This March, Springboard Encourages Women to Consider Their Financial Legacy

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Knowledge is Power; Facts Every Woman Should Know about Money

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Springboard is contributing to the legacy of women by sharing this top ten list of financial strategies.

Springboard Nonprofit Consumer Credit Management, Inc. (“Springboard”) is encouraging all women to consider their financial legacy in celebration of National Women’s History Month. Historically, women have lagged behind men in areas of financial stability, such as retirement plan balances, due to of a number of factors, including time spent out of the workplace for caregiving. However, a recent study has revealed that women are closing the gap in several key areas, including cash flow, debt management, and investing. Springboard applauds the positive momentum and urges all women to make it their priority to become educated on basic money matters.

“Springboard is contributing to the legacy of women by sharing this top ten list of financial strategies,” said Melinda Opperman, Springboard’s senior vice president. “As we celebrate the lives of women and their achievements throughout history now is an excellent time for women to examine their current financial situation, establish goals, and take action steps to accomplish them,” said Opperman.

Springboard offers the following facts every woman should know about money:

1.    Women account for 85 percent of all name brand purchases. According to research, women carry out most of the purchasing requirements for the family. Distinguishing the difference between luxuries and necessities is key to living within a budget.

2.    One of most important financial principals is to spend less than what is earned and save for a rainy day. Women must learn to do this if they want to achieve financial freedom.

3.    Have a plan. Women who have a written plan are more likely to accomplish their goal. Putting a financial plan in writing is powerful. Something magical happens when a goal is written down. The brain starts working on solutions and the individual becomes emotionally committed.

4.    Women tend to have lower retirement plan balances because they often spend more time away from the workforce raising children or caring for aging parents. Women are also more likely to work in part-time jobs that don't qualify for a retirement plan. Springboard encourages women to make retirement planning a priority by putting money away sooner so that investments will have more time to grow.

5.    Women are notorious for putting others’ needs before their own. Another important principal is start a regular habit of saving by making a deposit into savings before any other monthly bills, as opposed to putting only what is leftover into savings. Research indicates that the typical millionaire saves or invests twenty percent of his/her income; meanwhile, the average American saves or invests less than five percent. One way for women to get into the habit of saving is to check if their employer gives the option of dividing their paycheck when making a direct deposit. If so, women should designate a percentage of their paycheck to be deposited into their savings account and put the rest into their checking account to pay for their regular expenses. If their employer does not provide this option, they can set up automatic transfers from a checking to a savings account with their financial institution.

6.    Women are very likely to be solely responsible for financial decision making at some point in their lives. Women have a longer life expectancy than men and most married women will likely outlive their spouses. For this reason, women will need to know how to manage their finances, especially during the years that they may find themselves living alone.

7.    Women need different kinds of insurance at different times in their life. No one wants to be over-insured or under-insured, resulting in an unpleasant surprise when making a claim. Women should make an appointment with a trusted adviser to confirm the coverage that is needed and affordable. Women should never buy insurance that is unnecessary and should remember to inquire about ways to lower premiums, discounts for loyalty, good driving and bundling multiple polices.

8.    Women are more likely to be victims of identity fraud than men. According to a study by the fraud-tracking firm Javelin Strategy & Research, women are 26 percent more likely than men to be the victims of identity theft. Identity theft prevention is an important aspect of overall personal financial literacy. Springboard’s Identity Theft Awareness booklet is available for free download at the agency’s online learning center.    

9.    Women should always maintain an up-to-date copy of their credit report. Much of consumer’s financial future depends on the contents of their credit report. Consumers are allowed one free report from each of the three major bureaus once every twelve months. All three reports may be obtained at once, which is a good idea if a major purchase is on the horizon. Requests can also be staggered, which is a good way to check for identity theft. Credit reports may be accessed at http://www.annualcreditreport.com.

10.    Even when budgets are set and women may pay on time, having a credit card with a high interest rate and making only the minimum payments could end up costing them five times the original purchase and take ten times longer to pay off. Making it a habit to pay more than the minimum owed is always a good strategy to reduce or eliminate credit card debt.

About Springboard Nonprofit Consumer Credit Management, Inc.
SPRINGBOARD® Nonprofit Consumer Credit Management is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit personal financial education and counseling organization founded in 1974 with the mission of improving the financial well-being of individuals and families. Springboard is a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development-approved housing counseling agency and a member of the Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies and the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, the nation’s longest serving nonprofit financial counseling organization. Springboard is also a proud member of the Hope Now Alliance, a cooperative effort between the U.S. government and mortgage market participants to help struggling homeowners. Springboard offers personal financial education and assistance in credit counseling, housing counseling, reverse mortgage, debt and money management, pre-bankruptcy counseling and debtor education through educational programs and confidential coaching. Springboard is accredited by the Council on Accreditation, signifying the highest standards for agency governance, fiscal integrity, counselor certification and service delivery policies. Counseling is available by telephone nationwide or in-person at office locations in California, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Massachusetts, South Carolina, Florida and Maryland. For more information on Springboard, please call 800-449-9818 or visit their web site at http://www.Springboard.org.

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