International Women’s Day: Gender, Equality and Personal Finance

Happy International Women’s Day!

We’re marking the occasion with a content celebration featuring work from women in personal finance media. Check out the intersection of gender equality and money below.

Gender Equality & Personal Finance

Have the conversation. Advocate for yourself. When you do well in your position, ask for a raise.


Tremaine Wills, MBA

“The gender pay gap is still alive and well. Ultimately, this issue is the responsibility of our government and our business. They are the ones who can create and implement equal pay policies across the board. But that doesn’t mean that the rest of us are helpless to make change.”


Maggie Germano

Whenever women negotiate, there is always a “Shadow Negotiation” – the unspoken assumptions, cultural norms, and self-sabotage that shape the negotiation itself.”


Rebecca Neale on Bedford Family Lawyer

“The impression I got was that Michael wanted to believe that women are inferior because that made him superior.  That’s understandable isn’t it? Everyone wants to feel powerful.


-Roxanne of Finance Rox


“Financial literacy starts with communication. The more we communicate with each other about money, the less intimidated and scared we will be of it.”


Daniella at I Like to Dabble

“My first reaction to a thorny money issue involving difficult people: find an alternate route, a way of avoiding fear and confrontation. Then I remember I don’t need to do that: I can face the twists, turns, and uncertainties.”


Julie Rains on Investing to Thrive

“Not enough has changed since 1998: women are underrepresented in some industries and overrepresented in others, namely part-time work in the service industries.” Team

“There is so much to be said about making decisions from the heart rather than just the head. What’s even better is when we can augment that with concrete supportive data to substantiate our stance.”

Yulin Lee

“I’ve had more than one employer in the past. And I got raises from all but one of them. Even after being told no. ”


-Jackie Beck

“When women are allowed to work and are then compensated fairly for their work, the entire economy performs better.”

Femme Frugality

International Women’s Day on Social Media

If you want to check out even more content on gender equality, check out #IWD2020 across social media platforms!

If you’re interested in gender equality and money in particular, you’ll find even more great work from our community by liking, sharing and commenting on #PersonalFinancebyWomen posts across social media.

Here’s some of what you’ll find on the IG hashtag during the celebration! Give these posts a like and their authors a follow.

Join Personal Finance by Women for International Women’s Day

March 8 is International Women’s Day.

In honor of the holiday, Personal Finance by Women is putting together a content celebration!

Join us by creating a piece of content on your site around gender equality and its impact on individuals’ personal economies or independence.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Has gender inequality affected your career?
  • Has the wage gap impacted you?
  • Have you ever felt like gender played a role in how well your salary negotiation attempts were received?
  • Have you ever had trouble securing funding as a female or nonbinary business owner?
  • Has gender inequality affected your financial education?
  • Or any other part of your education?
  • Why should businesses care about creating workplaces that celebrate gender equality?
  • Does a lack of gender equality affect your medical decisions? How does this in turn affect your finances over the short-term and long-term?
  • Has gender inequality affected your housing decisions?
  • How do you think we can encourage a culture of gender equality moving forward?
  • What are actionable steps individuals can take towards building that gender-equal future?

These are just ideas; feel free to create! You are welcome and encouraged to incorporate additional themes you have lived experience with at other various intersections of oppression.

How do I join?

If you are a female or nonbinary content creator in the personal finance space, sign up here to participate by February 29.

You are free to create content across whatever your most frequented medium is, whether that be via your blog, IG account, YouTube channel, etc.

By signing up above, we’ll be able to feature your content the day of.

When sharing, please use #PersonalFinancebyWomen!

What if I missed the deadline?

We still love you and want you to participate! We might not be able to feature you the day of if you join at the last minute, but we’re excited to check out and potentially share your contributions!

Help us find your content on March 8th by using the hashtag #PersonalFinancebyWomen across social media.

What if I don’t qualify?

Men — nothing’s stopping you from creating content around International Women’s Day.

I would encourage you, though, to take this holiday to share female and nonbinary individuals’ perspectives on the issue — especially if you’re going to be sharing on the Personal Finance BY Women hashtag.

If you need help locating content, you can come back and check out our blog the day of — we’ll have plenty for you to read and share! Thank you for your support!

How Women Should Plan for Medicare Differently

Woman Consults with Pharmacist. An older African-American woman talks to a Hispanic male pharmacist as he explains her prescription.

Planning for retirement often means different things to different people. Lifestyle priorities are big things to consider when planning for retirement. Saving for retirement also means accounting for different savings habits between men and women.

