Wendy Gladney (Courtesy Photo)


Getting our finances in order is always something good to do. Staying on top of and understanding where we stand financially is critical.  October is Financial Planning Month, so if you have not taken a good look at your portfolio in a while, I recommend you do it now.  As the saying goes, “keep your mind on your money, and your money on your mind.”   

This does not mean we should idolize our money, but if we do not keep track of what is going on before we know it, we may not be where we planned. Now is a good time to pause and look at our budget, bank accounts, and other investment instruments before we start our holiday shopping and things get really out of whack.  

Establishing a financial plan is more than just looking at what we have coming in and going out; it is also about looking at our goals, long and short-term, and what we hope to accomplish. When we are young and just starting out in our careers, we often do not think about retirement and what we need to do now to prepare for our future.   

As an entrepreneur and being self-employed for much of my life, initially financially preparing for my older years and retirement was not at the forefront of my mind.  However, I was blessed to meet a woman by the name of Rene Nourse from Urban Wealth Management, who took the time to share with me the importance of preparing today for the tomorrow I desired. 

Statistics show that women, on average, have historically earned less than men.  Women typically also have less wealth and asset ownership compared to men. There are various reasons for these statistics, but some of the reasons are that women typically are less prone to participate in investment and entrepreneurship opportunities than men is because they have more family responsibilities and tend to be more security conscious.  

We also need to be mindful of debt and credit card spending and think about delayed gratification, especially with the holidays creeping up on us. Women often face different challenges when it comes to managing debt and accessing credit, but thankfully this is changing. We may be more likely to have higher student loan debt and face discrimination in lending. Overall, studies show that women may save at a higher rate regarding their income but are less aggressive when taking risks for higher payoffs.  

Today, I understand the importance of proper financial planning and take it very seriously, not only for my own life, but also for everyone that is part of my world.  In 1999, I started a nonprofit called Forgiving For Living, Inc., that mentors and works with at-risk young women who depend on us for guidance and helping them prepare for their future.  

Regarding financial literacy, we have been fortunate to have partners such as U.S. Bank and Comerica Bank that donate their time to teaching the necessary skills and tools to make positive financial decisions. It is our desire to equip these young ladies with as much knowledge and power as possible. 

It is important that we take responsibility for our own lives and our future.  We need to do the necessary research and planning to live the lives we so desire. Remember, “Financial planning and discipline is key to one’s financial freedom,” said Kishorkumar Balpalli.  

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Visit www.WendyGladney.com and www.forgivingforliving.org to learn more. Wendy is a life strategist, coach, consultant, author, and speaker.