There are many important lessons we learn throughout our lives as women. From learning about manners and etiquette as young girls to facing the challenges of adulthood, as women we are constantly learning and growing. However, one of the most crucial lessons is the one on finances. From how to manage credit to investing for the future, women are not always completely confident when it comes to handling their finances. Budget management is not often taught in schools and, for a long time, was deemed only appropriate for the “breadwinner” or man of the house. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 1950 about one in three women participated in the labor force, and by 2012 women of working age were in the labor force at a rate of 57.7 percent. As more and more women lead big corporations, create new startups and take over household finances, there is a great need for women to become financially savvy.
Active Blair duQuesnay, who is both an Investment Advisor and a Financial Planner, said that there is a critical need to aid women in the finance department. JLNO realizes this need and is currently developing a program to help increase financial literacy in women. “Women earn less and live longer than men, which leaves them particularly vulnerable to outliving their financial assets,” stated Blair. The program is expected to offer a combination of single class lectures as well as a three to five class course. The overall goals of the program are to help women learn to navigate banking, budgeting, saving and investing. In case you want to get a head start on becoming financially savvy, Blair offered up these tips:
• Credit Score
Each of the three credit reporting services gives a free annual report. Confirm your credit score through one of these companies. The most important thing you can do to have good credit is paying your bills on time.
• Set up an automatic savings plan
Automatically save into a retirement plan or new savings account. “Set it and forget it” to help remove the temptation to spend your whole paycheck.
• First-time home buyers
The key to an efficient and successful buying process is organization. Start gathering your last two years of tax returns, statements from all of your investments and savings accounts, w-2 from employer(s), etc. You’ll be surprised at how much paperwork is required for a mortgage.
It’s never too early (or late) to start investing.