For instance, women, in general, need to save more than men for retirement, but they often earn less.

Women and Healthcare Statistics

Women need to save more for retirement than men because women typically have a longer life expectancy and they have more chronic health issues that require more health care.

According to the National Institute of Health, women over 65 take an average of 3.75 prescription drugs, while men over 65 take approximately 2.4 prescription medications. Among our nation’s seniors on long-term medications, just 16 percent of men use four or more medications regularly; that amount increases to roughly 40 percent for women.

Additionally, records show that the number of women who need long-term care at the end of life is roughly double compared to men according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

That’s  why it’s so important that women save more efficiently for these potential medical expenses in their years of retirement.

How Medicare Works and the Cost

Many couples and individuals entering retirement and aging into Medicare don’t realize how Medicare actually works and how much it costs. All too often people will build their retirement savings without setting any money aside for medical care. This is due to the common misconception that Medicare is completely free and covers medical costs at 100 percent.

Falling for this myth can cause major financial problems later in retirement. It’s important that women understand Medicare only pays its portion of 80 percent of approved medical costs. If Medicare doesn’t approve a particular type of care, screening or treatment, the patient is responsible for covering expenses at 100 percent.

Medigap Plans

A great way to alleviate the financial burden of paying 20 percent of medical expenses every time you use your Medicare benefits is to enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan (also known as Medigap). A Medigap plan is additional insurance you can get that’s designed to help cover your out-of-pocket costs under Part A and Part B.

There are many Medigap plans to choose from. All plans are designed differently in terms of benefits and monthly premiums. You can get as much or as little protection from unexpected costs as you think you’ll want in retirement.

How to Pay and Save for Healthcare in Retirement

There are several ways that women can save for healthcare costs in retirement apart from IRAs and a 401(k). Although IRAs and a 401(K) are great for general retirement savings, it’s strongly encouraged that women open a health savings account (HSA).

An HSA is one of the best savings vehicles and methods of payment for medical expenses before and during retirement. You can use the money in an HSA to pay for qualified health expenses before you actually enter retirement. HSAs can be used for costs including dental, vision, and some over-the-counter medications in addition to deductibles. Once you hit retirement at 65, you can use the tax-free money on anything, including your Original Medicare, Medigap and Medicare Advantage premiums.

Each year prior to retirement, you can contribute pre-tax dollars ($3,500 a year for individuals, $7,000 for families as of 2019) into an investment account and the money grows tax-free. Untouched contributions in an HSA roll over and there is no max amount of money you can keep in your HSA.

Opening an HSA is one of the best acts for women to take to plan for Medicare costs. If numbers and money management isn’t your thing, it’s always a great idea to contact a financial expert to help you prepare for retirement. For questions and concerns about Medicare and healthcare options in retirement, contact a Medicare broker to better understand what’s available to you in your area.

White woman with brown hair and a blue and pink silk tank top on, smiling professionally at the camera.

Danielle Kunkle Roberts is a founding partner at Boomer Benefits, a national agency specializing in Medicare-related insurance products since 2005. Serving thousands of Medigap policyholders in 48 states, Boomer Benefits helps baby boomers learn the ropes regarding Medicare. Danielle also writes frequently about Medicare, retirement, and personal finance topics for Forbes, and is a member of the Forbes Finance Council.

Charis Hill featured on Business Insider

Image of Charis Hill, a person with a buzz cut wearing a red dress shirt, grey bowtie, red lipstick and glasses with their arms crossed across their chest. For inquiries, please email Charis.Anna.Hill[at]

Today Personal Finance by Women is happy to announce a Charis Hill feature on Business Insider!

Hill is a disabled, car-free, queer writer living in Sacramento. In their first Business Insider piece, they document how they bought a home on their SSDI income, including the strokes of luck it took to get them to a place of housing stability within a system that is rigged against them (and so many others.)

Check out Hill’s story here, being sure to share across your social networks in order to encourage the publication of more diverse stories in mainstream financial media!

You can tag Business Insider, and include the hashtag #personalfinancebywomen so we can be sure to amplify your posts!

Personal Finance by Women wants to thank Business Insider editors for working with us to locate and feature talented writers with diverse experiences with money. We also want to thank Hill for their willingness to share their important story and expose more people to the realities of living on SSDI on Medicaid/care. PF by Women also thanks Alice Wong and Heather Watkins, both talented writers themselves, and both of whom provide us with generous consultations and recommendations as we strive to work with the disabled community to further amplify their writers and story-tellers in the personal finance space.

