So, this is the third and final part of my coverage of the Momtrends event. Galia Gichon, an independent personal finance expert and found of Downto EarthFinance.com, spoke to us about some great ways to think about money.
I’ll give you the full outline of her talk (since she gave us a handout), but I want to explain WHY I was so enamored with Galia and the reason why I have asked her to guest post on this blog. There were two things that she said that struck a chord with me:
1) Make your retirement a priority over your children’s college education fund. First, I like that she said that you should put you (and your partner/spouse) first. That totally jives with what I talk about on this blog ALL. THE. TIME. She drove her point home when she asked, “What better gift an you give your kid(s) than NOT burdening them when you are retired?”
2) Your kids can get a student loan for their education, but there is no student loan for retirement. I don’t think I’ve ever heard this sentiment so clearly stated with such impact. Not only is it nearly impossible for someone over the age of 65 to get a loan, but we probably won’t see a cent of the money we are all putting into Social Security. We need to start putting money away so that when we decide to retire, we don’t find ourselves in a hole.
After her talk, I approached Galia and thanked her for telling the ladies that we need to put ourselves first. It’s so important and I find so few experts out there telling us that. We struck up a conversation and she told me that she, too, LIKES her husband and that they also go out on date nights and make sure their relationship is strong because that in itself is a gift to your kids. I found her to be very like-minded and I think she has some terrific wisdom to share. Plus, she is extremely accomplished – she wrote “My Money Matters”, a boxed set of financial cards with money affirmations, instant money tips and workbooks and is frequently quoted in Newsweek, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal.com, NY1, Good Housekeeping, Self, Essence, Glamour and MSN Money and has contributed to XM and Sirius Radio shows. Plus, she is extremely nice.
I am so happy that Galia has agreed to do a monthly post about money matters specifically geared towards women and moms. Unlike our male counterparts, ladies have a hard time talking about money issues and with Galia’s help, maybe we can become more aware, more open and understand our finances just a little bit better.
Here are Galia’s Three Personal FInance Strategies Every Mom Needs to Know:
1) Spending Plan
- Create a customized spending plan
- Calculate your fixed expenses. Than “pay yourself.” Save for vacation, emergency savings, pay off debt, retirement and college savings.
- With the cash left over, make your weekly spending plan and stick to it!
- Find five places to plug your budget
- Use an online budgeting tool such as mint.com
- Consolidate old IRAs or 401ks to one firm (Vanguard.com and FIdelity are great options)
- Continue saving for retirement with ROTH IRA, Spousal IRA or SEP IRA – no what matter!!!
- Pick no-load low expense ratio mutual funds (Fidelity, Vanguard, Schwab)
- Have a balanced mutual fund – both stock and bond
- Do you have an updated will (guardian, trustee, living will, health care proxy)? Use legalzoom.con or nolo.com
- Do you and your spouse/partner have enough life insurance? Know the numbers!
- Stick with term life insurance unless your finances are in excellent order.
- Create a money day where you pay all your bills (Galia chose Monday mornings at 8:30am). Have your folder of everything that needs to be paid that week. Pay it all and don’t touch the folder until the following Money Day.
- Use cash only until you’re comfortable with your weekly spending limit.
- Make sure your college savings 529 is in your own state.
- Check out the Bucks blog: NY Times
- Some good money apps: YNAB and Envelopes
- A goof read: Get a Financial Life by Beth Kobliner