10 Money Lessons That’ll Instantly Up Your Financial Literacy

10 Money Lessons That’ll Instantly Up Your Financial Literacy

The second annual Girlboss Rally in New York came and went like a whirlwind but we’re still reeling from the valuable lessons we learned at the massive two-day event. If you weren’t able to attend the conference in person, you’re in luck! We, in partnership with global investment manager BlackRock, are spreading the knowledge to help you become more financially secure.

One of the Sunday panels was “The Psychology of Saving—And Spending,” where Girlboss EIC and COO Neha Gandhi led a lively discussion with three money experts on how we as a society don’t really talk about finances, but how it pays off to have open conversations about them. One of our guest speakers, BlackRock’s Head of U.S. and Canada Defined Contribution Group, Anne Ackerley left us with a few key impressions on investing in yourself.

We also hosted a workshop entitled “Personal Finance 101: From Saving Hacks To Real Talk On Compound Interest,” where financial advisor Kristin O’Keeffe Merrick guided Rally-ers through tips and advice on how to best manage their finances, from saving to investing.

Ready to up your financial literacy? Read through the top 10 kernels of wisdom we heard below.

“Think of saving for your short-term goals, think of investing for your long-term goals.” — Anne Ackerley, BlackRock

“We really do live in a material world. When was the last time someone complimented you on your ability to save – as opposed to, say, those new shoes? But, in reality, saving is commendable—not only because it’s good for you, but also because it’s hard to do. So we need to find—and, if necessary, create—spaces where we can be honest about that and support each other.” — Anne Ackerley, BlackRock

“Saving for retirement simply isn’t what it used to be. For one, student debt poses a very real challenge for many people today. Prior generations probably didn’t have as much student debt, and they also had pensions from their workplaces to fall back on. We don’t really have that today. So we need to acknowledge that today’s generation of savers and investors faces a different set of challenges – and will need different kinds of support.” — Anne Ackerley, BlackRock

“You absolutely have to talk about money with your partner. I can’t stress that enough. If you’re in a relationship, then you’re planning to attack life as a team – and that includes your money.” — Anne Ackerley, BlackRock

“The more you can automate what you’re doing in terms of saving and investing, the better off you’re going to be. So, before your paycheck even hits your bank account, take some amount off the top and set it aside for your 401(k). You can often set this up as an ‘auto’ feature, kind of like auto pay—that way, you won’t even have to think about it.” — Anne Ackerley, BlackRock

My homework for you is to think about what your own money story is. And think about how you can fix that. How you can change it and make it better.” — Kristin O’Keeffe Merrick, O’Keeffe Financial Partners, LLC

“You always want to pay your credit cards in full. You do not want to keep a balance. I demystified credit cards for you, amen.” — Kristin O’Keeffe Merrick, O’Keeffe Financial Partners, LLC

“Compound interest is magic. It’s magic and it can make you really wealthy and you can take care of your great grandkids. We should all do that.” — Kristin O’Keeffe Merrick, O’Keeffe Financial Partners, LLC

“The way that the 401(k) works is that your employer sponsors the fund for you. They may or may not match. If they don’t match, that does not mean you should not contribute to it. I hear this all the time: ‘My employer doesn’t match, so I don’t contribute.’ Well, you’ve just given up a huge tax opportunity. Tax mitigation opportunity.” — Kristin O’Keeffe Merrick, O’Keeffe Financial Partners, LLC

“If you’re self-employed, if you’re a business owner, if you’re freelance, you should know about a SEP IRA. It is awesome. What it does, it acts the same way as the 401(k), so anything that you put into a SEP IRA acts as a tax deduction.” — Kristin O’Keeffe Merrick, O’Keeffe Financial Partners, LLC