Seminar aims to get women in control of finances

October 20, 2011 3:25:51 PM PDT
This weekend, Invesco, an investment management firm, and the University of Houston Bauer College of Business have teamed up to bring a series of sessions to help women take control of their finances.

Specifically, they let us in on the top five things women should know about their finances. And now that women make up roughly half of the country's wealth holders, it's important information to get women on financial track.

With the holidays around the corner, for many women, this is the season for spending. Shoppers are already stocking up on new Christmas decorations and checking out the new Christmas trees.

While some women have a handle on their own finances, others admit they can do better.

"I'm the one that handles the checking account, and so I know what is going in and what is going out," shopper Sean Hotte said.

"I have some clue, and I check on them but probably not as much as I should," shopper Jennifer Richardson said.

It's why Janice Cellier with Invesco hope this weekend's seminars will help women feel more confident about learning about their money.

"Women control over 50 percent of the wealth in the United States. But yet, 90 percent of them are still insecure about various financial decisions. So we need to get better," Cellier said.

No. 1: Women, you must put money in your name -- a pot of money to call your own.

"Whether it's money you saved, you've earned, you've inherited, but it's there and you feel very confident in knowing it's there," Cellier said.

No. 2: After you pay your mortgage and utilities, pay yourself.

"That's the first check you write every single month and you write it to yourself and you put it away. There will be plenty of money to pay everybody else in line, it's just that now you're managing your money instead of letting your money manage you," Cellier said.

No. 3: Have a financial plan with your goals in writing.

"Having a plan, you know where to stand. And every quarter, at least every year, you should review that plan and how on track or you with the goals you're trying to get. But you should have a financial plan in writing," Cellier said.

No. 4: Have a "what if" plan for divorce, widowhood or an illness that disrupts your financial plan.

"You have to have life insurance, how much do you want, why do you have it and what do you expect it to do? I mean, do you know where all your accounts are, where you have access to those accounts? Do you even know Social Security work, if you have a survivor account, if something happens to your spouse? All these things come into play," Cellier said.

No. 5: Consider a financial planner, whether you want to save for your first house or start planning your retirement.

"Regardless of income, there are people that can help you in trying to figure out what are your goals, what do you want to do," Cellier said.

The Invesco and the University of Houston Bauer College of Business seminar to help women take control of their finances is set for this Saturday from 8am until 2pm. It's $25 a person and lunch is included. For more information, visit the UH website.

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