Savings: "What I Wish I Knew"

While we’re working hard to prepare for our seats at the table, we also need to mind our money. What’s the point of making money if we’re not making it work for us?

For the next month, we’re dedicating #memomonday to getting our financial futures in better shape. We’re passing on gems we’ve learned along the way to make you better informed, and to make your hard-earned money (on your way to the C-Suite) work better for you.

by: Daniella Saldana, Staff Writer, The Memo

Do you have enough money saved for your future #goals? If the answer is no, or if you aren’t really sure, you aren’t alone -- just 45% of the 62 million working women (aged 21-64) in the U.S. participate in a retirement plan. Women are more likely to do part-time work that doesn’t come with a retirement plan. We also earn less on average, and leave the workforce at a higher rate to care for small children or aging relatives.

Especially if you’re young, you may think that savings and retirement planning is something for “Future You” to worry about. However, the best time to start saving is now!

With this in mind, we asked women:

What is something you wish you knew sooner about saving?

  • “I wish I had opened a savings account that directly takes out money from my paycheck and sets it aside in that savings account…And an IRA, both are smart ideas.” - Nicole, 28
  • “Honestly, I think the biggest problem is that people warn you on what paths you should take for success or an easier life, but no one wants to listen. So now, I realize I should’ve listened back then and really tried to follow the advice from others.” - Patti, 49
  • “Save, save, save! Every penny counts, seriously! I wish I would have spent my money on better things that would be useful for me now.” - Tiffany, 24
  • “I wish I would have known earlier about an IRA account that helps you save for school, house, or even business.” - Teresa, 30
  • “I wish I knew what a credit score was. Still don’t really know to be honest.” - Merlyn, 21
  • “I wish I had taken out a credit card sooner (and been responsible with it). I got my first one when I was 25. So basically I have no credit history, though I am working on it….In general, I have never been much of a saver, which I wish I had been… they say the best time to plant a tree is 5 years ago, the second best time is today. Start saving now girl!” - Carol, 27

“Do the one thing you think you cannot do. Fail at it. Try again. Do better the second time. The only people who never tumble are those who never mount the high wire. This is your moment. Own it.” - Oprah Winfrey