How to Be a Financially Independent Woman in the Philippines

Rouselle Isla

Rouselle Isla

Last updated March 05, 2024

According to the 2019 InLife Sheroes Landmark Study on Women, six in 10 Filipinas handle the household budget. However, only 21% set aside money for their own savings, and those who do so can only allocate 3% of their budget for that purpose.[1]

Moreover, per the 2021 Financial Inclusion Survey of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, women need to catch up when it comes to insurance and investments compared to men.[2]  

Many barriers prevent women from achieving financial empowerment. But today, the Filipino woman knows she can do more than run the household and manage the monthly family budget—she's changing the narrative by taking control of her financial future and learning how to be an independent woman. 

What is Financial Independence and Why is It Important for Women? 

how to be an independent woman - what is financial independence and why is it important

The meaning of financial independence can differ for every woman. For some, financial independence means to retire early (FIRE)

Others define financial independence as the ability to fulfill financial obligations without help from family members or to live comfortably and cover expenses without being burdened by debt. 

Other examples of financial independence include building an emergency fund that can support monthly expenses for at least six months, maintaining one to three credit cards and paying the balances in full every month, and carrying little to zero debt. 

Financial independence is essential because it allows you to be in control of your life and time. You enjoy greater peace of mind because you’re financially prepared for anything. More importantly, you have the flexibility to pursue your goals and turn your dreams into reality.

👉 Financial Freedom vs Financial Independence

Wondering what’s the difference between financial freedom vs. financial independence? Many start their journey by achieving financial independence and then working towards financial freedom.

Thus, financial independence is the path toward financial freedom, which is the pinnacle of financial success. You can afford to do anything you want and live your dream life without worrying about where to get the money.  

Apply for a UnionBank personal loan via Moneymax

Challenges Women Face in Achieving Financial Independence

how to be an independent woman - challenges

For many women, becoming financially independent is easier said than done. If you’re struggling to become an independent woman because of financial challenges, you’re not alone.

Here are the biggest difficulties women face in achieving financial independence:    

❌ Financial Abuse

Any act that makes or attempts to make a woman financially dependent is economic abuse.[3] This form of abuse is often overlooked but extremely harmful because it controls a woman’s ability to acquire, use, and maintain economic resources to achieve financial security and self-sufficiency.[4]

When this happens, women don’t have the financial resources to live independently. They have no or limited access to savings, investments, and assets. Plus, their employment opportunities are not prioritized and are often sabotaged.  

❌ Difficulty Making Ends Meet

Many women are barely able to manage financially. Maybe because their income isn’t sufficient, or there are just too many people financially dependent on them. As a result, there’s hardly any money left for their own needs. 

This is a very stressful situation, especially when it’s starting to feel like you’re living life just to work and pay the bills.  

❌ Lack of Financial Preparation  

Whether it’s a single- or double-income household, paying for everything and leaving some money for savings is truly challenging. It’s tough when there are just too many expenses every month. 

Because you’re barely making ends meet, it’s normal to forego saving in such situations. If there’s a lack of money or financial support, the natural thing to do is spend your money on the bare essentials.

Sadly, a lot of women have become resigned or used to living paycheck to paycheck. However, finding a way to save money is critical regardless of the situation. If you keep thinking that you just don’t have enough money to set aside for savings, you’ll be stuck with this scarcity mindset and most likely not do anything to improve your lack of financial stability. 

Read more: Tired of Living Paycheck to Paycheck? Live Within Your Means with These Tips

❌ Lack of Confidence in Investments

According to the BSP 2021 Financial Inclusion Survey, only 8% of Filipino women know how to invest, compared to 13% of men who do.

In general, women are more likely to take a conservative approach to money and investments. This lack of confidence in letting assets grow becomes a financial obstacle. They hesitate to ask questions or take the initiative to explore and learn more.

As a result, women fail to take full advantage of many available investment opportunities. 

❌ Lifestyle Inflation 

It’s a fact of life. The more experience you gain and the better you become at your job, the bigger opportunities and salaries you get. And when your salary increases, so does your spending.

You’ll want to upgrade your home, car, or wardrobe. After all, the natural tendency when you have money is to spend it.

You’re trading up your old lifestyle for a more expensive one. Why? Because you can afford it. 

However, this limits your capacity to build wealth and strengthen your financial future. 

❌ No Savings for Retirement 

Women are nurturers and carers by nature. They still carry most of the responsibilities when it comes to their children, younger siblings, elderly parents, and home. Since much of their time is spent caring for others, there’s not a lot of opportunity for women to earn and save. 

Hence, long-term plans like savings, investments, and retirement are usually the last things on their minds. 

