5 Simple Ways Moms Can Help Manage the Money (VIDEO)

I was fortunate enough to work as a journalist at a financial magazine for a long time, which gave me a great grounding in the basics of finance and investments. As a result, I've always been in charge of my retirement fund and other investments. But I suspect that if I hadn't had that job, I'd probably do what a lot of other women do -- let someone else handle the money.

On this episode of The Karen Walrond Show, Karen confesses that she is one of these women. She deals with all of the money -- except when it comes to the big picture, which she leaves to her husband. I've heard too many stories of women suddenly realizing, at retirement age, that hubs hasn't been the best investor in the world and now it's too late to fix it. So, ladies, it's important to know what's in your retirement account. Here are some tips.

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Karen talks to Certified Financial Planner Sara Stanich about how women can take more control of their financial health.

Let's watch the video and then I'll break down the basics:

As Sara says, first, know your net worth. That's your assets (house, car, salary, etc.) minus your debts (mortgage, student loans, credit card debt, etc.). This will give you a good idea of how much you can afford to save.

Second, don't just close your eyes and let hubby handle it all. Or even your money manager. Ask for passwords to your retirement account and get familiar with what's in there. Trust me, it's all pretty easy to understand. You'll see a big number with how much you have in the account. If your husband does all the investing, ask him for a little lesson. You can also read books like Stock Investing for Dummies.

If your employer offers a 401(K), make sure you open one up. Even if you are self-employed, you can still have a 401(K) or an IRA. Ask your financial firm which one is best for you. If you can afford it, put in the max, which for an IRA is $5,000 a year. This is now income you won't have to pay taxes on until you take it out.

Have an emergency fund of at least 3-6 months if you're a double income household; 8-12 months for single income. That probably sounds impossible, but start small. Have a certain amount taken automatically out of your paycheck and put into an account for JUST that fund. It will quickly add up.

And remember any savings is better than NO savings. And if you are in your 20s and 30s, start NOW. Don't wait until you are "close to retirement." It makes a huge difference when you start saving because interest and return on investment accrue over time. If you can afford a pair of new shoes or even a drink at a bar, you can afford to put away $20 into an account. It's important!

Do you handle your long-term finances?


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