Creating Financial Independence in Your Life

By Cheryl Saban, Intent

Recognition for the significance of your contributions and the validity of your participation in the overall economic stability of your life is an important factor in the development of your self-concept. Please consider the following basic tools to get you started on your path to financial freedom.

  • Get a clear understanding of your financial status; calculate your net worth by adding up your cash assets, property, and personal belongings, and then subtract your debt, including home mortgage and credit cards. You’ll have an instant idea of your net worth. One general paradigm to use as a guide: a healthy net worth equals your age times 10 percent of your pretax income. What a wake-up call, eh?
  • Manage and track your spending. You’ll soon see where you over-indulge.
  • Start a savings account, and save as much as you can. You’ll need it, trust me.
  • Reduce credit card spending. Duh.
  • Ask for a raise. Duh.
  • Be reasonable with yourself; if you can only save a little, then save a little. Remember the old adage that “if you put a little on a little, soon you will have a lot.”
  • Protect yourself: maintain a marketable skill. Continue to learn – even when you must duck out of the job market periodically to have children, or attend to other family responsibilities, you want to be able to jump back in when you’re ready.
  • Retain a financial advisor.
  • Adhere to the basics of financial planning: spend less, save and invest more, and follow a plan.
  • If you’re married, know what your personal financial liabilities are. If your husband or partner declares bankruptcy, you could be forced to claim bankruptcy too. What then?
  • Make sure you have adequate insurance coverage.
  • Help yourself. Take some responsibility for your own future. Open a retirement account, like a 401(k), or IRA, and invest as much as you can in it.
  • Be honest and open about your feelings and expectations regarding financial arrangements.
  • Communicate. Work out a harmonious budget that brings into balance all the contributions both of you make to your life together.

In my final posts, I will discuss one of the most important aspects of creating a sense of self-worth and that is to give back to your fellow women in ways both big and small Ready to asses your self-worth? Post your intent and blog about your journey, tagging your posts “self worth” We may feature your post in this series! provides content and community for who you aspire to be–personally, socially and globally.


Heidi Aubrey
Heidi Aubrey5 years ago

If you do nothing else, make sure you know every single aspect of your partners financial picture BEFORE you get married. Most states have common law marriage debt. That means whatever he owes, however much, when you marry, YOU ASSUME 1/2 of that DEBT.

If he defaults, ever, your next on the debtor's hit list and they will garnish your wages in a heartbeat. They will put liens on your property, his poor credit will become YOURS automatically-no house loan, no car loan, no furniture loans, no credit cards.

Believe me, KNOW your partner's credit, debt and history for paying both before you fall head over wallet.

Janine F.
Janine F6 years ago


Gordana Roljic
Gordana Roljic7 years ago

good to know

Lupe G.
Guadalupe G7 years ago

I have just been hit with the burden of paying for the house on my own (taxes, repairs, mortgage, insurance, etc.)& I barely make enough to pay mortgage & buy minimal groceries at this moment. I am now forced to buy a car to get to work (another financial burden) & see that I will need to get a second job just to make ends meet because a raise is definitely out of the question (plus now they're taking huge tax chunks out of our paychecks) & for the time being, I cannot afford to invest in a 401k or IRA!

Arild Warud


Alison A.
Alison A7 years ago

I am very aware of my financial situation, but this is good advice to people who are not, thanks for posting.

David N.
David N7 years ago

Thanks for the article. I already do most of these, however, I haven't done enough.

Marge F.
Marge F7 years ago

Thank-you for the informative article. While some valuable points were stated, they obviously are not for everyone. I was a RN in a hospital & didn't even think about asking my Nurse Manager for a raise. While she may have liked to, where would she get the money from. The hospital was a non-profit teaching community hospital that a high indigent population. Reimbursement from the government was less than what was spent. Thus, why ask your boss for a raise. I received one once a year along with my annual evaluation. The hospital I had worked for struggled to stay open but unfortunately joined the growing list of closed hospitals. Something I have done for many years as a result of hearing a financial advisor on a talk show on TV (both were very reputable) was I paid myself first. The financial advisor advised when paying your monthly bills, pick an amount that would work within your budget & pay yourself as if doing so was another bill. Put the money in a savings account & just let it grow. So I opened a separate savings account where my designated amount was put into. When it accumulated to a sizable amount I'd consult with my financial advisor & then would use the money somewhere where it would give me more of a return on the dollar. There was one rule I made & maintain doing so, once I deposited my "payment to myself" the money stayed put. Even if you only put 5% of you're monthly income you'll be surprised how it grows. Good luck! I thank-you for readi

Past Member
Inari T7 years ago

Some good advice.
Another tip: I didn't realise that accepting all those pre-approved increases of credit limits on my various credit cards could actually be a bad idea, even if I didn't use them - apparently, just having the potential to be in debt over my ears was a negative in assessing my credit-worthiness when I asked my Credit Union for a car loan! (In the end, I bought the car using the lowest interest-rate credit card, which was the same rate as the dealer's finance company, but more than the Credit Union's loan rate.)
It's never too late to learn something useful. :-)

Carole L.
Carole L7 years ago

Great advice? But what exactly is adequate insurance coverage?