Master your money; Don't let your money master you

Women have unique needs when it comes to money. Gaining control of your finances means you're laying a foundation for a stable future. The choices you make with your money today will determine the quality of life you live tomorrow. "It's about equating savvy money management with expanding life choices." This is how women get empowered. Women need to see the connection between money and choices in their lives. Being on top of your money gives you the power to make choices.

Creating a financial plan should be on everyone's to-do-list. Financial planning is not solely for the rich, nor should it be left up to your significant other. It is important for everyone-especial women-to develop a financial plan. According to a recent study conducted by Prudential Financial, less than a quarter of women feel "very well" prepared to make important decisions about their financial future.

The Shriver Report, a study conducted by Maria Shriver and the Center of American Progress, found that in 2008, nearly 4 in 10 mothers, or 39.3%, were the primary wage earners in their family due o being single, a working parent, or because they earned as much or more as their spouses or partner.  Don't rely on the help of a spouse or wait until you make a certain amount of money to develop a financial plan.  Starting this process wherever you are in life helps to prepare and secure you financially for whatever is to come. Whether you're trying to pursue home-ownership, build wealth, start a business, manage your household finances, or send kids to college, it is vital to have a plan of action in place.

Valorie Burton.