8 Ways to Become a Money-Smart Latina

Woman counting money bills

Money and Latina women? It's about way more than just bank accounts and budgets. We're talking about a whole history of being pushed to the side, burdens passed down through generations, and all the ways things can be unfair depending on who you are. It's not just what happens to you today, but what your family went through before you. That can lead to a very complicated relationship with money due to generational trauma, which means you’re not as smart with it as you could be. The good news is there’s always room for learning! Here are 8 easy things you can do to become smarter with your money:

Automate as much as possible

a woman sitting at a table paying her billsPhoto by Vitaly Gariev on Unsplash

We probably don’t have to even tell you this, but financial management can get very chaotic. That’s why not having a plan can lead to more issues than not. One easy thing you can do to help you stay on track with recurring bill payments, savings, and loan repayments is to automate as much as possible. The less you have to manually do yourself, the better you’ll be able to stick to a plan and a budget.

Consider making smart investments

woman in teal t-shirt sitting beside woman in suit jacketPhoto by Amy Hirschi on Unsplash

While savings accounts are low-risk, they often don't keep up with inflation. Investing can potentially grow your money over time and that’s one of the most important things to do. It’s essential to educate yourself on the investment options available to you and understand the risks before you jump into it. Consulting with a financial advisor will always be a good move. Also, there are plenty of Latina financial advisors in the game who can understand your perspective better, so they’re worth looking into.

Save unexpected cash that falls into your lap

a woman holding a jar with savings written on itPhoto by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash

Got a tax refund, inheritance, or birthday money from your abuelita? Instead of spending it right away, consider saving or investing it, or using it to pay down debt. Even 10 extra dollars here and there can make a difference in your long-term goals, so fight the temptation to spend it on short-term whims if you can’t afford it.

Focus on paying off high-interest debt first

Woman in front of laptop organizing her finances

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko on Pexels

If you're managing multiple debts, always prioritize the one with the highest interest rate. Make minimum payments on your other debts and channel extra funds towards the high-interest debt. Once it’s paid off, move to the next highest debt you have, and so on. This strategy minimizes overall interest payments and it can also make you feel very accomplished. It’s nearly impossible to pay all your debt at once, so taking it one thing at a time will do wonders for your sanity.

Track your spending

a woman sitting at a table using a laptop computerPhoto by Microsoft 365 on Unsplash

Expenses tracking is one of the most overlooked things on the road to becoming smarter with your money. This is a very simple thing to do and it’s essential because it will allow you to assess how you’re spending your money. Seeing exactly where your paycheck goes can reveal patterns that you can improve on. Not to mention it will show you what expenses need to be cut down or cut off if you ever hope to make any headway with your finances.

Constantly educate yourself

a woman sitting at a table using a laptop computer

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels

Finance will only get easier as long as you commit to understanding more and more of it every day. There are endless resources at your fingertips and most of them are free on the internet. There’s no excuse to learn basic financial concepts, explore strategies, and stay informed about the financial options available to you. The more you educate yourself, the less intimidating your financial decisions will be.

Create a budget and stick to it

Woman counting money to create a budget

Photo by Karolina Kaboompics on Pexels

If you don’t set a budget for yourself, what are you doing? It’s an essential step to financial success and you simply can’t go on without one. Budgets are fairly easy to create, you just have to keep track of your income and expenses. Your expenses should be categorized into essentials like rent and groceries, and non-essentials like eating out and entertainment. There are many budgeting apps and even Excel templates you can use for this, but you have to stick to it.

Set clear financial goals for yourself

Woman sitting on a chair, looking at camera, while money bills fall around her

Photo by Pavel Danilyuk on Pexels

Whether it's buying a home, starting a business, or building an emergency fund, having clear financial goals helps you stay focused. Break down these goals into smaller, manageable steps and set deadlines to keep yourself accountable. Having clear, meaningful goals makes it easier to stick to your budget. Whether you're saving for a vacation, a house, retirement, or even a personal treat like a new tattoo or a special edition book, knowing what you’re working towards can help you resist impulsive spending and keep your head in the game.

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