Wednesday, January 5, 2011

CELEBRATE WOMEN'S SELF-EMPOWERMENT WEEK-GET YOUR MOENY RIGHT!

Oh wow! It's WS-EW! A week that was started to encourage women to celebrate their accomplishments (didn't I write a blog post about that earlier this week?) and who they are! I think it's a wonderful thing but at the same time saddens me that we as women have to be reminded that we are powerful and to embrace that power! However, I am thrilled that the power women hold is being  recognized and celebrated!

Here at EMDF self-empowerment is our motto and the whole point of this site is to encourage women to embrace themselves and who we are and to celebrate it-first! Now all of you know that I am all about knowing who you are and knowing your worth. I know that unless you are absolutely sure of your self-worth you can't be fully confident in your ability and if you're not fully confident in your ability you just might short- change yourself when it comes to asking for and getting what you want out of life.

So spiritual empowerment is a MUST! But I'm also a practical gal and I believe in empowering yourself in practical ways as well. Ways like getting yourself financially stable and in a position to not have to depend on anyone, and that includes your J.O.B, for your financial happiness.

We all have seen and in some ways felt the effect of our current economy whether directly or indirectly and wouldn't it be nice if we were in a position to not have to worry about basic living in times like these? I'm not saying that you can throw caution to the wind but just getting your finances to a point of still being able to live comfortably regardless of the stability of our economy.

I think all of us know someone or have heard stories where women have gone through life changing situations like divorce or job loss and found themselves living in poverty as a result. I have to say that it's not the divorce or the job loss that is the culprit but our failure to prepare for such events that causes the problem.

So what can you do to stabilize your finances for the new year and make sure that you can still live comfortably should our current economy remain or should you face job loss or some other event that impacts your finances:
                                                                            
  • Open a savings account and deposit at least $50 a month into it-And most importantly LEAVE IT ALONE! 
  • Purchase life insurance if you don't already have it-Many life insurance policies accrue a cash value and can come in handy should you ever need extra cash. I encourage you to compare different kinds of policies and purchase one that fits your needs. 
  • Open your own IRA (Individual Retirement Account) and contribute the maximum yearly amount-This is in addition to any retirement system that your employer might offer. There are several kinds of retirement accounts available and may have many tax benefits. Find a financial planner that you trust and discuss your options.
  • Participate in your employers deferred compensation or 401(k) plan-Your employer matches your contribution and that equals free money! 
  • Pull your credit report-Knowing where you stand credit wise is empowering in itself! A friend in the mortgage business recently told me that 720 is the new 580 meaning what you used to be able to buy with the previous score you will now need the latter to buy. If you are a little short in having that higher score take necessary steps to clean up your report! 
  • Create an investment portfolio-Don't be afraid to try your hand at the stock market, mutual funds or other investments! There are many less risky options so discuss them with your financial planner and see if this is something you could benefit from!
  • Leave the shoes at the store-Do you really need another pair of platform heels or would the money you are going to spend be better used being deposited into that saving account we mentioned!
Everything that I have mentioned here are things that I personally have had or have in place so I speak from experience. I can tell you that it made a huge difference for me and my children while we transitioned. I encourage you to assess your current financial situation and address any behaviors that you may have that have contributed to it. See if you need to make any changes (and most of us do) and begin to do so! You will feel much more empowered knowing that your money is one less thing you have to worry about!

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