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It’s no secret that our finances are impacted by factors such as gender, race, and social class. Studies show that this proves true for the LGBTQ community as well. There are a few unique situations you need to be aware of. These tips will help you successfully navigate your finances as a member of the LGBTQ community.

Save Like There’s No Tomorrow

Whether it’s needing to live in more expensive cities because they’re more LGBTQ friendly, paying for expensive transition surgeries, or running a household on the incomes of two women, many LGBTQ-specific financial issues come down to not having enough money. Save as much money as you possibly can.

Keep Your Will Up To Date

Although the situation is improving now that same-sex marriage is legalized, it is common for LGBTQ people who lose a partner in death to be cut out of receiving money and property. Whether you’re married or not, protect your partner with a lawyer-approved, well-written, iron-clad will.

Know Your Rights (And Lack Thereof) As A Married Couple

If you’re in the LGBTQ community and considering getting married, talk to a lawyer. Although federal law gives you the right to marriage, state law can still deprive you of some legal and financial benefits of marriage. Make sure that state insurance plans and social security recognize your marriage.

Hire A Financial Advocate

There are financial advisers that specialize in LGBTQ issues. Although people are more accepting, laws and policies simply weren’t written with LGBTQ people in mind. An adviser who’s attuned to your specific situation can help identify problems and pitfalls that others may not notice. The cost is worth it.

Beware Of Credit Card Debt

Financial analysts have determined that it’s common for members of the LGBTQ community to have extra high levels of credit card debt. Some suggest this is due to situations such as living alone prematurely due to nonacceptance from family members. Avoid spending more than you can reasonably pay back.