.

More importantly, this lays the groundwork for developing a real financial plan. One where you determine how much you need to save for your goals, how to invest those savings based on your timelines and risk tolerance, strategies to minimize taxes, and how to protect your assets with the right insurance coverage. Long-term planning is just a shot in the dark without first getting organized.

Mistake #2: Ignoring Investments

When I ask my single lady clients what their biggest finance blindspot is, “investing” is basically a unanimous answer. You’ve worked extremely hard to achieve your career success and earn an amazing paycheck. But actually putting that money to work still feels intimidating and confusing.

It’s totally understandable — the world of investing can seem crazy complex if you didn’t study finance or grow up talking about stocks over the dinner table. However, building wealth through investing is crucial for long-term goals like an enjoyable retirement, helping your family, and having financial security. Inflation is the silent thief, constantly eroding the value of your hard-earned cash. Investing allows your money to grow and keep pace with your dreams.

Here’s the tough truth: investing isn’t getting any simpler until you take the time to learn the basics. Read some books, take a seminar, hire a professional — whatever learning approach best suits your lifestyle and personality. Investing in your financial education now will pay off exponentially over your lifetime.

Does the thought of picking individual stocks already make you anxious? Start simple with low-cost index funds and a diversified asset allocation. As you build your knowledge base, you can get fancier if you’d like. But getting started with a simple “set it and forget it” routine is much better than letting your money stagnate in a low-interest savings account.

Mistake #3: Overlooking Retirement Planning

Retirement might seem light-years away when you’re in the prime of your career, but trust me — it sneaks up faster than you think! One common mistake I see single women make is putting off retirement planning until it’s almost too late. Your dream of a comfortable and enjoyable retirement deserves attention now!

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking retirement planning can wait. Start setting aside funds for retirement early, explore different retirement account options, and consider working with a financial planner to create a solid retirement strategy. 

As you start exploring retirement options, don’t overlook your workplace benefits. You’re likely to have access to some amazing workplace benefits that can significantly move the needle for your financial situation. These include employee stock purchase plans, deferred compensation, performance bonuses — the list goes on.

So many talented women let these opportunities go underutilized! Maybe the enrollment instructions were buried in a dense packet you never read, or the terms and conditions make your eyes glaze over, or you’ve been passively participating without maximizing your potential.

Do not sleep on these offerings! Taking advantage can allow you to buy company shares at a discount, turbocharge your retirement savings, or reduce your taxable income. All things that will help you reach your money goals faster.

Your future self will thank you for taking proactive steps toward financial security in your golden years.

Don’t Go It Alone — Team Up With Legacy Planning

I know facing your money situation head-on can sometimes be scary and uncomfortable. However, continuing to let these avoidable mistakes happen puts your ability to achieve the goals you want for yourself at risk.

You’ve already proven you have the talent and hustle to become an elite high-earner. Apply those same skills to your finances; there’s no limit to the freedom and possibilities you can unlock!

Are you ready to start tackling your finances head-on? Legacy Planning is committed to financial planning for women and helping you take charge of your financial future. To see how I can help you avoid costly financial mistakes, click here to schedule a conversation today. Let’s get to work and conquer your financial world (and maybe finally master that sourdough!).


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