Minding the gap: A practice in financial feminism

America Saves, a national campaign that promotes savings, notes significant differences in savings between men and women. A 2014 survey showed that women displayed a greater interest in savings, but there was no greater savings effort or savings effectiveness compared to men. But just two years later in the same survey, the gender gap leaps off the page. Women were notably behind across 12 important financial indicators including consumer debt, savings habits, emergency savings, and general savings progress.
As concerns continue to rise over American's often inadequate retirement and emergency savings, it's become clear that the gender disparity can no longer be pushed aside. 2017 has already been dubbed the year of "financial feminism," and the momentum behind understanding and dismantling the financial gender gap has been picking up speed in headlines.
The fight to close this financial gender gap is a marathon, not a sprint, and there's still a great deal of work to be done. The challenges women face are not going to disappear anytime soon, but the financial choices women make in their circumstances can help to shift the tide.
Here are three actions women can take today to better set themselves up for long-term success:
1. Identify your savings goals: Women are outperforming men in the stock market, but the impetus behind their success isn't solely to make money. Successful female investors are successful because they've established long-term goals and savings targets. This practice is by no means limited to investing. In fact, savers with a plan are twice as likely to save successfully for things like retirement.
Think about what motivates you to save, and create concrete and realistic savings goals around that motivation.
2. Prioritize retirement savings: Enroll in any retirement options offered at your workplace and start making contributions as early and as often as possible. If your employer offers a match and you're not taking advantage of it, you are leaving money on the table.
If your employer doesn't offer a retirement plan, or a plan that works well for you, you can save for retirement by putting money in an individual retirement account (or IRA) or opening a myRA retirement savings account through the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Compound interest will maximize your savings over time, helping to make retirement comfortable and ultimately combat the expenses of that longer lifespan. Learn more about IRAs and the different types here.
3. Ask for help: Don't miss out on opportunities to dig yourself out of a financial hole or enhance your financial literacy because of shame or unfamiliarity. Whether you are up to your ears in high-interest debt, tackling retirement savings, getting a divorce, or expanding your family, there are local and national resources, like the Women's Institute for a Secure Retirement (WISER) or the Wisconsin Women's Business Initiative Corporation (WWBIC), available to help educate and support you on your unique financial journey. Not sure if you're In debt trouble? Find out by answering these four simple questions.

Tammy G. Bruzon works for America Saves, managed by the nonprofit Consumer Federation of America (CFA), which seeks to motivate, encourage, and support low- to moderate-income households to save money, reduce debt, and build wealth. Learn more at AmericaSaves.org.

Declare Your Independence!

July 20,2017

6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

The most important thing you can do with your money is to give it a plan.  After all, if you don't tell your money where to go, you'll always be asking where it went.  Whether you call it a budget, a spending plan or a money map, having a plan for how you spend money will allow you to declare your independence and set you free to actually enjoy it!

This workshop will teach you how to identify where your money goes, track personal spending, find everyday ways to save and develop a personal plan that will allow you to take control of your dollars.

Meyera E. Oberndorf Central Library
4100 Virginia Beach Blvd.
Virginia Beach, VA 23452

This event is made possible through a partnership with:

Detonate Your Debt!

Detonate Your Debt!
August 12, 2017
2:00 - 5:00 p.m.

Do you want to build your credit score so that you can get lower interest rates and better deals?  It all starts with obtaining your annual credit report.  At this event, you can obtain your annual credit report from www.annualcreditreport.com with the assistance of financial coaches. These coaches can help you review your credit report and identify key steps you can take to improve YOUR credit.

Looking to get out of debt faster?  Attend our workshop on building a Debt Snowball to accelerate your repayment and live the debt-free life!  Also, visit our POWERPAY station and set up your own account at www.powerpay.org to create your own debt snowball.  

  • 2:00 pm – Your Legal Rights in Negotiating with Creditors – 
    • speaker: Christopher Galloway, Legal Aid of Society of Eastern Virginia
  • 3:30 pm – Building Better Credit – 
    • speaker: Karen Munden, Virginia Cooperative Extension
This event is offered for free in partnership with Financial Planning Association of Hampton Roads, Bank on Virginia Beach, Virginia Beach Libraries, and Beach Municipal Federal Credit Union.

Meyera E. Oberndorf Central Library
4100 Virginia Beach Blvd.
Virginia Beach, VA 23452

New Classes forming for April 2017

Your free financial makeover is just around the corner!  In 10 months you may see better credit, more savings and less debt with the help of Bank On Hampton Roads.  Each month you attend one class and then meet with a coach to help you apply your classroom instruction to your personal situation.  What are you waiting for?  Registration is open.  Sign up today?  Its free!