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Creating Successful Leaders

By Margaret Smith, UXL:
It’s a commonly-known fact that women make less money on average than men. Woman also still routinely adopt the role of caretaker for aging family members and children. Gone are the days when a woman can think about her future and her finances in terms of reliance on a husband—and thank GOD! However, although women now work in a world that is founded on their financial independence, many women have not fully asserted themselves.

According to an article in Minnesota Monthly, women are often less growth-oriented about their money and tend to focus on maintenance. The article explains that “31.8 percent of women labeled themselves conservative investors, compared to 21.7 percent of men.” This penchant for a more supportive approach means that women are practicing a day-to-day, reactive style of financial planning instead of creating larger, future-oriented strategies.

How to Improve your Financial Future in 7 Steps

1. Think Long-Term: Take the time to set long-term financial goals instead of practicing routine money maintenance. Have you established savings goals for the year, the next five years, the decade?

2. Play a Role: Even if you’re in a committed relationship, make sure that you play a role in every aspect of your household finances. Although it’s an unpleasant reality, all marriages end eventually, whether through death or divorce.

3. Consider Retirement: If you have not begun to stock a retirement fund, do so asap!

4. Invest in Education: If you haven’t already chosen to earn your degree, do so now. People with degrees make significantly more money on average.

5. Expect the Unexpected: Create an emergency fund worth 3-6 months of your living expenses. Financial emergencies are a fact of life, and job loss (as the downturn has illustrated) is a very real possibility.

6. Up Your Financial Literacy: Meet with a professional advisor, seek advice and expertise from the people you trust, or take a course in financial planning or investing.

7. Request What You’re Worth: Womankind’s key to defeating the earning gap lies in our ability to relay our worth and ask for what we deserve. Know what financial compensation your skills deserve and learn to ask for it.

If you act on even one of these pointers you’ll improve your financial future.


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