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This Week In Your Wallet: It’s Going To Be A Great Day

Jean Chatzky  |  March 26, 2019

If you’ve been eager to snag a copy of my new book, Women With Money, the wait is officially over. The book launches today — actually, we launched it this morning with Savannah and Hoda on TODAY.  And before we go any further, I just want to say a huge thank you.  I’m so grateful to all of you who read this newsletter, listen to the podcast, visit the HerMoney.com site, participate in our Facebook group or are otherwise involved in bringing other women along with their money.  

Whether you are a woman or have one (or many) in your life that you love, this is important. We are headed toward a time, not too many years from now, when women will control the lion’s share of wealth in the U.S.  Yet, what I know from hearing from all of you is that when it comes to feeling in control of that money or confident managing it, we’re not there yet.  That’s what all this work is about. And for me, it’s personal. I know from my own journey that feeling in control of my financial life has made me feel more powerful, more independent, more in control of my life overall — and I want the very same thing for you.

So, if you didn’t pre-order the book, grab a copy at your local bookstore, get on the list at your library (as one of our Facebook members has done, and we love that) or order on Amazon. Once you’ve read it, please let me know what you think — give me a shout at Jean@HerMoney.com, or leave a review on Amazon.  And thanks so much for reading.

I’ll Raise You

Asking for a raise is never easy, but the conversation may be more likely to go your way if you know your boss’ management type and can understand what motivates them into action. In general, bosses fall into four personality categories — dominant, influencer, steady, and conscientious, writes executive coach Liz Bentley this week on Know Your Value. Approaching your boss in a manner that will jibe with their personality can make all the difference in your being heard, and, more importantly, getting what you want. For example, if going into a conversation with a dominant boss, you should try and appeal to their logical instincts, and to the fact that they generally like their own ideas best. Expressing gratitude for what you have and reigning in your emotions are both great strategies with this type. Of course, some bosses may not fit squarely into one category, so employing a mix of approaches may be your best bet. The goal is that you can get them thinking about you — and your raise — in a way that works for them.

A Bright Financial Future

Financial literacy programs are (thankfully) on the rise throughout the country, but they’re still found in fewer than half of all states — just 19 programs exist, but, no surprise — they’re working. In one study, students who’d received financial education in high school had statistically significant improvements in credit scores, and fewer late payments on credit cards three years later. More states may start offering courses in years to come, as lawmakers are waking up to the fact that a financially literate population = less debt and fewer money problems overall. If you don’t live in one of the states offering these courses, no need to despair — parents don’t have to wait for teachers to fill the gap. I believe in starting your children early with discussions around budgeting, and walking them through basic daily financial tasks you already perform, like writing a check. Raising kids who are good with money — and who actually enjoy money, without being spoiled — is easier than you think.

What It Means To Be Fit

Did you know that the same tools and tactics you apply to whittling your waistline can also be used to fatten up your wallet? Health and wealth don’t just sound like they go together — it’s actually tough to separate them. But this isn’t just because medical bills are the largest cause of bankruptcies. Even for people who have substantial financial resources, poor health will eventually wreak havoc on your bank account. That realization was what lead me — and Dr. Michael Roizen, the Chief Wellness Officer of the Cleveland Clinic — to team up to write AgeProof: Living Longer Without Running Out Of Money Or Breaking A Hip.  We recognized that the same tools can improve your life in both areas — here’s a look at five strategies that can help improve your health and your finances simultaneously. And, by the way, if you’re looking to put these health and wealth tactics into practice — and you’re in the Orlando area — join me this weekend to run at The 401(k) Race For Financial Fitness, sponsored by The Smarter Tomorrow Foundation.

Is Venmo Coming for You?

How often do you use the money sharing app to send payments to friends and family, or even to pay your rent? Venmo has done a great job of making its payments seem almost fun — what’s not to love about using emojis as a description of your purchase? (Tiny hotdog or t-bone steak, anyone?) But the company changed its user agreement in December to indicate that it may “engage in collection and other efforts” to recover lost monies, and in January that went into effect. Fast forward a few months and now people who carry a negative balance on Venmo, or those who may have been scammed into making fraudulent purchases or had their accounts hacked, have found themselves on the receiving end of the company’s collection efforts. To protect yourself, take a good look at your account — if you can’t remember the last time you updated your password, do it now. And, if you find yourself with a negative balance, figure out if there’s anything you can do to recoup those losses before any would-be collectors come knocking. And if you don’t like the sound of any of this, remember that the “delete” button is always just a click away.

Have a great week,

Jean


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