5 Practical Money Tips for Modern Women

Save money

Women are in a tough position in today’s world. More often than not, we make a lot less money than our male counterparts, yet we often pay more on things like beauty, personal hygiene, and self-care too. That means that girls need even more help making their cash work for them. 

As we head into a new year, now is the perfect time for women all around the world to re-think the way that they approach their financial strategies. Fortunately, the following practical tips will ensure that modern women can make the most out of their cash, without spending too many restless nights worrying about bills and expenses. 

Find Out What You Need to Survive

Step one in becoming more confident with your money is figuring out how much you actually need. This means creating something called a bare bones budget. Essentially, you go through your bank statements and figure out exactly how much cash you need to pay for all of your essential bills, like gas, electric, rent, and so on. 

You can apply a basic amount of cash for food and entertainment too – but nothing over-the-top. Imagine you weren’t earning an income and you had to use nothing but savings to survive – how much would you spend on food? Once you have your bare bones budget, you can begin to cut down on the things that you don’t really need in your life, like gym subscriptions you never use. 

Be More Adaptable

Women are usually pretty flexible creatures. We know how to pivot to suit the needs of an ever-changing environment. However, sometimes, we can have some trouble adjusting to a changing financial situation. When you’re making sure that you’ve got what to take to survive in today’s money-focused world, make sure that you’re as adaptable as possible.

Remember that the amount of cash that you need to spend this month might be different to the amount that you spend next month. If it helps, go through your entire year and plan the unique expenses that you need to be ready for, like birthday presents, or Christmas festivities. This will ensure that you’re not taken by surprise when new costs emerge. 

Invest In Yourself

There are times when the last thing you want to do is spend any more money. If you’ve gone through your entire clothing budget for this month, then you shouldn’t buy another pair of shoes just because they’re on sale, for instance. However, if an opportunity comes up that will benefit you in the long-term, then it may be worth the investment. 

For instance, if your job gives you an opportunity to take on some training for an upcoming promotion, but it means traveling out of town, it makes sense to take out a cash loan now, so you can reap the rewards in the long term. Whenever you need to decide whether you should spend money, ask yourself how it’s going to benefit you in the future. 

Be Honest With Yourself

Sometimes, when you sit down with your bank statements and look at what you have really been spending your money on, what you see can be a little shocking. We like to tell ourselves that it’s okay to spend a little extra cash here and there on things like a coffee on the way to work – because it will help us to be more productive. However, you could be cheating yourself out of cash this way. 

Instead, be honest with yourself, and recognize when you need to cut costs. Rather than ignoring expenses because they’re just a couple of dollars here and there, make a list of everything you spend each month, and what you realistically need to get rid of. 

Try Some Online Tools 

Finally, if you’re relatively new to managing your own money, and you don’t have a strategy that you feel comfortable using yet, then you can try using some online or digital tools. There are plenty of tools available online today that can help with things like tracking how much you spend or offering advice on how to reach your savings targets. You can even download applications straight to your smartphone that tell you whether you can afford to spend some extra money this month or not. 

The digital world can make tracking your money and your spending habits a lot easier, particularly if you don’t feel happy using just a basic spreadsheet, or a pad and piece of paper. 

A Beginners Guide to Options Trading

Option trading

Options trading is becoming increasingly popular among investors. It’s no longer just the professional traders who are involved as more and more home traders and casual investors are taking advantage of the benefits of trading options. 

What Does Options Trading Involve?

Options trading involves buying and selling options contracts on public exchanges. It works like stock trading. Whereas stock traders make money by buying a stock and selling it at a higher price, options traders earn a profit by buying an option and selling it at a higher price. However, options trading is much more flexible compared to stock trading. Options contracts can be based on a wide range of underlying securities such as indices, stocks, foreign currencies, commodities, among other things, giving you far more opportunities for potential profits. 

Buying Options 

Buying an options contract is no different from buying a stock. You’re basically taking a long position on that option, believing that its value will increase. You can buy an options contract by simply choosing exactly what you want to buy and how many, and then submit your order to your broker. If your options increase in value, then you can either exercise your option or sell them. 

The good thing about options contracts is that you can buy them in situations when you expect the value of an underlying security to increase, and also in situations when you expect the value of the underlying security to decrease. If you expect the value of an underlying security to go up, then you would buy call options, which allows you to buy the underlying asset at a fixed price. If you expect the value to go down, then you would buy put options, which allows you to sell the underlying asset at a fixed price.

Selling and Writing Options

You can sell options contracts either by placing a sell to close order or by placing a sell to open order (writing options). You would usually use the sell to close order if the value of your options has increased and you want to take your profits at that point, or if the value of your options has decreased and you want to exit your position before you incur any other losses. You would usually place a sell to open order if you think the value of relevant underlying security wouldn’t change in such a way that the holder would be able to exercise his or her option to earn a profit. 

Options Spreads

The ability to create options spreads is what really makes trading options an interesting way to invest. While you can make money trading through buying an option and selling it if you earn a profit, it’s the spreads that provide you much more opportunities to make serious money. An option spread is created when you simultaneously buy and sell options of the same class on the same underlying security but with different expiration dates or strike prices. 

If you want to trade options, you will have to work with a brokerage firm that supports options. Keep in mind, however, that each platform is unique and has its own benefits and drawbacks. Thus, it’s best to clearly define what you want in an options account and platform before you get started.