Finding Financial Freedom


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Linda Descano, Managing Director and Head of Content and Social at Citi, as well as President/CEO of Citi’s Women & Co., shares advice about getting your finances in order. Check out Women & Co., Citi’s digital publisher of financial lifestyle content, for even more advice:

Connect: Professional Women’s Network is a free LinkedIn group powered by Citi with more than 270,000 members. To join the conversation, visit

Published in: Economy & Finance
  • it is good to earn it is better to save. it is the best to plan learn the art of.getting your finances in order.god bless you Linda for this inspiring and informative article.thanks.
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  • my c­­­­o-­­­­wor­­­­ker's ha­­­­lf-si­­­­ster ma­­­­kes $8­­­­9 /hou­­­­r o­­­­n t­­­­he l­­­­aptop . Sh­­­­e ha­­­­s be­­­­en fire­­­­d fro­­­­m w­­­­ork f­­­­or five mo­­­­nths ­­­­b­­­­­­­­ut las­­­­t m­­­­onth h­­­­er c­­­­heck wa­­­­s $21­­­­382 ju­­­­st ­­­­wor­­­­ki­­­­ng o­­­­n th­­­­e la­­­­ptop fo­­­­r a f­­­­ew h­­­­ours.

    l­­­­ook a­­­­t th­­­­is s­­­­ite........
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Finding Financial Freedom

  1. BROUGHT TO YOU BY Linda Descano, CEO of Citi’s Women & Co., shares advice about getting your finances in order. Finding Financial Freedom
  2. Meet Linda Descano! Linda recently answered questions from the members of Connect: Professional Women’s Network. Here is some of her most popular advice! Linda Descano is Managing Director and Head of Content & Social at Citi. In addition, she serves as President and CEO of Women & Co., Citi’s digital publisher of financial lifestyle content. A recognized expert on personal finances, Linda is’s women and money expert and was selected by as one of the Most Popular Personal Finance Experts of 2013. Her writing, tips and commentary have appeared in publications including: The Huffington Post, MORE magazine, American Banker and MSN Money.
  3. How do I take control of my finances? Is it better to focus on saving or paying down debt? There is no right or wrong answer – it depends on your individual financial situation. The best action you can take is to decide.
  4. The first step to financial freedom? Create a budget. It’s important to understand where your money is going. Use budgeting as a tool to understand how much income is going to basic necessities versus perks (such as buying coffee and eating out), and how much you can put toward savings, paying down debt or charitable donations.
  5. Set goals for yourself. First and foremost, how much do you want to save and by when? Answering this can help you zero-in on an investment approach that optimizes how much you have to save, how much you have saved already and when you’ll begin using that money.
  6. THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN COMING UP WITH A PLAN: Short-term: If you’re concerned about job stability or have no emergency fund, make saving cash a priority for now. Embrace cash-only: Lighten your debt load and spend only what you have. Pay off credit cards first: Longer-term, tax-deductible loans such as a mortgage or student loan can come second. Pick a strategy that feels best: For some, that will mean paying off the lower balance first, while others will want to tackle the card with the higher interest rate.
  7. And remember, it’s a process. You aren’t going to go from a state of disarray to financial heaven in one afternoon. Plan to invest the time upfront to get organized, and then 1-2 hours a month to keep it up throughout the year.
  8. Get your credit score up off the floor. When it comes to improving your credit score, first and foremost, pay all your bills on time. It’s also good practice to limit balances to 10 to 20 percent of the total amount of credit available to you. Keep close tabs on your credit report to catch any mistakes and correct them promptly.
  9. You don’t have to go it alone. Use a financial professional to provide a fresh perspective on the state of your money, get you back on track and ―nudge‖ you forward when you’re procrastinating.
  10. The good news is we’re living longer. That also means that our retirement savings need to stretch for a longer period of time. Beef up your nest egg to cover those extra years. Factor in your future care, whether that will mean part-time in-home assistance, nursing home care or a retirement community.
  11. Be proactive–and prepared. While many women manage day-to- day financial chores of the household, such as paying bills or grocery shopping, some only get engaged in long-term planning when faced with a partner’s illness, death or divorce. Instead, women must keep a pulse on all of the accounts and how they’re each titled.
  12. Schedule check-ins to keep yourself on track. Whether you’re working with a professional on your financial portfolio or going it alone, it’s important to take stock (no pun intended!) of where you are relative to your goals at least once a year. Keep your money in sync with your changing life and needs.
  13. There’s an app for that! Take some time to look into the online and digital services your bank provides to help you get organized more easily and track your money effortlessly, like for budgeting and for organizing household accounts.
  14. Let loose––but keep it “in line.” Practice responsible splurging by including a line for fun spending in your budget. Treating yourself from time to time–and knowing when you can afford it–can help you to stay on track with other spending as well.
  15. Whatever happens, don’t beat yourself up. Rather than carrying financial baggage, let go of your mistakes and use what you’ve learned to move forward with firmer financial footing.
  16. ©2014 LinkedIn Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Additional Resources TOOLS TO SIMPLIFY YOUR FINANCES: • for budgeting • for organizing household accounts • Apps to Help Streamline Household Finances GETTING YOUR FINANCES IN ORDER: • Tips for Finding and Working with a Financial Professional • 3 Ways to Improve Your Financial Footing • Achieve Your Financial Resolutions • Live within Your Means Now • 6 Steps to Rethinking Your Budget • Tips for a Stress-Free Tax Season • Scan, Shred or Store
  17. ©2014 LinkedIn Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Additional Resources SIMPLE WAYS TO SAVE FOR RETIREMENT: • How to Balance the Needs of Three Generations From the Middle • 5 Ideas to Supercharge Your Retirement Savings • Things You Can Do Today to Boost Your Retirement Income • Are You Saving Enough for Retirement? • Do You Need to Simplify Your Portfolio? HOW TO DEAL WITH STRESS ABOUT MONEY: • Reasons You May Be Stressed about Money— and How to Find Peace of Mind • 5 Common Financial Fears (and How to Overcome Them) • Tips to Help Trim Credit Card Debt
  18. ©2014 LinkedIn Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Join the conversation! Connect: Professional Women’s Network, Powered by Citi, is an online community on LinkedIn that helps women achieve the careers they want and discuss the issues relevant to their success. For more great insights from Connect members, check out the discussion I’m Linda Descano, CFA®, President/CEO of Citi’s Women & Co., and I’m looking forward to answering your questions about getting your finances organized! Visit for more information and to join the group for free! 1: Maridav/Shutterstock 2: Courtesy of Linda Descano 3: Diego Cervo/Shutterstock 4: pogonici/Shutterstock 5: Stuart Jenner/Shutterstock 6: Sharon Drummand/Flickr 7: FrannyAnne/Shutterstock 8: Cheryl Savan/Shutterstock 9: MonkeyBusiness/Shutterstock 10. MonkeyBusiness/Shutterstock 11. Kzenon/Shutterstock 12. wavebreakmedia/Shutterstock 13. patpitchya/Shutterstock 14. Tax Credits/Flickr 15. JullyFotos/Shutterstock PHOTO CREDITS:
  19. CONNECT: PROFESSIONAL WOMEN’S NETWORK©2014 LinkedIn Corporation. All Rights Reserved. 19