You’ve probably heard at some point that women typically earn less than men. But why is that and what does it really mean?
In 2015, women earned on average about 80% as much as men in the United States. This gap has narrowed slightly since the 1970s, but not a whole lot. Factors that affect this gap include the state you live in, your race, and your age, among other things. Younger women tend to have a smaller gap to deal with than older women. White and Asian women tend to have a smaller gap than Hispanic or African American women. And if you happen to live in Wyoming or Louisiana or several other states, you are more likely to have an even larger gap than the average.
Much data also suggests that women earn less after having children, even if they don’t take a significant amount of time off. Ironically, men with children make more than men without. Women with children who work are often perceived as having a lower level of commitment. While men with children are seen as having more responsibilities and stability.
It also doesn’t help that women tend to go into fields that pay less. Only 14% of petroleum engineers are women and the median pay for that job is $136,000 a year. Yet, over 96% of early childhood educators are women and the average income for that field is only $39,000.
Many of the higher paying careers out there require a significant investment in education and then don’t necessarily pay the big bucks until you have years of experience.
Anyone with a dream of getting a degree and going into one of these fields, should certainly explore that option and do what you can to make it happen. I’m certainly not here to discourage anyone from that. However, if you’re past that stage in your life or don’t have the time or energy to go back to school or handle a career change, it’s time to consider other ways to improve your finances.
Why Multiple Streams of Income are Essential
We are firm believers in having multiple streams of income. With more than one income source, you are not left in a dire situation should one of those sources dry up.
An income stream is simply one method of making money. A job is an income stream. A business is an income stream. Other income streams may include retirement income, child support, or an annuity. Income streams may come and go. Some income streams may be consistent and some may only pay every once in a while. The more income streams you have access to, the less risky your financial situation is.
Are you a single woman with no kids? Then you are on your own. If you lose your day job, how long can you survive before you are going to have to move back in with your parents, or worse, become homeless?
Are you a married, stay at home mom? What happens if your spouse loses his job or leaves you? What if he dies? Obviously these are things no one wants to think about. But the reality is that these things sometimes happen. It’s not smart to think it can’t happen to you.
Are you a single mother? Then everything falls on you. If you are lucky enough to get child support, what if it stops?
Are you married and in a dual income household? You may have the most stable situation, but only if you don’t have substantial debt or a spending issue. Are you living within your means? What if one of you lost your job? Would you be able to make it without much sacrifice, or are you spending every dime you both make?
No matter what your personal situation is, there is always a risk that you could lose everything. One of the best ways to decrease that risk is to have more than one stream of income.
As women, we are already at a disadvantage when it comes to making money. If you are totally dependent on a job or a spouse to provide your financial security, you are shortchanging yourself.
The Online Business Solution
Working online and at home is a viable solution for many women who want or need to improve their own financial situation or that of their family. The beauty of working online is that you can still be a stay-at-home mom, if that’s what you want. If you have a day job, you can keep it. You don’t have to give up your current situation in order to start making more money. If you have kids, you can work when they sleep or are otherwise occupied. If your day job keeps you busy, you can fit in an online business in the evenings or on weekends. An online business can be an additional income stream. Eventually, it might even be a full-time income that can support your whole family. It seems like an impossibility, but it’s not.
If you’d like to find out more about different online businesses including becoming a virtual assistant, a blogger, a freelance writer, an online seller, or more, please be sure to sign up for our email list. We provide a ton of free information that is exclusive to our subscribers.