When it comes to women and money, there is some good news, says Lance Drucker, ChFC, CLU, a veteran financial professional. On average, women are more independent and financially literate than ever before, he says. On the other hand, Prudential’s eighth biennial study titled Financial Experience & Behavior Among Women recently revealed that women are no more likely to make sound financial decisions today than two years ago —or even when the study began 10 years ago. Drucker offers some guidance on the steps women can take to help them not only feel empowered about their money, but actually take control of their financial future:
- Figuring out the cause of your Pain: Before you can come up with a solution to your financial problem, you need to figure out what the problem actually is: lack of income, growth, financial illiteracy…
- Budgeting vs. Louis Vuitton handbags. Establishing a necessary budget (what you need just to get up in the morning) as well as an Aspirational budget (more of a wish list) will help guide your decision-making process as to what you can or can’t afford to do.
- “I don’t know what I have;” Why a Balance Sheet is essential: Creating a balance sheet, collecting all of your statements, and taking an accounting of your life gives you the data to start making smart decisions.
- Developing a Plan vs. the Wine and Dark Chocolate approach: Developing a written plan that lays out what you want financially and when you want it goes a long way toward peace of mind. The wine and dark chocolate wouldn’t hurt while writing the plan, though.
- The Gym Commandoes: People who show up at the gym with a vague sense of “I’m going to ride the bike, hit some weights, then take a really long steam,” typically don’t last. By now, you have done the work. You’ve figured out your pain, budget, balance sheet, and a plan … Now you have to implement the strategy, and this is where the fun begins! HBM
Lance Drucker is CEO and president of NYC-based Drucker Wealth Management, a wealth management firm specializing in financial issues that affect women. He’s the author of How to Avoid Bag Lady Syndrome (BLS): A Strong Woman’s Guide to Financial Peace of Mind (www.DruckerWealth.com). Proceeds from the sale of his book will go toward the Wounded Warrior Project.
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