We can't emphasize this enough...to actively pursue your dreams you need to have financial awareness. Understanding the basics about earning, saving and someday investing your money will put you light years ahead of the crowd, and dependent on no one. Those are good shoes to stand in. And who doesn't love a good shoe? We turned to our friends at Ellevest (the investment firm created by women for women) and some brand new BFFs in the finance and cryptocurrency space to give you their hard-won - and very wi$e - advice.
What we mean here is - it's not too soon to decide what you want to accomplish. And you're not too young to start laying out a plan to get there. Want to earn $ by babysitting? Invest in yourself: take a Kids' CPR course or a Red Cross babysitting class so you're ready for anything. Small steps now will pay off later when you're the sitter everyone wants to hire!
Don't freak out - we're not referring to actual life emergencies or natural disasters...those are for the adults to handle. We mean those unexpected expenses that can crop up in a girl's life (concert tickets, outgrown cleats, a cracked phone screen...again...) that you'd rather pay for yourself. Contribute bit by bit to your rainy-day fund so you're always prepared!
Replace "raise" with "job" or "allowance," and you get what we mean. Every girl should earn what she deserves. And your work is absolutely worth something - especially if you've planned for the job you want (see above)! But...how to ask? Take a breath, it's easier than you think: (1) State the job you're seeking in a confident voice; (2) Explain why you are a good choice for the job and how hard you will work; (3) Ask for guidance & feedback so you can continue to get better at your job over time.
OK, I get it...but HOW (you ask) do I actually put all this into practice? I'm in middle school, um, remember? We know, and no worries...we've got you covered. Here's a basic plan we recommend trying:
SPEND...50% (you worked hard to earn it!)
SAVE...25% (that whole rainy day thing)
GIVE...25% (because, yep...#BeCharitable)
See what you think & adjust the #s as needed. Wait, what was that? You want to learn more about finance & investing? Ohhh, we have you SO covered! Scroll on, girls!
Need some data to prove that financial literacy is important for girls your age? Flip through this informative report put together by The Girl Scouts a few yrs ago! (Yeah, like we needed another reason to love our BFFs at Girl Scouts...)
Ready for more real-life inspiration? Don't miss these #wi$ewords from one of our own accomplished Être mentors...
For more girl-powered $$ advice, check out Rock the Street, Wall Street - a new & growing financial literacy program designed to springboard girls into careers in finance. We know. Awesome, right? #RTSWS
Still want more? Here's our article in The Huffington Post on the importance of financial confidence in girls, as well as 2 teen-focused money books - written just 4 U.
Have your own question about money, investing or girls in finance? Email us and we'll ask an expert for you! Look what happened when we asked Ernst & Young Global Leader Kath Carter and Ellevest CEO Sallie Krawcheck a few questions about jobs, bravery and #financialconfidence:
Interview with Être Role Model Kath Carter
Global Leader Transaction Advisory Services Markets
Accounts and Business Development, Ernst & Young, LLP
Ê: Companies like yours are trying really hard to hire women and make sure that there are great jobs out there by the time we are old enough to work. What should girls in middle school and high school be doing to get ready for that? What kinds of classes, small jobs or experiences should we try to have while we're in school, so we're ready? KC: The jobs of the future will be different from the jobs of today, so being open to new experiences and trying many things will be a good foundation for adapting to the change that is to come. Be bold in taking courses outside your comfort zone as you may find out you love them. Also, ensure you find opportunities to work on interpersonal skills, which enhance communication. In this world of high tech filled with gadgets, it is the ability to meaningfully communicate that makes the difference and makes the journey more rewarding too.
Ê: What advice would you give girls our age who get nervous raising their hands in class or get told that it's rude to talk about being smart, jobs or money? KC: Don't be afraid to fail, be afraid not to. Raise those hands. It is through failing forward that we learn, grow and succeed.
Ê: What did you tell yourself when you were our age that helped make you brave? KC: I was fortunate to have a mother who believed in me and told me at an early age and often, "Don't let anyone limit you." I have kept those words handy any time I face the need to be brave.
Ernst & Young supports the advancement of strong women through their #WinningWomen, #WomenFastForward and #BeBoldForChange campaigns.
Être urges all forward-looking girls to follow along with E&Y!
...AAAND LOOK WHAT ELLEVEST CEO
SALLIE KRAWCHECK TOLD US!
And a last bit of Êtregirl trivia: Why do you think that our printed money & coins say "In God We Trust?" What about that separation of church and state thing? Yeah, we wondered too. To find out why and when it showed up on your money...click here. And to find out why people are STILL fighting about this today, click here. We were surprised - but we had to know. Cause we're THAT nerdy. But now we're all a little bit wi$er too. #BeTheWi$eGirl