American Consumer Credit Counseling offers advice for Women’s History Month on achieving financial stability in their lives.
Boston, MA – March 21, 2022
The financial disparities between men and women in America have been an issue for decades. It was not until 1963 that The Equal Pay Act was introduced to reduce the wage gap between men and women. Nearly 60 years later there is still significant gender inequality when it comes to work and compensation.
In 2020, full-time, year-round working women earned 83% of what their male counterparts earned, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s most recent analysis.
More work lies ahead if the U.S. is to close this gap completely – and for women in America to achieve true financial equality. But all women can put themselves in a stronger financial position by adhering to smart principles and best practices for money management. In observance of Women’s History Month American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) advises women on steps to achieve financial stability and move themselves closer to financial equality.
“Finding ways to become financially independent is key to achieve financial stability in the long run,” said Allen Amadin, President and CEO of American Consumer Credit Counseling. “Some women depend on male figures to handle their money – especially if the male in a household is the main source of income. That should not stop them from taking control of their own financial health and long-term financial stability.”
It’s likely that American culture and some of its outdated conventions around money must further change for women to achieve true financial equality. But here are some steps women can take to secure their own financial futures:
Start saving money in an emergency fund: The pandemic has shown that having an emergency fund is very important in the case of an emergency with a big medical bill or in case of job loss. Starting to save even $10 or $20 a month can help avoid going into debt in a critical situation.
Know how to manage your own money: Do not assume your spouse or partner will always be there to take care of the finances. In the event of a death, separation or divorce, you need to be able to manage your money without them.
“The sharing of information and total transparency are some of the most important things when it comes to having a healthy household relationship around money,” said Katie Ross, Executive Vice President of ACCC. “Financial infidelity is often a recipe for long term financial problems and can lead to a breakdown in relationships.”
Insist on regular household finance meetings: If this is not a habit already, your first-ever such meeting might be challenging. People who have had sole control over a household’s finances can become defensive when even the simplest questions are asked. But the more regularly two household partners meet about money, the smoother things become and the more efficient your budgeting and finances will become.
Plan ahead for your retirement: According to the Population Reference Bureau, women in all parts of the world outlive men. This means that it is even more vital to save for retirement, even if it seems hard to adjust your budget for it. In case your employer does not offer a 401(k) or a similar plan, put money away in an individual retirement account (IRA).
These are simple steps women can take to secure their financial futures and be financially independent, regardless of external factors in our society.
About American Consumer Credit Counseling
American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) is a nonprofit credit counseling 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to empowering consumers to achieve financial management through credit counseling, debt management, bankruptcy counseling, housing counseling, student loan counseling, and financial education concerning debt solutions. To help consumers reach their goal of debt relief, ACCC provides a range of free consumer personal finance resources on a variety of topics including budgeting, credit and debt management, student loan assistance, youth and money, homeownership, identity theft, senior living, and retirement. Consumers can use ACCC’s worksheets, videos, calculators, and blog articles to make the best possible decisions regarding their financial future. ACCC holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and is a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®). For more information or to access free financial education resources, log on to ConsumerCredit.com or visit http://www.consumercredit.com/financial-education.aspx