Finances and investing are a major part of participating in the world economies, yet as women we are still behind, in some cases getting paid 30% less then our male equivalents. If you are interested in increasing your savviness and learning more, here are four ways to get started.
I encourage you to always seek to increase your knowledge. Learn a little bit every week and keep on schedule.
1) Educate yourself. There are plenty of blogs and news websites that cover financial information. At Investopedia.com you get a free account with play money that you can use to participate in the stock market. At Getrichslowly.org, PFBlog.com, or MillionaireMommyNextDoor.com, you can read from real people's experiences.
2) Invest. Investing in the stock market is one way that you can share in the development of existing, publicly-listed companies. There are many free resources available online for the technical aspect of trading, but sometimes just getting started with an investment account.
Consider signing up with Sharebuilder.com for a way to purchase stocks — you can buy incremental stocks and set up an investment plan. Some would counsel you to buy shares in companies that you yourself love and appreciate.
3) Set up Shop. Start a side business, home-based business, or consulting business to supplement your existing income. Learning commerce and offering a green alternative in the business world means stepping in and doing so.
You can start your own venture, recruit partners to work with, buy out an existing small business, or open a franchise. In whichever case you choose, look to the local resources such as your BALLE chapter, EcoTuesday.com and the Green Chamber of Commerce to consider your local market and how you can fit in.
4) Build up a network with others. Many of us socially and environmentally conscious women want to feel connected and be a part of a group. Consider a coffee day, a get-together at someone's house, or a club where you can meet on a regular basis and talk green – learn, share, and grow within your community.
There are others who are interested in what you're interested in: green, sustainable options, eco-friendly choices, and ways to leave a lighter footprint. Find your peeps and get together — we all rise when we work in coordination with one another.
Monica S. Flores, web developer at , believes in the triple bottom line of people, planet, and profits. She creates effective, engaging websites for women-owned companies, green businesses, and progressive organizations: her focus is on organic, holistic, fair trade, and sustainable work, and she's committed to Drupal development. Follow her on Twitter as @monicadear.
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