Saving: The Solution for Women When Crisis Arise - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise Magazine January-March 2019 Issue

Ladies, want to start saving, but aren’t sure how to start or are you concerned that socking away a few bucks a month won’t really make a difference?

Consider this: if you start a saving account with just $70 and deposit $70 a month, earning 3.5% interest compounded monthly, in 25 years, you’d have $33667.44. That’s money that can be used for a very rainy day, retirement, or to keep as a cushion.

That’s the point that panelist at the Women and Wealth Workshop wanted to drive home and challenged the audience to make saving a priority.

Since saving can be daunting, Suzanne Mayo-Theus, director of the Washington D.C.-based organization Black America Saves, tried to make it a little less painful. She suggested starting during America Saves Week, which runs Feb. 22- March 1.

“We are trying to come up with a plan for women first. We want to start with the sisters to build a movement about saving,” she said. “Take an assessment of your savings, build wealth, and get out of debt.”

For several decades, Mayo-Theus has been saving $25 every pay period since she graduated from college. The money will go towards her dream of donating $1 million to Grambling State University, her alma mater. She asked everyone to encourage their family and friend network to start saving as well.

It is particularly important for people to begin saving as early as possible. “Begin saving at age 18 or 20 and when you’re 45 you will be amazed,” said Keesa Schreane of Schreane & Associates, a media, marketing company with expertise in finance.

Wendy Edwards, an agent for New York Life Insurance Co. noted that there can be an investing component to your insurance as well. “While you are young and in very good health get insurance,” said Edwards advising that the premium that you sign into when you’re young will not increase as you age, while that same insurance purchased at an older age will require a higher premium.

If saving seems impractical the panelists said that by taking an assessment of their income women can identify areas where spending can be cut back. Contributing pre-tax dollars to a 401K plan is an easy and simple way to save because people don’t usually miss the money being deducted from their paychecks, Edwards explained. Plus, there can be an added advantage if an employer offers a matching program. Finally, if savings goals still seem unattainable, then consider adding another source of income.

The workshop was part of the 12th Annual Rainbow PUSH Wall Street Project Economic Summit, which ends Friday in New York.

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Marcia Wade Talbert

Marcia is a multimedia content producer focusing on technology at Black Enterprise Magazine. In this capacity she writes and assigns stories to educate readers about social media; digital integration; gadgets, apps, and software for business and professional development; minority tech startups; and careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). In 2012, she received two Salute to Excellence Awards from the National Association of Black Journalists and was recognized by Blacks in Technology (BiT) as one of the Top 10 Black achievers in the tech arena for 2011 at SXSW in Austin, Texas. She has spoken about technology on panels for New York Social Media Week, at The 2012 Rainbow/PUSH Wall Street Summit, as well as at Black Enterprise’s Entrepreneurs Conference and Women of Power Summit. In 2011, chose her as one of 28 People of Color Impacting the Social Web, and through crowdsourcing she was listed as one of BlackWeb2.0's/HP's 50 Most Notable African American Tastemakers in Social Media and Technology for 2010. Since taking on the role of Tech editor in September 2010, she has conceived and produced five cover stories on Technology and/or STEM and countless articles, videos, and slideshows online. Before joining as an interactive general assignment reporter in 2008, she freelanced with Black Enterprise beginning in 2003 while working as the technical editor at Prepared Foods magazine. There she further honed her writing skills and became an authority on food ingredients, including ingredients used in food fortification and enrichment. Meanwhile, her freelancing with Black Enterprise and helped her stay current on issues pertaining to the financial and business welfare of African Americans. As a general reporter for Black Enterprise she attended and reported on the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, where she interviewed Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor and assistant to President Barack Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Marcia has a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture with an emphasis in food science from the University of Minnesota, and a Master of Science degree in journalism from Roosevelt University in Chicago. En route to her secondary degree, she served as the editor-in-chief of the Roosevelt University Torch, a weekly, student-run newspaper. An avid photographer and videographer, Marcia is one of several employees at BLACK ENTERPRISE who interned for the publishing company as a college student. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, a food scientist; her seventeen-month-old daughter; and “The Cat”, but still considers Chicago home.