A Woman & Her Money: Credit Today, Gone Tomorrow: A participant shares her story

Tuesday is here again and we’re back talking credit. First, I would like to say that the opening night of HCCI’s Women & Money 2012 series was a great success! Thank you to all the women that attended. I’m very glad that you have taken the first step in educating yourself to meet your goals to have a more secure financial future. It’s often the first step that makes all the difference.

One of the attendees from last Tuesday and I were talking about the class topics when she shared with me her very own story of what she called a “credit disaster”, with her permission I’d like to share her story with you.

Where do I begin?  I was very, very irresponsible with my spending habits when I was younger. I always said that I would never, ever have a credit card…and then a credit card was given to me. Spending trips that were never before possible were now a reality, and to a young me, that was a very dangerous thing. 

My turning point was when I saw myself struggling to keep up with payments. I was paying on time, but the payments were becoming larger and interest was growing steadily. I knew what to do, I just didn’t know where to start. I had a full time job that paid decent. Personal issues caused me to cease employment there and I settled for a position elsewhere that did not pay as well, in fact the salary was much less than I was used to. Therefore I was having a hard time keeping up with payments..and I was shocked at how much those late fees were. Eventually I just stopped paying. Continue reading

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A Woman & Her Money: Break (Only) In Case of Emergency!!

Hello, I’m Megan. I’m 24 and I’m a mother, wife and full time working woman. I’m not new to the workforce, and I’ve been on my own for six years now. And guess what? I’m still overwhelmed with money issues that come along with adulthood.

Now, I didn’t dabble with adulthood in the beginning. I jumped in full force. I welcomed my darling blue-eyed son into this world on my 19th birthday. I was scared, anxious, excited and very, very broke. And to this day, I am still broke, but I’m climbing my way out of debt and into a more stable financial future. It has taken a lot of financial organization and being brutally honest with myself to get here – I’ve had to ask myself ‘What financial issues should be taking priority right now in my life?’ and as you can probably guess, I haven’t always liked the answer. Sometimes that brand new pair of shoes can look so much better than paying your water bill…but again, I’m an adult now.

Another part of being an adult is being prepared for an emergency, which prompts another question: ‘What would I do in a financial emergency?’ Continue reading

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Women and Retirement: Where Do You Begin?

You probably have more questions about retirement than you know what to do with, no matter how young or old you are. This is understandable. Women face extra special challenges when planning for their retirement. On average, women typically live five years longer than men. While U.S. women are more likely to enroll in employer-offered retirement plans than men, women continuously end up with less retirement income than men.

According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), reasons could be that women have smaller lifetime earnings than men and take more time away from their career to care for or start a family, on average. These factors, coupled with crippling effects of divorce and widowhood, have resulted with the poverty rate among women age 65 and older being nearly twice as high as men’s – 9 percent versus 5 percent.

To face financial challenges head on, women need to make retirement planning a priority. Here’s what you can do to get started: Continue reading

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