FIRST THOUGHT: Figuring Your Financial Future
When I first heard the coins jingle and the cash register ding in the Pink Floyd song “Money,” all I knew about money had to do with my allowance (or lack thereof). Whether I like it or not, now it’s consistently on my mind.
It’s awkward to talk about money, whether it’s asking for a raise or splitting the brunch bill with friends. Today, let’s not gloss over what makes the world go ’round. Think about one thing you can cut back on, even something as small as your morning latte. It’ll be a bummer at first (You expect me to make my own coffee?!), but you’ll thank yourself for it later.
WOMEN IN NUMBERS: 36 Percent
They say getting started on any venture is the hardest part. It turns out that’s true when it comes to finances. A recent Prudential study titled “Financial Experience & Behaviors Among Women” polled 1,407 American women and found that 36 percent say they don’t feel prepared to make smart financial decisions.
The reason why? It’s pretty basic: because they don’t know what to consider when assessing all the options. It makes sense. I mean, think about how much mental and emotional energy you exert during basic purchases, like, say, whether to buy that latte. Think about what it was like when you made bigger purchases, like a car or house, and all the research you did to ensure you were making the best financial decisions possible.
WOMAN TO WATCH: Sharon Lechter, Financial Literacy Advocate
Imagine a world in which 100 percent of women felt confident in making these kinds of decisions. Sharon Lechter is working on making that a reality and proves that the whole “girls aren’t good at math” thing is totally bogus.
You probably saw Rich Dad, Poor Dad on the bookshelves in the late ’90s, with Robert Kiyosaki’s name and face on the cover. But Lechter, a CPA and bona-fide financial mastermind, actually co-wrote the book and is credited with being the mind behind the Rich Dad brand.
Lechter served on the first President’s Advisory Council on Financial Literacy for both President Bush and President Obama. She founded Pay Your Family First as a way to introduce kids and teens to money management.
Part of educating a family on smart money habits is to concentrate on women. In 2014, Lechter wrote about case studies of successful women in Think and Grow Rich for Women. Critics raved about the book, citing that the financial-literacy field is male-dominated. Geez, yet another male-dominated sector, huh?
She was also an instructor for Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Women program. Lechter teaches women from places like Haiti and Pakistan how to manage money, gain capital and network. It’s vital work since it’s been shown that financial institutions loan drastically less credit to women.
And now Lechter has teamed up with Ingrid Vanderveldt and the Empowering a Billion Women initiative to bring financial literacy to even greater heights. Don’t you wish Sharon was your financial advisor?
The truth is this: Women are more equipped to lead a business, a family or whatever they want when they are economically educated. With Lechter’s insight, we can become empowered through learning more about what’s in (or not in) our bank accounts. It’s time to get self-sufficient.
QUITE THE QUOTE
Minority leader of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi said:
“Women are leaders everywhere you look—from the CEO who runs a Fortune 500 company, to the housewife who raises her children and heads her household. Our country was built by strong women, and we will continue to break down walls and defy stereotypes.”
That’s all for now. Be sure to share this so more women can have a voice! Thanks for getting ready with us.