Life doesn’t always go the way we plan. You truly never know when an accident, a breakup, the death of a loved one or some other unforeseen event will turn your world upside down. This is one of the reasons why financial literacy is a must. If you don’t know how to manage your money — or you’re relying on someone else to do it — you could be in a real bind when one of life’s many curveballs is thrown your way.
No one knows this better than Cary Carbonaro, personal finance expert, author of “The Money Queen’s Guide for Women Who Want To Build Wealth and Banish Fear” and Smart Money Squad member, who went through an exceedingly costly divorce. One month, her attorney bill was $30,000. She now urges women, in particular, to take charge of their money and ensure themselves a bright financial future.
“Women need to plan for the unexpected because you know what? Life doesn’t go in one direction, straight up,” she said.
This is certainly the case for Carbonaro. Despite growing up in a loving, supportive family and having a knowledgeable father to teach her about finances, she wound up in an abusive relationship — living proof that it can happen to anyone.
“I had a great background, and I thought I would go in one direction, and, unfortunately, I married the wrong man, and my life took a turn for the worst.”
This is why Carbonaro now plans for the unexpected. And, she’s not alone. The obsessive desire to have a safety net in place is common for women, according to the money pro. It’s something she calls “the bag lady” fear.
“It is the fear that you are gonna be out of money, living on the streets, when you’re older. And it’s a very real fear. Believe it or not, 27 percent, or more than a quarter of women, who make more than $200,000 a year, also have the fear that they’re gonna wind up on the street, being a bag lady,” she said. (Carbonaro calls those women “designer bag ladies.”)
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To allay these fears, she wants women to educate themselves about money. With knowledge comes confidence, empowerment and stronger decision-making. Further, she wants women to focus on building wealth, year over year.
Any woman doing all these things is what Carbonaro calls a “money queen.”
“A money queen is any woman who wants to own their own financial future, be responsible for themselves, and know that they’re gonna take care of it and no one else is going to,” she said.
Whether you’re single and carefree or married with children, you can be a money queen. And the first step, according to Carbonaro, is working with a financial coach. Having someone who wants to see you succeed, and make the right financial moves as much as you do, will help you on your path to success.
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