As family structures change and the push for gender equality continues to rise, women are outnumbering men in the workforce.
Women are increasingly realizing the importance of financial independence, and many are even entering industries that were once dominated solely by men.
Let’s take a look at the many reasons why women — especially mothers and women in relationships — must prioritize their own financial health and maintain long-term financial independence. We’ll also provide a few ideas for women to achieve financial independence.
The Power of Financial Independence
When women are no longer dependent on their spouses or parents to survive, they and their families benefit from greater security through financially draining events.
When you experience a medical emergency, natural disaster, divorce, or a similar situation, you can be confident in your ability to overcome financial challenges. No matter what occurs, you’ll know you can put food on the table and keep the lights on in your house.
Of course, you don’t have to be a sole provider to benefit from financial independence. When you have a dual-income household, you and your partner can support each other through job losses without digging deep into your savings.
It also allows for more equal decision-making in your household. Financial independence empowers women to manage their own credit, make their own purchasing decisions, and even buy their own homes.
Financial independence also prevents financial abuse, which occurs when an abuser controls a victim’s finances to prevent them from leaving their relationship.
While financial abuse is often masked behind traditional gender roles, it can often lead to disastrous consequences for women, like massive debt and stolen identity. Maintaining a stable income allows women to leave relationships before financial abuse takes hold.
Building Financial Independence Through Business Ownership
Women can take many different paths to become financially independent, but an increasingly popular one is business ownership.
Many types of businesses — like a virtual assistant and dog walking businesses — require little to no capital to start while allowing you to pursue your passion and build a profitable career.
Even if you need loans to cover a realistic budget for your company, business ownership ultimately allows for independence from both family members and employers.
Working for a company puts your health benefits, salary or wage, and employment status in the hands of your employer, which can limit your ability to negotiate and thrive.
Becoming a certified woman-owned business (WOSB) can be particularly useful in your path to financial independence.
Created by the Small Business Association, the WOSB program allows women to take advantage of loans, government contracts, mentorship programs, networking opportunities, and other resources that make business success simpler.
This way, you can achieve your personal financial goals with greater ease.
Embracing Remote Work as a Mother
Business ownership isn’t a requirement for financial independence. If you want to become a full-time earner but don’t have the time — especially if you need to stay home to take care of a young child — remote work may be the best path to independence for you.
Remote work can also help you earn your own income if you share a vehicle with your spouse or if your household doesn’t have a vehicle at all.
Work from home opportunities are rising in every industry, from software development and marketing to education and finance, so it’s important not to let your travel limitations prevent your financial independence.
Supplementing Your Earnings With Passive Income
When you start earning income, you’ll instantly start experiencing the perks of financial independence. However, a living wage isn’t always enough to comfortably cover the expenses of having a child or important self-care purchases.
Supplementing your income can help you live within your means without limiting your purchases to the bare necessities.
Investing can be an incredibly powerful way to multiply your income — and it doesn’t have to be time-consuming. You can hire a financial advisor or work with a robo-advisor to make smart investment decisions that give you the highest returns possible.
If you don't want to risk investing your own income, you can always supplement your income with a passive opportunity. For instance, you can create an online course that shoppers can purchase for years to come or rent out parking space on your driveway.
Build Your Financial Independence
Becoming a self-sufficient woman can help you conquer any financial challenge that comes your way. Your financial independence can even benefit your family by offering more stability during tough times and creating a more equitable household.
Whether your path to financial independence involves launching a business, finding a virtual job, or going to the office, you’ll be one step closer to a more empowered life.
Once you’re confident that you can support yourself (and even your child) without anyone’s help, consider supplementing your income through investment or a passive income gig to live a more comfortable life.
Dan Matthews is a freelance writer with a penchant for financial wisdom and solid research. You can find him on Twitter @danielmatthews0 and LinkedIn.
Josh founded Money Buffalo in 2015 to help people get out of debt and make smart financial decisions. He is currently a full-time personal finance writer with work featured in Forbes Advisor, Fox Business, and Credible.