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Financial Study

Source: Civic Science / MadameNoire

Black women are handling business, especially when it comes to their personal finances. We partnered with Civic Science to conduct the MadameNoire Financial Behavior Study in which we polled more than 500 Black women 18 years of age and older to learn more about their money habits and, despite the negative rhetoric around our net worth, we are making strides when it comes to saving. Here are the highlights from our survey:

  • More than 60 percent of participants are actively investing in their financial future by saving money monthly, and many are doing so aggressively.
  • Approximately 15 percent of those polled earmark 11-20% of their monthly income for savings.
  • Readers between the ages of 18-29 are twice as likely than any other group to save 20 percent or more of their income.

“Black women should clap for themselves,” says Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche. “Black women are one of the most educated and entrepreneurial groups in the country. We’re making serious “money moves”, and it’s so important to develop healthy savings habits as well.”

When it comes to saving, Black women are particularly focused on retirement. Our poll also found that 78 percent of women have a retirement plan and are actively making contributions.  According to Aliche, investing in the future is another savvy financial choice. “After saving 3-12 months for an emergency fund, retirement investment should happen right away,” she advises. “Take full advantage of your 401k if your employer offers a matching program. If not, open an individual retirement account (IRA), which has many of the same benefits.”

These economic strides are particularly impressive as recent studies reveal that Black women are frequently unfairly compensated in the workforce. “Unfortunately, there’s still a wage gap between Black women and other ethnic groups,” says Aliche. “In many cases, we still earn less per dollar when performing the exact same work, which can make saving money more challenging.”

Saving is a lifestyle. Experts suggest that individuals focus on stashing away money in three areas: an emergency fund, a retirement account, and a regular savings account. For those new to saving, an emergency fund with an initial benchmark of $1,000 should be the first priority. “The biggest mistake I see folks who are new to the savings game make is actually trusting themselves to transfer money over to their savings account,” warns Aliche. “Automate it.”

Additional poll findings:

  • Black women with less education save a lower percentage of their income than those with more education.
  • Black women who earn higher incomes save more money.
  • Savers were most likely to put away 1-5% of their income each month.
Interested in learning more about the financial habits of Black women? You can find additional study highlights here.
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