We encourage you to read more of Hill’s work on

Battling Addiction in Dayton, Ohio

Last week, I had the great honor of heading to Dayton, Ohio for the Kickin’ it with Luke event. For those of you who don’t remember, Kickin’ it with Luke is an event that raises money to compassionately fight addiction in the city hardest hit by the opioid epidemic. This Personal Finance by Women project was initiated by member Zina Kumok.

In addition to volunteering at the event, Zina donated four hours of her time as a financial coach to a raffle basket, and we filled it out with some fantastic books by our amazing authors:

How did it go?

The event was wonderful. People really turned out to honor Luke’s memory and support those in their community still battling addiction. Zina and I were upselling food left and right partially because of our sales skills and all the calories being burned on the field, I’m sure. But mostly because of the generosity of those who came out to the event.

In case you were wondering, the yellow team won the kickball tournament!

As far as fundraising goes, this was Kickin’ it with Luke’s biggest year yet. Thursday evening they were able to donate more than $12,000 across three different nonprofits in the Dayton area who are on the ground doing the work.

I’m so grateful to all the women who participated in supporting this event. I’m so grateful to all of you who supported on social media. And I’m so grateful to Dayton and specifically Kickin’ it with Luke for exposing me to such a united, resilient and determined community. It was truly an honor for us to be among you.

Have a nonprofit that needs support? We’d be happy to get together a Financial Literacy Gift Basket for your raffle or auction! Reach out here.

View this post on Instagram

We are so proud to support our amazing charities @brigids_path, @foafamiliesofaddicts, and @herstory_inc!

A post shared by Kickin’ It With Luke (@kickinitwithluke) on

Brynne Conroy is a freelance writer, author and award-winning blogger in the personal finance space. Her work has a marked focus on women’s issues and intersectional oppression as it relates to the personal economies of Americans.

She loves baseball, linguistics and cultural studies. If you can’t find her behind a keyboard or calculator, she’s probably busy momming.

Zina Kumok Kicks it with Luke

For those of you who have been following along with the Kickin’ it with Luke series, welcome back! For those of you who haven’t, Personal Finance by Women is putting together a financial literacy gift basket to benefit the fight against opioid addiction in Dayton, Ohio — what was once the epicenter of the opioid epidemic before they instituted a compassionate system that treated addiction as a disease.

So far we’ve featured books by Lauren Bowling, Bola Sokunbi, Kristin Wong and Jackie Cummings Koski. Thank you to each one of you for contributing!

If you want to pitch in, too, here’s where you can do so.

Today I’m headed to Dayton for the event. While I’m there, I’m going to see the fantastic Zina Kumok. Zina is the driving force behind our contribution to Kickin’ it with Luke. She’s also a talented personal finance freelance writer and speaker.

I want to welcome her to contribute her thoughts and feelings on the opioid epidemic today, as someone who has seen it impact her own community.

Living in the Midwest, the opioid epidemic is a reality that goes past the daily headlines. It’s something that affects people on a day-to-day basis. But it can feel hard to see what an individual can do to stem the problem.

Being part of Kickin’ it with Luke is one way that you can support an organization doing its part. Everything I’ve heard about Brigid’s Paththe primary organization which benefits from Kickin’ it with Luke –is that they’re an organization that treats its patients and clients with respect. They understand their struggles and help them without judgment.

What’s especially great about Kickin’ it with Luke is that the fundraiser honors Luke and his memory with an activity he loved: kickball. Luke loved to play kickball with his friends and this tournament celebrates him and brings his loved ones together.

I’m so excited to see what the third year of this tournament brings and how many more people are helped by this group.

Final Book Contribution

The final book contribution to the financial literacy basket is The Feminist Financial Handbook by yours truly.

Photo courtesy of Sarah Li Cain

While The Feminist Financial Handbook addresses personal finance topics such as budgeting systems, investment options, and emergency funds, its unique value is describing the backstories of women’s financial lives. Chapter topics include: single parenting, gender income gaps, salary negotiations, financial account ownership, PTSD and depression, and domestic and financial abuse.

Skillfully combining political and historical insights, research findings, and real-life stories of women managing their finances, Conroy offers readers hope, support, and specific action steps at the end of each chapter. Women who desire financial security for themselves and others and financial educators, counselors, coaches, and planners who assist them will benefit greatly from the unique perspectives contained within this book.

Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®
@moneytalk1 and co-author of Money Talk: A Financial Guide for Women

Learn more here!

