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Down to Earth Financial Planning Advice

Jean Chatzky is known for her approachable advice on financial planning and often shares tips that she thinks will be particularly helpful for women. published a list of her “Top 5 Money Rules for 2013“:

“If You Don’t Ask for Money, The Answer Will Always Be No”

As an example, Chatzky notes, “In 2011 “newly-trained female doctors earned salaries that averaged $17,000 less than newly-trained male doctors.” and says it had little to do with their specialties or requests for flexible hours. It had everything to do with women not requesting more pay. However, she adds, “Whether you’re a woman or a man, you have to ask for the money you want.”

“If You’re Just Looking Don’t Try it On”

Chatzky is talking about clothes and cites research from behavioral economists who found that you will feel a loss if you don’t buy clothes after trying them on. However, this lesson goes beyond clothes: getting increasingly invested in the possibility of a purchase you can’t afford or don’t need makes it difficult to walk away.

“Count Dollars Like Calories”

It may seem tedious but keeping track of your spending, even for a short amount of time (say, a week) can be an eye-opening experience. And today there are plenty of apps and other tools to help so you won’t have to keep up with pen and paper.

“Just Because Someone Will Lend It To You Doesn’t Mean You Should Borrow It”

This speaks for itself; even a “good debt” is one that must be repaid so don’t take on more debt than necessary.

“More Money Won’t Always Make You More Happy “

While coping without the basics is very tough, having more money to fill your accounts won’t necessarily fill your heart with joy. She advises readers to consider that when they think about doing something “just for the money.”

If you would like to consult with someone on a regular basis about your finances, consider Fee-Only financial advisor Claire Emory MBA, CFP, CFA of Clarity Financial Planning.