Money Talks, So Should You

Q&A: How can women increase their financial literacy?

Laura Scharr-Bykowsky
by Laura Scharr-Bykowsky, The Garrett Network  (@LauraScharr )

A lot of women are fearful about their finances, partly because they fear the unknown. Many weren’t educated on the basics, either by their family or through the educational system. Being more financially fit or educated about the basics can improve women's confidence and help them put their financial house in order. 

READ: How to improve your child's financial literacy

So where do your start?

  • Make this a priority. Promise yourself that for the next year you will be more focused and committed to learning more.
  • Start with small steps. Increase your reading of financial topics by subscribing to magazine like Kiplinger’s or Money. Follow a daily blog like or perhaps subscribe to the Wall Street Journal. If you don’t understand a word, Google it and find out more. Don’t worry about understanding everything. Take it one step and a time.
  • Pick one part of your financial life to focus on each month. One easy way to start would be to research your current investments in your retirement or other savings plan by asking your adviser or retirement plan administrator for some information about your funds or investments. Consider a subscription to Morningstar. And let’s say next month your insurance policy renewal comes in the mail, read through your policy and make a list of questions, research the topic on line and call your insurance rep.


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Laura Scharr-Bykowsky is the founder of Ascend Financial, a fee-only financial planning firm located in Columbia, SC. She has been providing fee-only financial planning services since 2008 and is a regular contributor to Columbia, S.C.-CBS affiliate WLTX for their Money Monday segment.