Take Control of Your Financial Future

November 20, 2017

Aloud YoProDealing with your personal finances is a subject that is daunting yet so important all at once. And hardest of all is to be honest with yourself about your financial goals. So, where do you start as a young professional?

Sponsored by Fidelity Investments, experts offered tips, tricks and crucial advice to NYWICI YoPro members at “The Money Move: Take Your Finances to the Next Level” on Nov 8, 2017, at Meredith. Here are the key takeaways from the event:


Budgeting is one of the most difficult parts of managing finances, and Fidelity has structured a simple formula to assist you and help to remove the stress of spending too much on impulse purchases. Here’s the breakdown:

Percent of pay check:

50% — Essentials (rent, utilities, gas bills, etc.)

15% — Retirement (401K, 403B or IRA)

5% — Short term savings (see emergency fund details below)

30% — FUN! You should have extra money for you.


Knowing and understanding your credit score is important. Right now, it might not seem crucial, but in the future, this will help determine a loan for a house and impact other future financial options.

Be sure to regularly check your credit report and keep your credit healthy. Make your payments on-time and in full accounts for 35% of your score. Don’t max out your credit (use less than 30% of available credit) accounts for 30%. And consider other factors, such as your length of history of your credit card, credit max (different types of credit) and having new credit (but don’t open too many lines).


Things happen. Whether it’s losing your job, health issues, or any other unforeseen circumstances, it’s important to have an emergency fund. Fidelity recommends saving enough money to cover three-to-six months of essential expenses.

This emergency fund can also help you to avoid situations of debt. If you find yourself overspending or with extra expenses, this fund can help to pay off credit card bills and prevent you from accumulating debt. Remember, this fund is there to help you in emergency situations. Think of it as your financial safety net.


Investing can seem daunting and complicated, but it can become a great way to help reach your long-term financial goals.


It’s never too early to start saving for retirement. Many companies offer to match your contribution up to a certain percentage, and Fidelity stresses the importance of taking advantage of these offers. “You shouldn’t pass up free money,” one Fidelity representative said. It’s also worth noting that there are penalties to removing funds from your 401K early, so plan to keep your money invested until you reach retirement age.

And remember, start saving! Don’t fret that because you missed out on your 401K during your first few years of employment you won’t catch up. 


Posted by: 
Gena Wolfson

Taking Charge of Your Finances

September 19, 2016

On Sept. 12, 2016, NYWICI’s Cocktails & Conversations featured a panel discussion “Investing in Your Career” on financial issues facing women throughout their careers: How much to contribute to a 401K, saving to have a child or for retirement or tackling life after divorce.

The panel was moderated by Hannah Storm (2nd from left), an award-winning journalist, producer & director (@HannahStormESPN). Panelists included Dyllan McGee (1st from left), founder & executive producer, MAKERS (@dyllanmcgee); Kathy Murphy (2nd from right), president, Personal Investing, Fidelity Investments;  Elisabeth Rosario (center), director of communications at Spark Capital (@emrosario) and Kristine Welker (1st from right), a past NYWICI president and a media consultant (@kristine_welker).

The panelists shared their own experiences dealing with personal financial matters and challenges and gave advice how to get started and be in the know, no matter where you are in your personal career, by putting a consistent effort into devoting time to learning new skills, nurturing your mind and body and saving and investing for a secure financial future.

According to Kathy, who kicked off the evening with a small keynote address, women outlive men — and nine out of 10 women will be solely responsible of their finances later on in life. Moreover, 50% of women are the primary bread winners in their families, and they make 80% of purchasing decisions — but only one out of four boomers and Gen X, one out of five Gen Y and only 12% of Millennials consider themselves the primary decision makers when it comes to personal finances.

Women have a confidence gap; they don’t feel comfortable talking about money. They like to get educated and organized before they take the first step whereas men learn as they go.

Here are a few key takeaways from the panelists:


  • If you don’t get started, you never make enough money [to last through retirement].
  • We were raised not to talk about money. It is not lady like. It is intimidating. We are afraid to ask questions. Investing is not that hard: Cash in the bank, bonds or stocks, depending on how much risk tolerance you are willing to take.
  • 100 dollars a month saved in your 20s will turn into more than 700 dollars a month when you retire, if invested early on.
  • General rule: Spend 50% of what you made on essential expenses like food, rent, mortgage; save 10-15%; put 5% in a readily available emergency fund — and the rest is for you to spend.
  • Retirement formula: By the time you are 85, you should have eight times your annual income saved.
  • If you don’t open a 401K through your job, set up a personal IRA that mimics that.


  • Girls stop to speak up because they feel it makes them masculine. Girls in sport are different. Have faith in yourself.
  • I wished my parents would have been more proactive to help me get started with my finances.
  • Never take a job only for the money. Take a job that you are passionate about. Then it builds up. You can’t have money just as the end game.


  • In our family, my husband and I have a time scheduled each month to talk about our investments. I made it a point and started educating myself about finances.


  • I am good at spending. And not stressing. But talking about finances is very important.
  • My husband handles all the finances, and I am not proud of that as a feminist.


  • I started in college and worked at a bank and learned about finances. But instead of saving I paid off college loan debt early on. My parents were new immigrants, and I felt that I had to take care of my finances and debt early on. I invested in my career. Family, kids and a mortgage are still far away. 


Photo this page and slideshow images on homepage: Mark Von Holden

​Thank You to Our Event Sponsor:

Fidelity Logo






Posted by: 
Tekla Szymanski
Subscribe to RSS - money