Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Financial Literacy Key for Women

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Financial Literacy Key for Women

Article excerpt

Byline: Martha Cox

I had the great honor of being the guest speaker at a recent meeting of the American Association of University Women.

This organization was formed in 1881 when 17 college alumnae met to discuss the needs of college-educated women. In those days, the number of female college graduates was quite small. But these brave and forward-thinking women forged ahead to become a catalyst for change. That beginning became an organization that totals over 170,000 members who lead research and action to support today's generation of women seeking higher education with fellowship and grants.

I was asked to speak on the importance of financial literacy for women of today, to provide insights gleaned from my past years of writing this column as well as my personal journey in my career. As we gathered for lunch prior to the program, our discussion focused on the tremendous changes that have been witnessed by this remarkable group of women.

We now live in a world where young women have access to all types of careers, actively compete in sports and engage in every aspect of campus life. In contrast, one woman shared that when she began her career in baking after finishing her degree, she was told that she would be expected to resign when she married, something we couldn't even imagine happening in today's work environment.

I began my talk with the obvious and simple truth of money management, which is that you must begin by spending less than you make.

At the core of every financial literacy program, this is the fundamental truth. Every program may have different methods or ideas, but at the end of the day, the Rolling Stones had it right when they said that you can't always have what you want. So, we have to make choices and understand that choices have consequences.

We discussed the importance of knowing yourself and your goals, which must be the beginning of every budget. Goals are different for different people and to be effective money managers, we must consistently review our spending to see if we are actually spending our money towards meeting our goals. …

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