Sarah Thibault of San Francisco just graduated with a masters degree from the California College of the Arts. Supporting herself as an artist straight out of school and earning enough to pay the bills has been difficult. "You know, it's been pretty challenging because the job market has been pretty tough."
Amanda Steinberg is further along in her career. The CEO and mother of two throws out this challenge to other women. "What I think is really important for women is to not only be interested in saving money and frugality, but also understanding the long-term picture of how you're going to build wealth for yourself."
That's why she started DailyWorth.com, a free website. She considers it one of the few financial sites set up specifically to speak to women. "I started this company because I'm someone who said, 'I'm making a lot of money, but I'm not making the right decisions with my money. So I invite you to be on this journey with me,'" she says.
That journey for Thibault includes reducing credit card debt and figuring out how to pay back $100,000 in student loans. Investing for the future is the furthest thing from her mind. "I'm more about getting a job right now and kind of getting in like an emergency savings. I know they recommend to have like three or four months of income," she says.
But she considers herself an avid reader of the DailyWorth.com. There she finds inexpensive recipes, information on how to budget for gifts and trips, and features she finds inspiring. "They do a spotlight on someone who's maybe starting their business or maybe trying to change career paths, and it's all really helpful because it's kind of a role model that I can identify with," says Thibault.
Steinberg has her own financial challenges. She's going through a divorce and trying to figure out her financial security. Her three biggest suggestions are set a budget and understand where your money is going, set aside at least $500 for unexpected expenses, and open up a brokerage account and trade in index funds.
"So I've really adjusted my overhead. I've cut it significantly," says Steinberg. "I've opened up all of these savings and investing accounts and honestly, I've never been better in terms of my own financial situation and my future prospects."
Steinberg says it's time for women to take charge of their own finances and not wait for others to do it for them.