Before getting into the nitty gritty of saving, budgeting, and investing (starting next week), I want to lay the foundation for why I believe it is crucial for women to learn how to handle finances REALLY well when they are young.
Who you are when you’re young lays the foundation for who you are 20 years down the road.
Would you want to be raising a family, or buying a house, or getting ready to be a missionary in Africa, with your current financial habits?
If the answer is no, then you need to buckle down and get to work. You may not be raising a family, or buying a house, or moving to Africa today. But you very likely will be doing one of those things down the road.
Here are some reasons every girl should learn to be smart with money NOW:
To Bless Her Future Husband
If you get married, it will be a serious blessing to your husband to have a wife who already knows how to handle finances really well. He won’t have to teach you how to make and live on a budget. You can help with his business if he has one, as well as contributing help and ideas in your finances as a couple.
If you started saving money as a single girl, you will have a blessing to bring to your husband! Whatever money you have saved will doubtless be very much appreciated! Most young couples have a lot of expenses in the first five years- housing, furniture, vehicles, babies, insurance, etc and having a significant chunk of savings will greatly benefit you and your husband as you start your household.
To Be Prepared for Her Remaining Single Years
If you end up being single for years (or forever), you will be prepared to be a responsible citizen who can take care of herself. Think down the road- if you are single at 40, will you be be prepared to buy a house, or will you be renting a little apartment barely making ends meet? Girls, just because your parents provide housing, food, and a car now doesn’t mean it will be that way forever. You might be single a little longer than you anticipate, and it’s wise to be prepared to care for yourself.
I know that marriage is God’s will for most girls at some point, but I also know that many end up being single into their 20’s or 30’s, and it is wise to have a plan for that!
I have personal goals for my finances down the road. Obviously, when I get married, those goals will be modified to fit my husband’s, but I don’t want to handle my finances haphazardly in the meantime. I would encourage girls to make financial goals yearly, as well as for 5 and 10 years down the road. These are not to be held onto with an iron grip if the Lord has something completely different in mind (like giving up your paycheck to do missions for a year), but for me I find that these goals help to keep me on track and lazer-focused on being frugal and future-minded in a season of life when I could totally “live for today” in my finances.
To Put Herself into a Position to be Available for Mission Work
If the Lord calls you to the mission field, or even to short term mission work, and you have been saving and investing previously, you won’t be starting from scratch with raising support.
When I lived in Mexico last fall doing mission work, I was fully prepared to take off six weeks of work (thus eliminating my paycheck), and pay for my own ticket and living expenses while I was gone. All that using extra money in the bank and not dipping into my investments. I don’t share this to elevate myself, but to encourage you girls to start learning and saving now so that if the Lord brings you an opportunity to do missions work you are financially prepared.
To Have Money for Unforeseen Expenses
I have had friends who needed to pay for part or all of their wedding. If your parents aren’t able to help much or at all with wedding expenses, it is wise to be prepared. Sure, you can go super simple and spend very little, but if you have a wedding their will be at least some expenses.
Consider this, too- if there is something like, say, a really good photographer, that is important to you but doesn’t fit the wedding budget your parents give, you will be ready to pay for it out of pocket if you have extra money in savings.