Address your financial concerns and take control of your finances

  • Saturday, November 2, 2013

Addressing financial concerns is a good first step toward controlling your finances. PHOTO BY METRO CREATIVE

The roles played by women have changed dramatically over the years. Modern women now wear many hats, one of which is money manager. That’s true for women managing their personal finances or those overseeing their family’s finances.

But managing finances can be intimidating for anyone, regardless of gender. Oftentimes, a careful assessment of your attitude toward money is a great way to make the process of managing your finances a lot less stressful.

A great first step when managing your finances is to identify any concerns you have about money. Being able to pinpoint the particulars will help you develop a plan of action. For example, if you want to invest in stocks but don’t know a bull from a bear market, acknowledging this shortcoming can help you learn the necessary facts to get started.

Once such concerns have been addressed, you’re likely to feel more comfortable and confident about managing your money and can start taking steps to do just that.

• Think positively and value your strengths. Embracing your strengths, even if those strengths have little to do with money management, can help you gain control of your finances. Perhaps you are not a financial whiz but your networking skills have left you with a vast network of friends and family in various professions. You may be able to use those connections to gain access to experts in the financial field who can guide you through the questions you may have.

• Know your current financial status. Feigning ignorance is not the way to get started. It is important to honestly assess your financial situation so you can effectively handle those finances going forward. Take stock of your income, expenditures and what you have in savings. Keep abreast of any changes in your accounts and stay current with business news and issues that may play a direct or indirect role on your finances.

• Get talking about your concerns. Talk to other women in similar situations. You may find that you share the same concerns. Discussing common concerns or financial strategies can help you in your own endeavors.

• Continue working, even if it’s only part-time. A study by the Women’s Institute For a Secure Retirement found that a college-educated 25-year-old female will earn $500,000 less than a male counterpart in a similar position over her lifetime because of sporadic employment associated with caring for family, including children and aging parents. That worries many young women who have previously thought about taking time off from work to raise families.

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