However, saving money for retirement is crucial because of the decreased employment and income opportunities when you’re older. Also, if you build up a nice little nest egg for yourself, you won’t have to depend financially on your children or relatives. You can afford the life you want.  

How to be an Independent Woman and Achieve Financial Independence

how to be an independent woman

Learning how to be strong, independent women doesn’t happen overnight. But with the right mindset, hard work, and a sound financial strategy, you can overcome any financial challenge and secure your future. 

Follow these steps to financial independence: 

Step 1: Define Your Goals 

How important is establishing goals in pursuing financial independence? By establishing your financial goals, you’re also building a financial roadmap that will guide your efforts. 

Define your short-term and long-term financial goals, such as earning a certain income, hitting a savings target, or investing in particular assets. Ask yourself what being financially comfortable means to you.

Related: How to Achieve Financial Goals

Step 2: Take Control of Your Financial Education 

These days, financial education is just a few clicks and taps away 24/7. There are so many ways to learn about money and investments for free. 

Sift through helpful content and resources. You can watch YouTube videos, read blogs, download e-books, join webinars, and follow financial gurus on social media.

Step 3: Start Earning More 

The truth is, being frugal and slashing unnecessary expenses can only get you so far. Shift your focus to making more money. 

You can explore side hustles, like freelancing or opening an online shop. Consider asking for a raise or looking for a higher-paying job. 

Step 4: Save, Save, Save

It’s essential to have a robust emergency fund or cash cushion when many life-altering crises are just waiting to happen. Your savings can serve as a lifesaver for different kinds of scenarios. 

So save―even if it’s just a small amount―and save regularly. As you earn more, strive to save more than you spend on lifestyle expenses. 

Read more: 

Step 5: Recognize the Pitfalls of Lifestyle Inflation 

Instead of increasing your spending when your income increases, spend only on things that will improve your quality of life, such as a bigger house to accommodate your growing family, a bigger and more reliable car, or a full-time helper to manage the house when you’re working. 

Eliminate unnecessary expenses. The extra funds can pay off loans or credit card balances, boost your savings or emergency fund, or increase your investments.   

Step 6: Build Good Credit

If you want to qualify for the best financial products that will help you achieve your goals, you must also build good credit. Manage your credit cards and personal loans responsibly. 

This way, you can improve your credit score and get a higher credit limit or better loan terms and approval rates for future applications.  

Step 7: Get Insurance Coverage 

When disability or critical illness strikes, your efforts to achieve financial independence can get derailed. An insurance coverage ensures financial protection for you and your loved ones and prevents you from dipping into your savings and emergency fund. 

You can benefit from its payout as you seek treatment or recover. Plus, you won’t have to worry about how to pay for your medical and living expenses. 

Step 8: Start Investing

Savings and insurance coverage are important—but they’re not the be-all and end-all if you’re looking for wealth accumulation. Also, the value of your savings may not keep up with the effects of inflation, so you should start investing. 

Seek guidance from financial advisors, friends, and family members who know much about money and investments. Don’t be scared of investment jargon. Contrary to popular belief, building a diversified investment portfolio is not complicated. 

And you don’t need to be an expert. A helpful tip is to find an asset allocation that’s right for you and your needs—and stick to it. 

Read more: Live a Rich Life: This Netflix Show Tells You How

Step 9: Plan for Your Retirement  

Do it while you’re still single and don’t have a lot of financial responsibilities yet. Keep your retirement savings in your monthly budget, even when you have a family. The rule of thumb is to put away 15% of your gross annual earnings for your retirement fund

The sooner you start saving and investing, the more time you have for your money to grow. Let the power of compounding work for you! 

If you feel you’re not earning enough, explore more income streams. There are plenty of ways you can earn money these days while you’re at home. 

Read more: Avoid These 9 Mistakes for a Comfortable Retirement

Apply for an UNO Loan via Moneymax today

Final Thoughts

It’s normal to feel overwhelmed by everything you need to work and pay for. Add to that the lack of financial resources and many other obstacles women hurdle on a daily basis. 

But women are tough, intelligent, and great planners. You can make it happen if you’ve got your mind set on how to be an independent woman. Take control and achieve all your financial goals with confidence!

Apply for a personal loan through Moneymax


Rouselle has over eight years of writing experience in the personal finance niche. She has written feature stories, articles, and how-to guides on various personal finance and trending lifestyle topics. Before that, she briefly worked in banking and was a licensed life insurance advisor. When not writing, Rouselle likes to read books and binge-watch films and series. Follow Rouselle on Linkedin.


Use a personal loan to consolidate your outstanding debt at a lower interest rate!

Get the latest articles, promos, and deals straight to your inbox. Make us your weekly habit!