Financial literacy is the way to go

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In today’s time, according to author and financial expert Glinda Bridgforth, it is important for women to be aware of their financial situation and to be financially literate. Quoting her motto, that it is time for women of color to be “empowered, prepared, prudent and prosperous.” She pointed out that even in these uncertain economic times you should have power and the potential to achieve goals and dreams.

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FINANCIAL AWARENESS—Glinda Bridgforth speaks to those at the Financial Literacy workshop.

After working with women of all colors and economic status, Bridgforth ascertains that the core reasons people have monetary trouble is low self-esteem, deprivation and fear. “Instead of dealing with what is going on on the inside we often use the retail theory and shop,” she said. “If you feel something is missing, you have to think about the motive, act on it, and deal with the fear of not having enough money,” Bridgforth said.

With over 20 years of serving as a financial coach, knowledge acquired from writing three books, conducting seminars and workshops, keynote addresses and providing her expertise to the media, Bridgforth said her company, Bridgforth Financial & Associates LLC, deals with the issues of finance through a holistic, comprehensive, supportive and realistic approach. She describes holistic money management counseling as addressing the practical steps of financial management, including balancing a checkbook, developing a spending plan, and analyzing income versus expenses. “We help our clients overcome their deep-seated barriers to financial health by integrating the emotional, spiritual, cultural and historical aspects of how we behave with our money.”

To a mixed generational crowd of more than 75 people, Bridgforth outlined strategies from her three books; “Girl, Get Your Credit Straight,” “Girl, Make Your Money Grow” and “Girl, Get Your Money Straight.” Her nine-step plan to getting finances straight included: don’t panic, chart your debt, don’t create more debt, create a monthly spending plan, track and analyze expenses, reduce expenses, increase income, pay down debt and save. “If you find that you are in a comfortable financial situation, now is a good time to follow these nine steps,” she said. The advice assists in creating financial peace of mind and also becoming debt-free. She points out that the steps educate on how to overcome obstacles that keep you from the financial security you deserve: and how to obtain a savings cushion, minimum to no debt, a clean credit report, a high credit score, and a comfortable retirement account.”

Recently in Pittsburgh speaking during Your Sister’s Project, Inc.’s Financial Literacy Month event, Bridgforth says she speaks from personal experience. A former banker who managed a $90 million unit with 22 employees, Bridgforth says she was existing in life in a financial crisis living paycheck to paycheck and nearly bankrupt with $50,000 in unsecured debt. Reflecting, she testified that she left a 12-year career with the bank, a troubled marriage, and started attending financial and personal healing seminars. Now, a 53-year-old newlywed, she considers herself a truly blessed woman with much favor from God with the responsibility to teach what she has learned within the financial arena.

Considered a leading financial expert, Bridgforth’s writings as a contributor are in Essence Magazine and she formerly was a feature writer and “Money Talk” chat show host for America Online, Inc. She also has contributed her financial knowledge to the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Money, Jet, Black Enterprise, Heart and Soul, and Ebony Magazine. Her television credits are inclusive of Fox News and PBS.

Pleased with the results of the event, Shirley Muhammad, founder and head of Your Sister’s Project, says the event is just one of many in the organization’s efforts to highlight the importance of financial literacy and to teach area residents how to establish and maintain healthy financial habits. Muhammad has announced that the group is accepting applications for their Financial Literacy Ways to Work Summer Day Camp Program as well as their Summer Youth Employment program for the Wilkinsburg area.

A non-profit human and social services organization since 2001, Your Sister’s Project was founded in1996 as a grass roots community-based group.

Proceeds from the Bridgforth presentation will benefit the expansion of the Allegheny County Family Financial Literacy Resource Center, one of the group’s initiatives.

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