Tuesday AM May 29th, 2007

Houston writers target book to single women 21 to 34 who "at this time in their lives believe money is for spending not saving."

Houstonian Manisha Thakor wrote "On My Own Two Feet with Sharon Kedar as a simpler personal finance guide for young women.

"Financial literacy is important for absolutely everyone. We focus our book on women--single or married—simply because statistically speaking, it's women who are left holding the bag at the end of the day. Eighty percent of men die married, eighty percent of women die single. It's a function of our longer life spans. And that's the reason why the book was geared on the margin towards women." Ed: "Do you think you'll have men reading this book, also?" "To be honest, we hope so! It is so not a gender-specific issue. We are women, and women tend to talk to each other in a different tone. One of the fundamental premises of On My Own Two Feet is that the right financial information is already out there. But taking a look at the fact that seventy percent of Americans still live paycheck-to-paycheck across income spectrums tells us that the messages aren't getting through. So we thought we'd start with a niche book with a kind of conversation that might sound like sitting across the table you're your girlfriend in a coffee house."

Thakor suggests the best overall approach is to start saving—now. She recommends 15 percent.

"Three basic reasons to save: you save for an emergency fund, you save for big-ticket items such as a down payment on a home or a car, to send your kids to college. And then you save for retirement. And oftentimes when people think about savings, they associate it with deprivation. But interestingly enough, saving is really all about spending. It's just spending that you'll be doing tomorrow, not today." Ed: "Why is it that this is not taught in schools?" "That is the eternal question. I can't tell you how many people we've come across, people who are incredibly well-educated—nurses, lawyers, doctors, architects—who say 'I spend so many years getting such phenomenal education in my professional craft that something that impacts me so directly on a daily basis, I know nothing about.' And one of our hopes with On My Own Two Feet is that we can ultimately inspire a groundswell movement to encourage a national financial literacy program."

On My Own Two Feet: A Modern Girl's Guide to Personal finance is being released in June by Adams Business.

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