Updated: 4 days ago

By Novi Wealth Partners

Things have drastically changed for women in the past few decades. Not only do women now make up 50% of the workforce, (1) but they are also starting to play an increasingly important role in managing their household’s finances. Gone are the days when husbands were the only ones in control of the family’s money (2).

It’s good news that women are starting to take ownership of their finances because they tend to face financial challenges not often faced by men. Despite all their progress, women typically earn 81 cents of every dollar earned by men, (3) and they usually spend fewer years in the workplace because they may take time off work to raise children or take care of elderly parents. Because women generally live about 6-8 years longer than men, (4) women have fewer years to save a higher percentage of their income, so they can fund their longer retirement.

Doesn’t seem fair, right?

That’s why women need to be even more informed about their financial opportunities and how to maximize what they have. Here are a few key principles all women should know about personal finance in order to succeed.

Know Where Your Money Is Going

To reach your financial goals, you need to track your spending. Even if you have a high net worth, you may be surprised at how much more you could save if you cut unnecessary purchases. It could potentially equate to thousands more by the time you retire.

While it’s estimated that 85% of women make the primary decisions about their family’s day-to-day finances, that number drops down to 58% when it comes to making decisions about longer-term retirement and investment planning. Since having a long-term plan impacts short-term decisions and behaviors, women need to be involved in all aspects of a household’s finances(5).

If you’ve left budgeting or planning up to your spouse or partner until now, set aside one night a week to go over the details and get on the same page. It could save you a lot of heartache and frustration down the road should something ever happen to your spouse or your relationship.

Get Creative With Your Saving

Once your budget is solid, start finding ways to save more money. There are typically two ways to do this: decrease spending or increase income. The most effective way is a combination of both.

Small everyday purchases add up to a large amount of money over time. Think about ways you can decrease spending without depriving yourself. Could you make your own coffee throughout the week instead of grabbing a cup on your way into the office? If you want to increase income, could you ask for a raise at your current job, rent out your spare bedroom, or start a side job?

Whatever you do, make sure you take advantage of your retirement plan. Whether it’s an employer-sponsored plan or a personal plan, contribute as much as you can—especially if you’re near retirement. You’ll thank yourself later.

Invest With Confidence

Investing is a great way for women to close the gender pay gap and save extra money for retirement. Did you know women typically have a 0.4% higher return on investments than men? (6) It’s true. But women are also more likely to keep their money in a low-risk savings account than in investments because their earned dollars are more precious to them. Breaking this cycle and having a strong investment portfolio gets you one step closer to reaching your financial goals—and living your dream life in retirement.

Find A Trusted Partner

Given the right tools and education, women can succeed in reaching every financial goal they set for themselves. It may be overwhelming at first, but the more you know about investing and the more you do it, the easier it becomes. The best way to gain momentum in reaching your financial goals is to seek help from a professional.

At Novi Wealth Partners, we can help you build a financial plan and investment portfolio that works for you. Want to learn more? Call ​(609) 921-7002 or email info@noviwealth.com to get started.

About Novi Wealth Partners

Novi Wealth Partners is an independent, fee-only comprehensive financial planning firm dedicated to empowering clients to discover their definition of true wealth while providing the confidence to achieve it. With 20+ years of experience, we have found that most people don’t care about money, but instead, they care about what money can do for them and their loved ones. As a result, we focus on guiding our clients to find their unique vision for their life and developing a plan to help them live out their values. Our goal is to truly understand our clients on a personal level and help them navigate life’s many changes.

We are located in Princeton, New Jersey and we service clients both locally and nationally. There are four CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® practitioners in the firm, all of whom are members of the prestigious National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) and the Financial Planning Association (FPA). We prioritize a team-based approach, which allows us to deliver comprehensive financial planning, investment management, tax planning advice, retirement planning, estate planning advice, risk management advice, and concierge level wealth management. We are committed to providing each of our clients a level of service as unique as they are and we are proud, as Fee-Only™ financial advisors, to offer unbiased financial expertise. To learn more about Novi Wealth Partners or to get started on your financial journey, visit our website or connect with us on LinkedIn.


(1) https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/01/10/january-2020-jobs-report/

(2) https://www.thestreet.com/personal-finance/women-are-the-new-cfo-of-the-household-14089470

(3) https://www.payscale.com/data/gender-pay-gap

(4) https://www.who.int/gho/women_and_health/mortality/situation_trends_life_expectancy/en/

(5) https://www.ubs.com/global/en/media/display-page-ndp/en-20190306-study-reveals-multi-generational-problem.html

(6) https://www.reuters.com/article/us-money-investing-women/why-women-are-better-investors-study-idUSKBN18Y2D7

October is Cyber Security Awareness month.  At Novi Wealth Partners protecting your data and account information is very important to us.  To increase internet security, we will be activating dual-factor authentication for the Novi Wealth portal.  It will take effect October 1, 2020.  