Thank you so much to Zina! Learn more about Kickin’ It With Luke and how we’re using financial literacy to fight addiction in Dayton, Ohio.

If you’re interested in a financial literacy basket from Personal Finance by Women for your nonprofit’s event, or supporting future efforts, please do get in touch!

Brynne Conroy is a freelance writer, author and award-winning blogger in the personal finance space. Her work has a marked focus on women’s issues and intersectional oppression as it relates to the personal economies of Americans.

She loves baseball, linguistics and cultural studies. If you can’t find her behind a keyboard or calculator, she’s probably busy momming.

Jackie Cummings Koski Kicks it with Luke

Welcome to Day 4 of our series celebrating the Kickin’ It with Luke event! The fourth author contributing her book to the financial literacy gift basket — which will be raffled off this Saturday — is Jackie Cummings Koski.

Jackie is Dayton native herself, and contributing her award-winning book to the financial literacy book basket will directly serve her local community by fighting addiction.

Jackie’s book is amazing for so many reasons, not the least of which is that it addresses the investing gap. I’m honored to say that like Kristin, this is the second financial literacy book basket Jackie has participated in. Last time we helped raise money for those battling cancer to buy wigs.

Without further ado, here are the deets on Jackie’s fantastic tome:

Money Letters 2 my Daughter is a series of letters from a mother to her 17-year-old daughter about all things dealing with money and personal finances. Its not about teaching you how to make more money,but how to better manage the money you have. It will inspire you to trade in your stress and anxiety about money, for knowledge and power. Every letter starts with a lesson and ends with love. In between is easy-to-understand advice and guidance that will give you the foundation you need to make the most of your hard-earned money.

This book addresses many of the National Standards in Personal Finance Education for K-12, created and maintained by the Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy. This publication has been approved by Jump$tart to be listed as a resource in the Jump$tart Clearinghouse database.

Learn more here!

Thank you so much to Jackie! Learn more about Kickin’ It With Luke and how we’re using financial literacy to fight addiction in Dayton, Ohio.

If you’re interested in a financial literacy basked from Personal Finance by Women for your nonprofit’s event, or supporting future efforts, please do get in touch!

Kristin Wong Kicks it with Luke

Welcome to Day 3 of our series celebrating the Kickin’ It with Luke event! The third author contributing her book to the financial literacy gift basket — which will be raffled off this Saturday — is Kristin Wong.

On top of being an amazing freelance writer, author and award-winning journalist, Kristin has been a powerhouse in getting Personal Finance by Women off the ground. You might recognize her efforts through her picks on last week’s Apex Money, and her behind-the-scenes support has been instrumental.

Kristin’s book — Get Money — is a phenomenal read for anyone who’s trying to make their money fun.

Managing your money is like going to the dentist or standing in line at the DMV. Nobody wants to do it, but at some point, it’s inevitable: you need to clean your teeth, renew your license, and manage your personal finances like a grown-up. Whether you’re struggling to pay off student loan debt, ready to stop living paycheck to paycheck, or have finally accepted that your Beanie Baby collection will never pay off, tackling your finances may seem immensely intimidating. But it doesn’t have to be. In fact, by approaching it as a game–or something that requires you to set clear goals, as well as face challenges you must “beat”–personal finance can not only be easy to understand, but it can also be fun!

In Get Money, personal finance expert Kristin Wong shows you the exact steps to getting more money in your pocket without letting it rule your life. Through a series of challenges designed to boost your personal finance I.Q., interviews with other leading financial experts, and exercises tailored to help you achieve even your biggest goals, you’ll learn valuable skills such as:

  • Building a budget that (gasp) actually works
  • Super-charging a debt payoff plan
  • How to strategically hack your credit score
  • Negotiating like a shark (or at least a piranha)
  • Side-hustling to speed up your money goals
  • Starting a lazy investment portfolio…and many more!

Simply put, with this gamified guide to personal finance, you’ll no longer stress about understanding how your finances work–you’ll finally “get” money.

Learn more here!

Thank you so much to Kristin! Learn more about Kickin’ It With Luke and how we’re using financial literacy to fight addiction in Dayton, Ohio.

If you’re interested in a financial literacy basked from Personal Finance by Women for your nonprofit’s event, or supporting future efforts, please do get in touch!

Clever Girl Finance Kicks It with Luke

Welcome to Day 2 of our series celebrating the Kickin’ It with Luke event! The second author contributing her book to the financial literacy gift basket — which will be raffled off this Saturday — is Bola Sokunbi.

