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If you could ask ten wise women for advice on what to do (and what not to do) with your money, what would they say? They might offer the ten financial tips below, culled from our wise and money-smart contributors.

1. Saving For Retirement Is a Must
Unless you don't mind eating cat food in your old age, you have to start saving for your retirement now. Forfeiting a pair of shoes now could mean a month's worth of work-free living when you're old, but exactly how much should you be socking away? Find out how to save with this women and retirement planning guide.

2. Children Are Expensive
Raising them, feeding them, paying for college, paying for therapy ... it can add up fast. Most parents know this, but many still are shocked by the bottom line. A great resource is this financial checklist for expecting parents, which helps itemize costs. If you already have kids, you may want to start thinking about how to save for your child's education.

3. Children Need Security Blankets
Which means, if you have kids, it's probably a wise idea for you and your partner to get life insurance.

4. Ask for More
Women chronically underestimate their worth, and are less likely to ask for raises and bargain for their salaries than men are. Learn how to be assertive in the workplace and how not to undersell yourself.

5. Health Is the Most Important Asset You Have
Your health is as important to your finances as savings are. If you're sick, you can't work; if you can't work, you can't save. Along these same lines, having health insurance is an important step in mitigating financial risk. One trip to the emergency room could wipe out your entire savings and put you in debt for years to come. When thinking about living expenses, the costs of health care should be factored in.

6. Getting Divorced? Hire an Attorney
A divorce can mean emotional as well as financial fallouts. It's important for women to know how to cover their assets, especially if you're a parent trying to figure out the finances and how it will affect your kids.

7. Don't Let Romance Blind Finance
Lending money to a romantic partner can be dangerous territory, and can lead to relationship as well as financial woes. Though we can read about other women's stories illustrating why it is a bad idea to give money without legally binding documents, usually we have to experience it for ourselves.

8. Maintain a Financial Foothold
Some husbands or partners may be more than happy to handle all the money in a household, and some women may be more than happy to give up the accounting, mortgaging, and bill paying. However, keeping your finger on the finances can ensure your financial independence and overall know-how.

9. A Home Is a Good Investment
Not always, as recently evidence by the subprime crisis, but usually a house is a sound investment. Though many people may need partners or investors to be able to afford a home, some women can—and do—purchase on their own.

10. Going Back to School + Kids – Money = Hard
Juggling kids, school, and marriage is tough ... but doable.


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