Why Women of Color MUST Master Their Money

Life is chess, not checkers. Make smart moves.

If you haven’t read the new study “Lifting as We Climb: Women of Color, Wealth and America’s Future” it’s time you do. One of the most startling discoveries of the study is

For all working-age black women 18 to 64, the financial picture is bleak. Their median household wealth is only $100. Hispanic women in that age group have a median wealth of $120.

Yes, you read that right. Though there are many reasons that these statistics exist I’d like to make mention of a few key points.

We tend to make less to begin with, so it’s vital that we manage what we earn well.

They also are more likely to be employed in jobs and industries — such as service occupations — with lower pay and less access to health insurance. And when their working days are done, they rely most heavily on Social Security because they are less likely to have personal savings, retirement accounts or company pensions. Their Social Security benefits are likely to be lower, too, because of their low earnings.

We can control our reactions to what happens to us and to do that we have to be aware of our options.

The current economic crisis has shown that a person’s wealth affects not only retirement security, but also a person’s ability to handle financial setbacks such as a job loss or a health emergency.

It’s imperative that we:
Start planning ahead
Figure out our net worth
Monitor our credit scores and understand why they matter
Show that we respect ourselves by making good money choices
Make a spending plan
Don’t use quick cash services

At the end of the day, for many reasons, it’s up to many women to make good choices for themselves and their families. We must ask the questions we don’t want to hear the answers to and make the tough choices. Educating yourself about personal finance will help put you in a position of power and you’ll be stronger for it.

Be well.

PEACE

Taxes Are a Women’s Issue: Reframing the Debate

I’m reading one of my favorite books on taxes, Taxes Are a Women’s Issue: Reframing the Debate. The book urges readers, especially women, people of color, and the working poor, to better understand taxes and fight for a system that supports all Americans.

If you get a chance, pick it up. It’s a really interesting read.