The Best Money Lesson I Ever Learned

Out of 1400 women surveyed by Prudential Financial, 53% identified themselves as the family breadwinner. Unfortunately, that same study found that only 23% percent of those female breadwinners said they felt equipped to make financial decisions, compared to the 45% of their male counterparts who said they did.

Are you feeling behind when it comes to your financial wellness, investments or retirement planning? No need to be ‘that’ girl. Knowledge is power — and taking the time to wrap your head around a few simple money lessons can give you the confidence to make over your finances and put you on the right track to financial fitness.

To wrap up our Women’s Wealth Building series, we looked to some of our favorite financially savvy females and asked them the big one:

What’s the best money lesson you ever learned?

Anna Newell Jones, And Then We Saved

The best money lesson I ever learned was that I didn’t need a huge windfall or a better (higher-paying) job to get myself completely out of debt. Realizing that I could take control of my financial life all by myself and that I didn’t need a miracle to make it happen was extremely empowering. Everyday easy ways to save money were utilized and strategies for making additional income were created. By committing myself to getting out of debt, and deciding to change my relationship with money, my life dramatically improved.

Stephanie Halligan, The Empowered Dollar

Whether I’m building up my emergency fund, investing in my 401(k), or paying off my student loans, there’s only one strategy I follow: do what feels right. When I started researching strategies for paying off my $30,000 in student loans, the advice was pretty consistent: most personal finance websites recommended that I focus on paying off my high interest loans and investing the rest of my disposable income in the stock market. The strategy sounded great on paper, but I quickly realized that I wasn’t committed to this plan because I knew deep down that I would never be comfortable until I had wiped out all of my loans. I ignored the traditional advice, ignored the interest rates on my loans, and did what felt good: throwing as much money at my debt as possible. I may be missing out on a better return on investment, but I finally feel like I can sleep at night knowing that I’m doing everything I can to get rid of my debt.

Ginger, Girls Just Wanna Have Funds

The best money lesson I learned was from my mom, who always told me to “stay ready” — for a rainy day, to support myself at a moment’s notice, to make swift life decisions. To that end she taught me the importance of building an emergency fund and keeping my credit report blemish-free. Over the years, I have saved 20% of my annual income for a rainy day, no matter how much money I was making: the logic was to pay myself first.  Also, as much as I hate chasing an elusive number, when you’re in a bind, having good credit opens certain financial doors, so my advice to readers is to always monitor and manage their score actively. These two mantras have helped me handle life’s curve balls and land on my feet each and every time!

Jean Chatzky, author Money Rules and host of “Money Matters with Jean Chatzky”

The best money lesson I ever learned is one that has stuck with me for so long and been so important that I actually included it as a Money Rule in my latest book.  ‘Saving more can fix any financial problem.’  This is absolutely true.  Saving more gives us the power to take control of any financial challenge and can help reduce so much of the stress that money struggles bring into our lives.” I continued to contribute to my retirement accounts and 529s after the markets tumbled in 2008. The contributions made me feel as if I was closer to recovering. And as the markets regained their momentum they helped me make even more.”

Care to share? What’s the best money lesson you ever learned?

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