More and more women are running the household finances these days. Who better, than our own financial expert to lay out an easy guide for managing money for the family.
Audra Lowe: More and more women are taking on the title of CFO in the household and finding themselves in charge of all the finances, and while this situation is great for establishing family financial stability, it could be an intimidating position when you don't know where to start. So in Today's Your Money, our very own finance and career expert, Maribel Aber is here with some quick tips to help all women. Get on the path of financial security, welcome back Maribel, good to see you. Maribel Aber: Thank you. Audra Lowe: As we were talking about that a lot of women already kind of thrown into this situation now where they are handling the finances, but juggling family, career and the finances, that can be tough in itself, and then make it a little nervous knowing that you're handling the finances. Maribel Aber: You can't make it nervous in the time right now, where women are. Women are taking control of finances. They are making the big decisions on big ticket items like, Jade Paris, said last year, that women made more than half of the decisions about car purchasing. Okay, so they are stepping up. The other thing is women are bringing in their own income to the household. I think it's a Bureau of Labor Statistics said that, women held over 49% of the 132 million jobs in United States. So we are out there in droves, we are managing money, we bring the money in, but you're right. What path? Are we on the right path? What steps do we need to take to make sure we're acting as the good CFO in the family? Audra Lowe: Exactly. A lot of people want to make sure, they are on the right road, have some stability going in. You have five tips for us. First to follow, the first one that you says, we should start by sitting down and really just talking about our financial help, that for a lot of people are scary, just to do that first step. Maribel Aber: It is scary. You know what, I say, if you're with the partner or spouse, sit down, have the conversation. You could have date night, finance night, or you sit down and put together, what do you owe? What do you make? But here is the key here, what are your financial goals? I bet that's a question that people have never really asked themselves or asked their partner. What are my goals? And I say, go old school. Take a piece of paper, write down. Okay, I want to pay my credit card bills. I want to switch jobs. I want to find the college savings for our kids. I mean, really put it out there and then you have a discussion and women are so good at this. Starting conversations, we like to talk, right? Audra Lowe: Exactly. Maribel Aber: So this is it, so that's a first step. Audra Lowe: So then also putting together a financial plan, is that somewhat the same thing or is it a different step, and is it complicated to do? Maribel Aber: It's not complicated. It's building off of that first step. So the three things, you are very -- lookout the balance sheet. The first thing that you want to put up is your total income for the household, write there, big letters up on top of your sheet. This column right here is everything you owe. Now pullout your checking account, your credit card statements, everything and I got to tell you, this is the big eye opening thing for people. What's for me? Audra Lowe: To see exactly medical bills, when you start adding all that stuff up. Maribel Aber: Yes. And then the scary thing is if you're spending more than you make, right? And then you can't even get to column C, which is these financial goals you want to get to. Now when I say, try to stick to 60% for your total income, but sometimes you can't, so make it the goal that you don't spend more than you make. Audra Lowe: Speaking of things that sometimes you can't, your credit card debts. Where does that fall into the plan? Maribel Aber: Credit card debt is a priority that you should make in your financial plan, okay. One of the things, one of the number one thing you should take care of, because if we knew how much we were spending really, I know very hard on this one. All the time if we knew, it would be really be charging. So like I always say, go ahead and pay off the high APR interest rate card and keep paying it off. Just practice good form like working out, be methodical, and then you'll see the results. Audra Lowe: And you also mentioned the importance of saving. And pretty single time I hear this on the radio, I think about you. Because people are saying, you know what? I lost my job. I didn't know I had to have, two years worth of saving. It's tough for people to save that much. Maribel Aber: It is so tough. I mean ideally in the perfect world, 15-20%, but people can't do that right now. So you can shoot for ten, but maybe to be realistic, it's five. Maybe it's 2%, but I just want to put out there for the CFO to know that you've got tax advantages, when you put you money at this moment you can put in into a 401(k) plan, into an IRA. Those type of things that they can grow, that's tax deferred. Audra Lowe: Right, tax deferred. How do you know though, and not it's really, I track here though, saving money for rainy day, paying off credit card bills. There are so many different areas you need to pay attention to. Is that different for every single family, situation or -- Maribel Aber: It's totally different for every single family, depends on what your goals are, which is why you always want to figure out, what your financial goals are, but the top two things, what do you make? What do you owe? And figure out from there, what can I cut from what I owe?. Audra Lowe: Okay, it's so important to talk to our kids about financial literacy. They -- no matter how young they are, they need to know, but starting that conversation can be a little tough depending on how old they are. Maribel Aber: That's right. Audra Lowe: Where do you begin, when you talk to your kids about how much do you really tell them? Maribel Aber: As early as you can have the conversations. Obviously, it doesn't make sense when they are two years old, right? Audra Lowe: Right. Maribel Aber: But you can start what fun for them or what have you, you just want, think about the birthday money, the Bar Mitzvah money, the babysitting money. All that money, that you earn, when you were kid. If you had money market fund, and you dump that money in there, 30 years later, you probably get nice little egg. So it's just having that conversation now, and the number one thing you can teach your children is compound interest. Audra Lowe: Okay. Maribel Aber: Have them understand that they truly have the keys to becoming millionaires now. Audra Lowe: Yeah. And that not to be funny, but those kids maybe enough, taking care of you later on that line. Maribel Aber: That's right, that's right. Audra Lowe: Alright. Good to have you are here, Maribel. Thank you so much. Maribel Aber: Oh! It's great. Audra Lowe: And if you guys have any questions from Maribel, you can do what a lot of people are doing, you could send her an email at AskMaribel@BetterTV.com. 3