YOUNGSTOWN Money talks: Women who hold family purse strings listen, learn

Nine of 10 Ohio women are solely responsible for finances at some point in their lives, one presenter noted.
YOUNGSTOWN -- The man of the house is responsible for bringing home the dough, paying the bills and handling the investments, right?
The daylong Women & amp; Money seminar, held at Youngstown State University Friday, informed more than 475 area women of the importance of managing money.
The second annual workshop was offered by Ohio Treasurer Joseph T. Deters and sponsored by The Vindicator. With eight sessions to choose from, women were instructed in areas such as investment, estate planning, budgeting, homeownership, retirement and credit and debt management.
The free workshop, offered all across Ohio, has helped more than 5,500 women make better choices about their finances. Workbooks were supplied to all attendees that showed concrete examples of money-saving tips and strategies.
Preparing for retirement
Kathy Fabrizio, 45, of Campbell, said she's already thinking about her debt and retirement, even though she still has some time.
"I didn't know the workshop would be this big," Fabrizio said of the impressive response. "I think women are now budgeting more of the household money than men."
With three kids in college, she said she has to have a plan of attack for her future.
Speaker Angie Hollerich of Brass Rings Productions in Gahanna, Ohio, opened the workshop with a clear picture of what women should expect from the program.
"This is not an all-day lecture, it's not a test, and it isn't an instant plan for success," Hollerich explained. The workshop is "a challenge for each of you to think differently about your finances."
The theme of this year's workshop was D.R.E.A.M., which stood for Determine, Recognize, Enhance, Achieve and Measure. Hollerich said the information would provide "a steppingstone to reaching financial dreams."
Hollerich also explained that nine out of 10 Ohio women are solely responsible for finances at some point in their lives.
A Canfield woman said she attended the workshop so she could pass the information on to her grown children.
"My husband and I have our affairs in order, but I want my children to be involved and aware," she said.
Tough Times
Throughout the workshop, women were reminded of the need for financial knowledge and independence.
"All [who] died on Sept. 11 left home not knowing they wouldn't return," Hollerich said during her Estate Planning session. "You have to know where everything is and who to contact in case something happens."
Mary Beth Hayer of Cortland attended the event and was happy to see women taking a strong interest in their finances.
"I'm more cautious with money now that the economy is so bad," Hayer explained. "I want to consider all my options when investing."
Hayer is quality improvement coordinator at PsyCare, an outpatient mental-health facility with five clinics in Youngstown, Warren and New Castle, Pa. With times changing, she said women have to be more educated.
"I didn't think about retirement when I was 20," Hayer said. "Now that's what women have to do."
Amanda Phillips, 57, of Hubbard, attended the event for the second year. As owner of her own day care, the former X-ray technician said she came looking for ways to take care of her two children and two grandchildren.
"I wanted to know more about investments and pensions," Phillips explained.
Luncheon speaker Diane Sauer of Diane Sauer's Martin Chevrolet in Warren shared her experiences as a female car dealer.
"I don't work in a man's world," Sauer said. "I work in my world."
Sauer informed attendees of her climb from an entry-level position at Martin Chevrolet in 1976, to what she hopes will be sole ownership of the dealership next year.
Although females in her business are rare, Sauer said she longs for a time when she won't be lonely in her field.
Deters said the goal of the seminars is "to provide women with the base knowledge essential in making informed, confident financial decisions."

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