On March 8, the world will celebrate International Women’s Day with the campaign theme #BalanceforBetter. People will commemorate the special day by calling for a more gender-balanced world.
Make a positive difference for women by realizing your full potential in this exciting stage of your life. Here are 10 things to start doing in your 20’s.
#1: Choose and commit to a career path
You have earned your degree and are equipped with the skills to excel at work. It is time to stop jumping from one employer to another; choose your career path and commit to it. Here's a tip: quit comparing yourself with your peers. Some of your high school classmates may be navigating the globe in their 20’s while others are managing their own businesses. You may only have chosen your path now, but that doesn't mean that you are lagging behind. An empowered woman lives life at her own pace.
#2: Make a weekly/monthly budget and stick with it
How to become successful in your 20’s? Be a financially independent woman. How you treat every peso dictates your overall finances. “The principles of wealth are true regarding large amounts and small amounts. It all begins with the smallest unit of currency,” wrote Hendrith Smith in the book “The Wealth Reference Guide: An American Classic.”
Make it a habit to create a weekly or monthly budget and stick with it. Gone are the days of impulse spending. Know how to avoid temptations that might ruin your budget such as skipping the daily trips to the coffee shop with your officemates.
#3: Pay off or manage your debts
It is easy to get trapped in debts in your 20’s. One wrong decision can put you in a vicious cycle of incurring obligations and paying loan interests. The simple lesson here is NOT to spend more than your means. If you have indeed incurred loans, whether from banks or family and friends, make sure you pay these off or at least keep them updated before making any large expenditure.
Want to travel abroad? Build a travel fund instead of using your credit card. Remember that simply paying the minimum amount due will not reduce your principal obligation. Pay off your entire bill, otherwise, do not use the plastic card at all!
#4: Get adequate insurance cover
Life is full of uncertainties. You may be doing your usual activities in the past weeks, but you wouldn't know when a medical emergency will strike. Even a three-day hospitalization can push you to financial ruin. It is impossible to foresee illnesses, accidents, and other similar occurrences, but as an empowered woman, you can protect your finances by getting adequate insurance coverage.
An HMO shall pay for in-patient and out-patient expenses in the event of a medical emergency. It is advisable to secure a health insurance that will cover critical illnesses in the future. If you are a breadwinner, a life insurance can help ensure your dependents would be financially supported upon your demise.
#5: Boost your savings
An empowered woman doesn't ask for dole outs. She takes responsibility for her own finances. Your early 20’s, when you are just joining the workforce, is the best time to start saving. Make it a habit to automatically set aside 20 percent of your disposable income. You can put it in a passbook account, separate from your payroll account.
Build an emergency fund that is typically equivalent to 3 to 6 months of your expenses. Then create a pot for long-term funds that may be placed in a time deposit account.
#6: Move out of your parents’ house
Perhaps the most evident proof of independence is being able to get your own place. By moving out of your parents’ house, you will be in charge of paying the rent, bills, and groceries. You will also be obliged to clean the house, do the laundry, and cook your meals by yourself. Without your parents sheltering you from daily responsibilities, you will be forced to straighten out your habits, particularly your spending behaviors and time management.
Condo renting is best for young professionals like yourself. DMCI Homes condo projects are strategically located near transport networks, business districts, and commercial hubs. This helps you save time commuting, allowing you time for housekeeping chores.
#7: Start your investments
Gone are the days when women are financially dependent on men. Today, women have high-paying jobs, lead organizations, and manage their businesses. True to this year’s theme for International Women's Day, women are working together to promote a more gender-balanced world. You can do your part by being a role model for other females in your life.
Start investing in your 20’s. You can explore stock and bonds investment, mutual funds, and forex trading. You can also run your own consultancy firm, or buy a condo you can lease out. DMCI Homes Leasing Services can help you find prospective tenants, prepare the leasing agreement, and secure the rent.
#8: Keep on educating yourself
The Greek philosopher Socrates once said that “education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.” An empowered woman continues to learn whether it is related to her chosen field or a new interest. Your 20’s is a perfect time to pursue further education. Consider going to graduate school, law school, or medical school. You can also enroll in short courses (Distance Education is a convenient option for busy professionals).
Educating yourself doesn't necessarily need that you go back to school. You can read books, watch documentary films, listen to podcasts, or watch online videos.
#9: Give back
Whatever blessings you receive in your life, make it a habit to give back to others. You can support an organization that advocates a movement that you strongly believe in. It may be for affordable education, gender equality, children and women rights, or the environment.
Here's an idea: spearhead a book drive for a library in a public school. You should know that there are depressed areas in the metro and across the country where children do not have access to new and relevant books. You can have your family and friends help you spread the word and gather book donations.
#10: Take self-care by heart
An independent woman takes self-care by heart. This is not a trend she is obliged to participate in, but an obligation to herself. She makes healthy lifestyle choices and takes pride in them. An empowered woman takes care of her physical, mental, and emotional health.
What to do at your 20’s? Indulge in a diet that suits your physiological profile (talk to your doctor about it). You should also engage in regular physical activities. An average adult should get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week.
Whether it is International Women's Day or not, make a positive difference for women by being a role model. Embark on a career of your own choosing, be financially independent, and take care of yourself. Finally, learn to give back to others and let good karma surround you.