What this means to you and how it will affect your experience:  

If dual-factor authentication is already enabled for your portal, no action is needed. 

If dual-factor authentication is not enabled, the first time you log in after September 30, 2020 you will be asked to verify your security challenge questions and then be given the opportunity to add a phone number and the choice of either receiving a text or a call with your secure access code.  This extra step will provide additional security for your data.  If you prefer, you will also be given the opportunity to opt out of dual-factor authentication. 

Click here to learn more about the benefits of dual-factor (DFA), also referred to as multi-factor (MFA), authentication from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

Click here to learn more about the benefits of having good password hygiene from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

At Novi Wealth Partners we participate in a firm-wide annual cyber security training session. Now, you can join us and watch our 2020 training session presented by our IT partner Alpine Business Systems. 

Click here to view on YouTube

Feel free to watch the entire 30-minute presentation, or skip to these highlights:

Minute 17:00 - Passwords, your single most important defense against cyber crime

Minute 18:22 – Dual-Factor (MFA) protection

Minute 20:18 – Protecting your PII (Personally Identifiable Information)  

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

The Breakthrough.

March 16, 2020. 6 months and 2 weeks ago. Novi Wealth’s work from home began. 

When I first arranged the announcement that the Novi Wealth team would begin working from home, I still had a vacation to Hawaii planned in May. I thought for sure this would be over by then.  Two weeks later, New York was placed on lock down and my husband, Donavan, was told he would be on furlough for the “foreseeable future.”

Admittedly, my husband’s furlough should have been the wake-up call that it was time to bring out our budget book but actually it wasn’t until my gym closed and suspended membership costs that I finally sat down to look at what we were (and were not) spending.

Firstly: I hate the word budget. It’s like the word diet. It makes reviewing the inflow and outflow of cashflow seem like a fad that I won’t keep up with. And, considering that reviewing a budget is time consuming and no fun, I prefer to think of it as a spending plan. Why? Because plans change. Deviation happens. Framing it that way helps me remember that a spending plan is a constantly changing and ever flexible tool.

My spending plan is based on the 50/30/20 Budget Plan Template which breaks down expenses in Necessities, Wants, and Savings. The goal being to attribute 50% of income to necessities, 30% to wants, and 20% to building up an emergency fund.  When we created our spending plan, it makes sense to determine what constituted a “necessity” versus a “want,” but I never thought to define what an emergency was.

It seems silly now, but five months ago, my husband and I had to debate what constituted an emergency? We have worked so hard to build our emergency savings fund – but had never stopped to determine what an emergency looked like. If we were to dip into our savings, how much would we need? What should it cover?

The Breakdown.

We went over the questions that came up because of the COVID-19 lockdown, but here is how we arrived at our answers.

Step One: Income.

Since my income was not changing, we already had one figure. A quick Google search provided the approximate answer of how much Donavan could expect weekly from NYC unemployment and the PUA stipend. So once we had an approximation of total income, we had to decide how it would be spent.

Step Two:  Necessities/Life Needs

In our households, necessities can be explained as anything needed to make life functional. Rent, food, transportation, utilities, and loans. 

Quickly breaking it down, we made the following approximations:

  • Rent → No change.

  • Food → Food is life in my house and since Donavan is a literal chef, I knew we would not want to skimp on our grocery allotment. We figured we would be home twice as much and would eat twice as much.

  • Transportation →Greatly reduced. We still had car payments but at most we’d each fill our gas tanks once a month but train tickets, parking garage fees, bus and subway fare were eliminated  

  • Utilities → again, we figured we would be home twice and would use twice as much in most utilities.

  • Loans → The majority of our loans are federal; so this expense was reduced.

Step Three: Wants

Lockdown is difficult. At the time that Donovan and I reviewed our spending plan, we were four weeks into what we thought was a lockdown which would last another 4-6 weeks. We’d previously agreed to a once-a-week takeaway. Other than that, we tried to limit luxuries without complete elimination. Instead of trying to assign a percentage of our remaining budget to spend, we settled on an amount of money per month for little luxuries.

Step Four: Savings

This was both the hardest and easiest part. At this point, we calculated, that we would be able to cover Necessities and Wants with our Total Income. In fact, knowing that we’d overestimated some of our necessities (like utilities, which we know would increase but not exactly double since some utilities are fixed amounts – like garbage) – we figured we already had a built-in cushion. Still, we would not be able to save what we were used to. 

Ultimately, we decided that we could still save 10%, with the agreement that if there were month with “extra” from our cushion that money would also go into our saving account.

The Breakaway.

We’ve made changes to how we travel, shop, and eat out. It is just as important that you make changes to your spending plan. It may not simple or quick, but it is necessary to revise your plan as you revise your life. The little and sometimes difficult changes early will minimize many issues and put you on the right track for the future. And, of course, the Novi Wealth team is always happy to help if you need some guidance.

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