Building Strong Financial Futures

By Deborah Rosenbloom, JWI Director of Programs

Financial literacy is key to living an empowered life, and JWI believes that every young woman must be equipped with core skills to make educated decisions that support her own economic security.  Young adult women are seeking ways to improve their own financial status, fully aware that they are subject to careless consumerism that does not distinguish between wants and needs, a lack of confidence in negotiating salaries, and a lack of knowledge about investing.   JWI’s signature project, Life$avings, seeks to change this paradigm and offers workshops to teens, college students and young professionals. As a part of our Summer Series for Interns and Young Professionals, I led a Summer Series workshop on long term asset building, and encouraged them to budget their money, and to set aside 10% for investing, 10% for saving and 10% for philanthropy. Thirty young women participated and it appears that even a brief workshop has the potential for long term impact.

Participants commented:
“It [the workshop] motivated me to take control of my finances by developing a budget and/or joining mint.com.  It also reminded me to check my credit report”
“…I’m probably going to contact my account manager to see how I can make [my] money do more for me”
“I love having this foundation to work off of.  It makes me think about my future financial life and also have more confidence to ask my parents/others further questions”
“I am considering as a young professional starting a retirement fund [such as a] Roth IRA”
“I’ll start looking into investments and saving for retirement”
“I need to plan for retirement and this starts with negotiating my salary at my first job”
“I never knew what all of the things like [an] IRA and 401(k) were, so learning about them was really useful”
“I liked learning about more concrete numbers about where to invest money (particularly for retirement), what kind of funds are best for young professionals, and knowing some basic terminology”
“I really like the work that JWI does, I think it is effective and tangible”
“The Summer Series was great! This was my first experience with any kind of professional development series, and I could not have asked for a better introduction. Both sessions that I attended were extremely useful and interesting, so I hope you do the Summer Series every year. It’s a great service to the intern/young professional community!”

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