What can women do to be more responsible for our financial situations?
What should we teach our children so that they'll be prepared for the next economic downturn? Though some reports show that women may actually pass men in the job force during this recession, more than 1 million women who head up their households were unemployed as of March, with a dearth of job options available to them.
So, under the circumstances, when so much of the population is struggling to get a financial foot-hold, how can we keep a positive attitude, and more importantly, how can we model that behavior to our kids? One possible answer is to become better educated about what it takes to be financially secure.
The following steps are are important lessons our kids should be learning as part of their long-term preparation for adulthood. Actually, a refresher course in the basics would be good for us all. The essentials are: spend less, save and (cautiously) invest more, and follow a plan.
1. Start by being scrupulously honest with yourself about your situation, and then take positive steps to better understand and cope with it.
2. Manage and track your spending. If you can, retain a financial advisor and seek financial counseling.
3. Start a savings account, and save as much as you can.
4. Reduce credit card spending -- be aware of your debt.
5. Continue to learn -- you are protecting yourself when you maintain a marketable skill.
6. Maintain health insurance.
7. Take responsibility for your own future. Open a retirement account and add to it monthly.
Try to sustain a positive attitude, and be kind to yourself. Even in a fluctuating job market, consider yourself capable, and acknowledge your potential. Recognizing the significance of our contributions and the validity of our participation, is an important factor in the development of our self-concept. This personal recognition and validation helps build our self-esteem and augments our positive sense of self-worth. It also helps build the confidence we'll need to get over the financial hump.