Seeking Financial Independence: 6 Strategies for SuccessJuly 6, 2017
This post was sponsored by The Allstate Foundation as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
Having access to one’s bank account is something many of us may take for granted, but there are countless victims of financial abuse that have this right stolen from them. They are financially dependent on their abuser and this keeps them stuck in the cycle of abuse. However, Allstate Foundation Purple Purse is working hard to disrupt this vicious cycle and make a positive difference in the lives of those that have been abused!
Did you know that financial abuse occurs in 99% of all domestic violence cases? Isn’t that a shocking statistic? I can’t believe the number is that high. In fact, financial dependence is the #1 reason why victims stay in abusive relationships. The Allstate Foundation Purple Purse is trying to empower those that are abused by providing the resources that they need to attain financial independence. One of my close friends was in an abusive relationship for many years. Regarding her financial abuse, here are some of the things that she experienced:
- she could not control her own bank account
- her abuser accrued debts in her name
- she was not able to spend her own money
- she was forced to hand over all her earned money
This cycle of abuse continued for quite a while for my friend, until she realized that she deserved better and took steps to gain independence. If you’re looking to free yourself from a financial abuser, here are my tips for success:
1. Safeguard your financial records!
When it comes to securing independence over one’s financial life, it’s important to gather all vital records, such as birth certificate, driver’s license, bank account info, etc. Make sure you have all your financial pins & passwords written down securely so you know how to access all of your accounts. Consider opening a safety deposit box to store all your important records & passwords. Furthermore, be sure to close any joint accounts, so that your partner won’t be able to accrue a balance, for which you would be responsible.
2. Assess your financial situation!
Take some time to honestly assess your financial picture. Do you have a joint credit card account with your partner that has a significant balance on it? Do you know the password to pay your utility bill every month? Is your health insurance paid for the next month? Do you have more money coming in than going out each month, and if so, by how much? By figuring out the ins and outs of your finances ahead of time, you’ll be in a better position once you are fully independent.
3. Build an emergency fund!
One of the most fundamental tenets of a smart financial plan is the establishment of a savings account. Building and maintaining an emergency fund for all those unexpected expenses along the way is vital. Strive to maintain at least eight months’ worth of your living expenses in a savings account.
4. Reduce your debt!
If your credit cards have balances that are carried over from month to month, work toward paying it off. Otherwise, the balance will accrue interest and you will wind up paying more over the long run. Figure out how much money you can set aside each month toward your debts (credit cards, car loans, mortgage, student loans, etc.) and set up an automatic transfer of that amount from your checking account.
5. Focus on that credit score!
Your credit score is a quantitative assessment of your overall financial picture. If you have a lot of debt and don’t pay it on time every month, your credit score will suffer. On the other hand, if you always make your payments on time and have a relatively low debt amount, your credit score will be higher. With a higher credit score, you can benefit from lower interest rates throughout your life.
6. Get help!
Don’t assume that you are alone. There are numerous programs and organizations that are designed to help those in need. Local domestic violence programs, faith-based organizations, shelters, etc. all usually have resources available to help those trying to seek independence from an abuser. Allstate Foundation Purple Purse has many programs designed to empower those that have been financially dependent on another individual. Reach out and get the assistance you need.
Since one of my close friends experienced financial abuse for many years, I am passionate about bringing awareness to this important topic. I love that Allstate Foundation Purple Purse seeks to end domestic violence and financial abuse by educating & encouraging those that have been abused. In fact, the organization runs various fundraising initiatives for local, state & national nonprofits that offer vital financial empowerment resources to survivors of domestic violence. Support these efforts by donating to PurplePurse.com today!
To keep up-to-date on the latest from Allstate Foundation Purple Purse, be sure to check them out on Facebook and Twitter. Curious to learn more about the prevalence on financial abuse? Check out this compelling video from The Allstate Foundation to learn more today:
Have you ever experienced financial abuse? Would you like to support the efforts of Allstate Foundation Purple Purse to help those that are abused?
My husband insisted on an emergency fund and I am glad he did. We needed that when the federal government shut down a few years ago and he was out of work for 6 weeks.
Financial abuse is scary. I had a friend in that very situation. I like that Allstate does this for women.
I make sure to check my credit score at least once a month. It dropped a little bit when I added my husband as a user on my credit card, but shortly went up after.
Thanks for sharing and bring awareness to financial abuse. I didn’t know that financial abuse was a thing.
You always think of physical abuse when you think of abuse. I was actually completely unaware of financial abuse. I am glad that you have made me aware of it. I do a lot of these things naturally as far as making an emergency fund, but there is always more that can be done.
A friend of mine had an abuser that accrued all sorts of debts in her name. It is kind of a nightmare!
Financial abuse is awful, my ex left me with a lot of debt luckily I had people around who could help, but he was a very abusive person and the debt was just the start of it.
I so love that Allstate is doing this! And your list is so important. Financial abuse sounds terrifying.
It’s so true! One reason my mother never left my boyfriend’s dad after I told her he was molesting me was financial dependency. It really sucked that she wouldn’t leave him. Eventually I ran away because of her decision to stay with him but it really strained our relationship and to this day I can’t talk to her. She had her parents living right next door, she could have asked for help.
Financial abuse isn’t talked about very often, but it is such a big deal. It’s a type of abuse that makes it very hard to leave.
Not something that we often think about, but so important. It’s great that Allstate is stepping up and helping with this.
Abuse comes in many forms and money is such an easy way to control someone because it is needed for everything from food to housing. It is important to let people know how real this is and I am glad that Allstate is trying to help.
Financial abuse is a new term to me, but I have heard more about it in the last year than ever. (my mom trained to work with abuse victims)
Awesome tips here.
These are sound tips for everyone. I hadn’t heard of the Purple Purse campaign but think it’s a great idea.
These are great tips! I know that it takes a lot of discipline to follow these tips.
Financial abuse sounds so scary. I can’t imagine myself in this situation. I’m glad that Allstate is doing this.
Awareness and information about such things is important to all. And instances like this show us how much necessary it is to keep a chunk of your earnings as savings for hard and tough times. Financial independence is something everyone should be aware of.
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Building an emergency fund is oh so important. It is something I’m trying to teach my older kids.