Bola is one of our founding members, is the creator of the Clever Girl Finance blog where she empowers women as they strive for financial independence and is also a Certified Financial Education Instructor (CFEI).

Her book — which carries the same name as her blog — gives women the information they need to make savvy money decisions.

“You’re a smart woman. So why do you find financial matters just a little intimidating? Don’t worry—we’ve all been there! We work hard for our money. We’re supporting families or sharing the financial obligations of our households. However, we’re usually paid less than men and we typically live longer, making our money management needs unique. And that’s why it’s time for YOU to master the essentials of money: managing it, saving it, investing it, and building a secure financial future for yourself.

Self-made money expert Bola Sokunbi developed Clever Girl Finance to meet those objectives. In this book, she helps you identify your personal needs, challenges, and relationship with debt. She demystifies investing. She coaches you on salary negotiations. And at every step, she shares the experiences of women just like you. It’s not a magic bullet. It’s a process Bola used to establish her own financial security, and it can work for you too! ”

Learn more here!

Thank you so much to Bola! Learn more about Kickin’ It With Luke and how we’re using financial literacy to fight addiction in Dayton, Ohio.

If you’re interested in a financial literacy basked from Personal Finance by Women for your nonprofit’s event, or supporting future efforts, please do get in touch!

PF by Women Kicks it with Luke

A lot of times in our culture, we punish addiction rather than recognizing it for what it is: An illness. Punishing an illness does not heal it, but rather inflicts shame, which can ironically compound behaviors that reinforce said illness.

We need not look far to see that addiction isn’t just an illness that affects a few, but rather it’s one that’s causing a public health epidemic across the US.

Yes, you probably have heard of Dayton outside of its recent tragedies: Home of the Wright brothers and the National Museum of the United States Air Force. Among other things.

Today, we’re going to zoom in on Dayton, Ohio. Two short years ago, it was the worst-hit city as far as opioid-related fatalities go. But just one year later, the community managed to rally and turn things around, reducing the fatality count by about two-thirds.

How did they do it?

They treated addiction as an illness.

They treated the ill with compassion. Without judgement.

They instituted syringe exchange programs to ensure those in active addiction avoided as much illness and infection as possible.

They chose a path of compassion, looking at the entire human being rather than just the illness. While there are still significant problems to address in the region, the numbers show that it’s working.

Kickin’ It With Luke

The area’s authorities and service providers aren’t the only ones to step up to battle this disease. Every year, the Dayton community rallies around an annual kickball tournament: Kickin’ It With Luke.

The event is held in Luke’s memory after his passing a few years ago, and is equal parts a celebration of his life and love, and an effort to raise funds to help others fighting addiction.

The primary nonprofit that benefits from the event is Brigid’s Path — a treatment facility for babies who are born drug-dependent. In addition to helping the newborns physically, Brigid’s Path provides holistic family services in a non-judgemental environment. This provides both newborn and family with opportunities for early bonding and access to community resources.

We’ll be on the ground kickin’ it with Luke this Saturday! If you’re local, you can check out more details for the event. If you’re not, you can support here.

Financial Literacy Basket

Some of our amazing member authors have been kind enough to contribute a copy of their books for a financial literacy gift basket. This basket will be raffled off on Saturday at the event, but I wanted to start introducing you to our authors now!

First up is Lauren Bowling, one of our wonderful Founding Members, owner and creator of Financial Best Life, and author of The Millennial Homeowner.

Here’s what the book dives into:

In her debut book The Millennial Homeowner, personal finance blogger Lauren Bowling provides a wealth of home buying tips and money management lessons to help millennials redefine their relationship with money. Written in Lauren’s warm, funny, and easy-to-understand voice, this book helps millennial homebuyers financially prepare for the biggest purchase of their lifetime.

By breaking down complex financial concepts into clear, manageable tools, Lauren has written the ultimate resource to help millennials navigate the overwhelming process of purchasing and maintaining their first home.

Learn more here!

One more bit of news!

Let’s send a huge congratulations to Liz Frazier, who just recently released her new book: Beyond Piggy Bank and Lemonade Stands!

Launch went so well that she actually sold out of books on Day One! Liz has been quick to meet demand, so if you have young children and have been wondering how the heck to teach them about this money stuff, be sure to get your hands on a copy while they last!

Brynne Conroy is a freelance writer, author and award-winning blogger in the personal finance space. Her work has a marked focus on women’s issues and intersectional oppression as it relates to the personal economies of Americans.

She loves baseball, linguistics and cultural studies. If you can’t find her behind a keyboard or calculator, she’s probably busy momming.