Summer Series: Personal Economic Empowerment for Young Women

By Allie Kessel, JWI Intern

Summer Series fin litJWI’s ninth annual Summer Series for interns and young professionals came to a close this Tuesday with insight into financial empowerment as a woman in the workplace. JWI’s very own Deborah Rosenbloom’s presentation concerning financial literacy for young women entering the working world was a conversation in which everyone should take part. Rosenbloom, Director of Programs at JWI, touched on topics ranging from how to maintain and build an excellent credit score to planning for retirement. Rosenbloom covered a variety of topics, all concerning how to take control of your money.

As a woman in D.C. or any other large market, it is imperative, as Rosenbloom advocates, to stand up for yourself and negotiate your salary. Women make .77 cents to the dollar and normally are in and out of the job market, which forces us to retire at an earlier age. With all of these factors working against us, it is important to learn the language of money.

How do I apply for a credit card?  How should I spend my money? What can I do to spend less money? These are just a few of the questions Rosenbloom addressed during her presentation while providing advice and educating her young audience. Part of becoming fluent in financial literacy includes becoming familiar with the four legs of finance; a phrase Rosenbloom coined herself as part of JWI’s initiative to enable and empower young women in a way that’s easy to grasp.  The four legs include: income, budget, positive credit history and a high credit score, and assets for retirement. These four categories represent the four legs to a chair that constantly needs to stay in balance. Keeping the chair in balance is the key to financial success.

Rosenbloom continued the presentation by delving further into each category and explaining all of the necessary tools and tricks to ensure each leg stays sturdy. First, Rosenbloom addressed what she referred to as the “AAA budget” which stands for assess, allocate and anticipate. The acronym represents how one is able to successfully and painlessly determine a manageable budget. Next, she spoke about the importance of compiling an emergency fund, which today, is equivalent to six months of essential expenses including rent, food, utilities and transportation.

As she later went on to explain, all of the four legs are interrelated and dependent on one another to stay afloat. For instance, your ability to assess the amount of money you have to spend and where that money actually goes ends up affecting your ability to pay your bills on time, which affects your credit score and history, which ultimately affects your ability to manage your  money in a beneficial way.

Taking control of your money is all about making smart decisions to guarantee a safe and protected future free from debt, worry and dependence on loved ones. By making use of these tips and mastering the art of finance, you too can become a savvy working woman with the power to make beneficial financial decisions.

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