We as women have always gotten the shorter end of the stick when it comes to financial freedom and literacy, and sometimes it can have some serious consequences. Since the test of time, women have always been associated with handling and managing money poorly—but as we all know, this is patriarchal nonsense that just holds no truth—and we’re going to show you why!

Managing your money and building financial freedom can be extremely easy and rewarding when you have a plan set in stone and you actually stick to it. Here are four basic money tips you can incorporate into your money management routine to better help you build your financial foundation.

Plan for the Future

Planning for your future sounds like a total “duh” but sometimes it’s easier said than done. In regards to retirement, it’s important to know what a 401K is, and the various options that comes with it (depending on the company you are currently working for). Planning for your future also consists of staying current and up-to-date with your spending habits, and how they will affect you futuristically. Along with your 401K, you want to make sure you are investing, specifically a long-term investment in which you’ll have secure financial freedom for an unexpected emergency.

Know What You Owe

Handling your debt and all of the extraness it comes with is extremely essential when trying to manage your financial situation. Listing out all of your expenses, and the things you owe (car loans, house loans, school loans, etc.) will help you get a better idea as to what you owe and how much you owe. This spreadsheet will allow you to visually see the interest rate of each loan, the outstanding balance, tax deductibles, and other important information that you’ll need to know in order to pay it off. From there, you should delegate how you will plan on paying each loan based on your monthly income, and when each loan will be completely paid off.

Make Saving Money Non-negotiable

Think of saving money as the only option. It’s not a yes or no, but a MUST. Setting aside money for an emergency fund should be one of your main priorities in building a stable financial foundation. Just like getting a manicure and pedicure are deemed as a necessity in your life—so should saving. One of the easiest ways to establish your savings is to set up an automatic transfer from your checking to your savings account each month you get paid. Delegate a percentage of your check and contribute to that to your savings and watch it grow!

Cut Out Credit Cards

Although credit cards come with so many perks and rewards, there’s one important thing to remember with every credit card company—their main source of business is to rack you up in debt, and have you pay interest on that said debt. Credit cards may look appealing, but they aren’t your best friend. Until you are in a stable position in which you can consistently pay off your balance every month—consistently– credit cards should only be used in the case of an emergency.

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