FIRST THOUGHT: #Adulting
Our relationships with money evolve as we get older. As a kid, it’s, “Buy me that candy bar, no matter what it costs!” As adults, our relationship with money is more about working hard so we can pay our bills. You can make a fort out of sheets and pillows, and try to hide with your Sour Patch Kids candy and collection of The Baby-Sitters Club books, but adult duties will still come knocking.
But the truth is that being a grown-up can be just as fun. Saving up for your dream car or dream house or dream vacation and actually getting them is totally awesome.
What are you investing in as an adult that will make you just as happy as a kid with a candy bar?
WOMEN IN NUMBERS: $200 More
Even though women make less money and our careers peak earlier than men’s, we know a thing or two about cold hard cash. According to CNN Money, women save 8.3 percent of our income, whereas men save 7.9 percent.
The difference doesn’t sound like much, but if you apply those numbers to the average U.S. income of $50,000, women save about $200 more every year.
WOMAN TO WATCH: Sallie Krawcheck, Co-founder and CEO of Ellevest
If you’re not sure what you’d do with that $200 a year, consider investing it. That’s what today’s Woman to Watch, Sallie Krawcheck, would suggest. Fast Company called her one of the Most Creative People, and she’s been named on Forbes’ list of The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women.
Sallie is whip-smart and successful, but she’s also a kind-hearted individual. No wonder Fortune dubbed her the last honest analyst. This pillar of financial aptitude has worn a lot of boss-lady hats, and has led some seriously big-name companies as the CEO and chief financial officer.
In May, Sallie launched Ellevest, an investment platform for women. She admits that, in the past, when she heard about products or services noted as “for women,” she cringed. But then Sallie learned about the outrageous investment gap.
Women don’t invest as much or as often as men. Why, you ask? We’re often discouraged to do so because of stereotypes, like we need our hands held or can’t possibly understand the world of investing. But Sallie says women are incredible investors. They just need a couple helpful tools to get started.
First, Sallie eschews investment jargon. As women, we like to understand stuff before we sign on the dotted line. (Uh, because we’re smart!) It’s like the financial world tries to make things confusing with all that jargon. I mean, have you ever read your credit-card agreement? Oh, that’s right, the print is too dang small! Second, women want to have a financial plan. We need to map out what we have and what our ambitions are before determining our investments.
Ellevest aims to meet both of these demands. Its stunning website is streamlined for the average person. (There are no complicated terms that you have to Google.) When you sign up, you create a financial plan and you ask yourself what your long-term goals are. Do you want to buy a house? Do you want to start your own business? Ellevest tells you how to get started and how to succeed.
Sallie Krawcheck is a distinguished woman who has learned the ins and outs of the financial industry and is now committed to closing the investment gap for women. Her advice to women about becoming investors is to do it, then do it again and then do it some more. Every single month, invest a little, and you may end up with a lot.
QUITE THE QUOTE
Putting yourself and your money out there is downright scary, but as author and poet Richelle E. Goodrich says:
“If you invest nothing, the reward is worth little.”
That’s all for now. Be sure to share this so more women can have a voice! Thanks for getting ready with us.