Lessons From Young Women and Money Conference

by Galia Gichon on February 11, 2014

In December, I was thrilled to speak at the YWCA Berkley  “Young Women and Money” conference in Oakland, CA. This was the same trip when I filmed my Creative Live course “Personal Finance for Artists and Freelancers.” 

Valerie Coleman Morris  was the other keynote speaker. Many of our talking points were similar which affirms the importance of our message to these amazing young women.  Most of the attendees were college and high school girls from the Bay Area in California. I didn’t know what to expect and my main takeaway was the full engagement and level of interest from the participants. There were more than 100 high school and college women that were so eager to speak with me about their money and how they could make a difference going forward. 

Money Has No Color
I was also thrilled to see the racial and religious diversity.  Conversations were honest, authentic and realistic.   Cultural habits of money play a big role in how we develop our money habits.  For example, Valerie pointed out that African American women don’t put their purses on the floor.  I love this tradition and have started making a conscious effort not to do this.

Should you Co-habitate With Your Money? 
This question arose with a couple getting married and should they combine their money?  While most college students are not getting married this young, it was a great opportunity to have this conversation. Valerie felt strongly that no matter what you do, be sure to keep an account in your name that you manage alone.  It is important to maintain some financial independence. I agree wholeheartedly.  

More Lessons:
What is your first money memory? This caused quite a discussion as we all shared the impact of our parents attitudes and lessons (or lack of lessons) on our money habits. When going through your money journey, this can be a great place to start. 

It’s not too early to start a budget or spending plan while you are in college. Even if your expense are few, it is easier to create weekly plans, saving a small amount and creating conscious spend habits. 

Loaning money to people.  I was surprised how often this question arose.  The overwhelming response was DON’T!  By loaning money to others, you are NOT taking care of yourself. 

Money has no conscience. It depends on yours.  Leave with the reminder if graduation is around the corner and you are starting a job, sign up for the 401k or 403b at your new job to get started immediately on retirement planning.


Financial Literacy Expert for College Students

by Galia Gichon on February 11, 2014

Even though today’s post is around college students, I found the message loud and clear for all my clients.  In fact, the message is: You are where you are today and then move forward.  If you need a push, you can still check out my Creative Live course “Personal Finance for Artists and Freelancers”.  I keep hearing over and over from clients how helpful it is to re-watch the segments.

To see an excerpt of the class on video, see here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_YYIJajaAyI

I’ve been working more and more with College CFO – a student driven social movement to impact financial literacy for college students.  I’ve always been a fan of Annamaria Lusardi but now I have the official chance to toot her work!  This is an article I wrote for College CFO.

Annamaria Lusardi is an icon within financial literacy for university students. She has spent many years teaching and researching and now is a School of Business Denit Trust Distinguished Scholar in Economics and Accountancy at George Washington University.  She was recently interviewed on financial health for college students and here’s our take.  

Financial literacy is the basis for financial decisions you will make your whole life such as renting an apartment you can afford, investing in your education, paying back student loans and eventually buying a home.  The wrong decision can lead to bankruptcy. What is your financial literacy? Test yourself with this quiz

Lusardi recommends taking a course on personal finance (such as the one she teaches at her university:) or a game such as Doorways to Dream fund. 

Never too early….
It’s never too early to start! Lusardi suggested when the tooth fairy is in the picture but as a college student your ideal time is now. 

Sadly, Lusardi has noticed that financial literacy among university students has not improved. Let’s change that statistic and move the trend the other way!  Start by reading, sharing articles on www.collegecfo.org, taking our courses and spreading the word with your friends!  If you want a customized seminar at your inversion or organization, let us know! We’ll be happy to provide one (link to one of our modules?)

For the full article, visit here.


This Is What an Angel Looks Like

February 5, 2014

As many of you know, I took the Pipeline Fellowship Angel Investing bootcamp a few years ago.  Since then I have continued to be an angel investor, primarily through Topstone Angels.  I was recently interviewed for a series by Pipeline called “This is What An Angel Looks Like”.  It’s a fun interview that lists some […]

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Face Your Finances

January 28, 2014

“It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan”
Eleanor Roosevelt
Why Face Your Finances?
When I was writing the curriculum for my Creative Live course “Personal Finance for Artists and Freelancers”, I wanted to start with helping the participants think differently about their money.  I realized that you, and the seminar attendees, will never move […]

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Barnard Athena Center Leadership Course “Keeping Your $20’s in Your 20s”

January 26, 2014

If you (or any college students that you know!) are in New York City, check out my new course at the Barnard Athena Center for Leadership Studies.
Baffled by the idea of a budget? Nervous about living paycheck-to-paycheck? Do the words IRA and 401k sound like a foreign language? Start planning for your post-college life with […]

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Save Money on Travel with Kids

January 21, 2014

This article was reprinted on SavvyAuntie, a great online resource. Check it out here: http://bit.ly/1cjn4fS
For those of you that know me – I love to travel.  I try and travel internationally once a year and love both ski and beach vacations. Being a personal finance expert, I clearly don’t want to spend top dollars and am […]

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Galia on Marketplace Money NPR

December 16, 2013

My esteemed colleague, Carmen Wong Ulrich, had me on her show, Marketplace Money recently.  People called in and asked questions about:
* Saving for retirement when self-employed
* What to do with old 401ks when you have left your job
* How to keep your investing costs low on your retirement money
* Difference between Solo 401k and SEP […]

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First Money Step For Freelancers

December 2, 2013

Did you check out my article in the December 2013 issue of REAL SIMPLE? It’s a great reminder to take care of yourself during the holidays.
As part of my upcoming workshop “PERSONAL FINANCE FOR ARTISTS AND FREELANCERS” I realized that many people don’t even know where to begin.  Therefore, you are stuck and can’t make your money goals become […]

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