Mobile Wallet Apps

Checking out at the grocery and left your wallet at home? Relax; you can still pay your way!  Dig out your phone, choose the mobile wallet app of your choice, thumb out the amount you owe and pay the cashier. Or, just hold out your watch until the payment clears. Checkout, done!

The app market is full of mobile wallet apps allowing you to make a payment without touching a card by using near-field communication, or NFC. Any participating retailer or merchant terminal that is NFC-enabled can accept payment from these apps.  While most mobile wallet transactions are unlimited, some financial institutions cap these transactions at $50.

Mobile wallet apps keep your information secure by using tokenization, which creates a one-time security code for each transaction and protects against data breaches.

Let’s take a look at some of the most popular mobile wallet apps on the market.

Apple Pay

Apple Pay allows you to pay for purchases online and in retail locations using credit and debit cards already stored in your iPhone’s Wallet app. If you have an iOS 11, you can also use the service for peer-to-peer (P2P) payments through iMessage.

Accessibility: Apple Pay is available on all Apple Watches and Apple mobile devices that are as recent as the iPhone 6, iPad Air 2, iPad Pro or iPad mini 3. Apple also works with select Macs as long as there is an Apple product nearby. MacBooks with Touch ID can use Apple Pay directly without the assistance of any Apple products.

If you have an Apple device with iOS 11 and you’d like to use Apple Pay for P2P payments, any money you receive will be deposited into your Apple Pay Cash card, which works like a prepaid credit card. You can then use this money for spending through Apple Pay or deposit it into your checking account.

Where it works: More than 4 million locations in the U.S. accept Apple Pay, including GAP, Starbucks and Trader Joe’s. There are also hundreds of financial institutions and payment providers that accept Apple Pay.

Security: In addition to the security provided by using NFC and tokenization, Apple protects your money by requiring you to authenticate your device with Touch ID, Face ID or a PIN whenever you attempt to make a payment through the app.

Samsung Pay

If you have a Samsung Galaxy device, you’ll want to use Samsung Pay. This wireless payment app is the most widely accepted mobile wallet on the market.

Accessibility: You can use Samsung Pay with all Galaxy devices, including the Gear S2 Sport, Gear S2 Classic, Gear S3 Classic, Gear Sport and Galaxy Watch.

Where it works: Samsung Pay is unique among mobile wallets thanks to its ability to work with both NFC-enabled terminals and the more common magnetic-strip terminals, or MSTs. As Samsung promises, wherever you can swipe a card, you can use Samsung Pay.

Security: Before you use Samsung Pay, you’ll need to do an iris scan, fingerprint or PIN.

Fitbit Pay

Fitbit Pay was created by the popular fitness company to enable exercisers to make small purchases while on the go, using just their Fitbit devices.

Accessibility: You can use Fitbit’s mobile wallet on compatible Fitbit devices, including the Fitbit Ionic smartwatch, Fitbit Versa 2 smartwatch, Fitbit Versa Special Edition smartwatch and the Fitbit Charge 3 Special Edition.

Where it works: Fitbit is currently only accepted by a limited number of financial institutions. You can check out the full list of participating U.S. credit unions and banks here. If your financial institution is connected to the app, you can use it at any NFC-enabled payment terminal.

Security: You’ll have to enter your unique security code each time you want to make a payment with Fitbit Pay.

Garmin Pay

Another favorite among fitness enthusiasts, Garmin Pay makes buying a bottle of water while on a run as simple as holding up your watch.

Accessibility: Garmin Pay works with the following devices: Garmin Vivoactive 3, Garmin Vivoactive 4 & 4s, Garmin Forerunner 645, Garmin Forerunner 945, Garmin Fenix 5 Plus – X & S, Garmin Fenix 6 – Pro, X, S, Garmin Venu, Garmin D2 Delta, Garmin Legacy series and Garmin Vivomove Luxe & Style.

Where it works: Garmin Pay is currently only connected to a limited number of financial institutions. You can check out the list of participating U.S. banks and credit unions here.

Security: You’ll need to input a PIN before making a purchase through Garmin Pay.

Your Turn: What’s your favorite mobile wallet app, and what do you like best about it? Tell us in the comments.

 

7 Fun Facts About Leap Year

February 29th. Cube calendar for february 29 on wooden surface with empty space For text. Leap year, intercalary day

1. Julius Caesar introduced the first calendar leap year in 46 B.C.  

The Earth takes exactly 365 days, five hours, 48 minutes and 45 seconds to circle the sun. The occasional Feb. 29 ensures we don’t lose six hours every year.

2. Leap year babies are called “leapers” or “leaplings.” 

You’d get a special name, too, if you had to wait four years to celebrate your birthday.

3. Feb. 29 has traditionally been a day on which women were allowed to propose to men. 

Sounds hopelessly outdated for the 21st century, but this is the way it has worked in many cultures for centuries!

4. Some cultures consider Feb. 29 an unlucky day.

In Italy, people say, “Anno bisesto, anno funesto,” which translates as, “leap year, doom year.”

In some countries, like Greece, people warn against planning weddings during leap years.

5. Feb. 29 is not really a legal day.

Many companies don’t recognize Leap Day as a “valid day.” They make leapers choose

Feb. 28 or March 1 as their birthday instead.

6. Lots of people work for free on Feb. 29. 

Most employees who are paid fixed monthly incomes will work for free on Feb. 29 because their wages are likely not calculated to include the extra day.

7. There are two “Leap Year Capitals of the World.”

If you want to celebrate this special day in a big way, head to Texas — or New Mexico. Anthony, Texas and Anthony, New Mexico both claim the title “Leap Year Capital,” while holding lavish, multi-day celebrations each leap year.

Your Turn: Do you know a leaper? Tell us when and how you celebrate in the comments.

Why You Should Never Abbreviate 2020

Person sitting at office desk presenting ballpen and contract

It may be a new year and a new decade, but scammers are still looking to con you out of your money. In fact, experts are warning of a new scam that is as simple as changing the date on a personal check, financial document, or another important paper.

Here’s what you can do to protect yourself:

The 2020 scam

The newest scam of the decade involves the dates on important documents. Most of us are accustomed to abbreviating the date by using the last two digits anytime we need to write it. For example, if we were dating a document for March 2, 2019, we might write it out as 3/2/19.

While it was fine to do so in the past, continuing this practice in 2020 can be problematic. With the two sets of digits that make up the new year being identical, abbreviating the date on important documents opens us up to all sorts of scams. It only takes a few seconds for a scammer to change the “20” on a document to “2021” or to “2019.” This can lead to multiple problems for the document signer.

What kind of damage can be caused by this scam?  

There are endless ways that date modification can be employed in a scam.

First, let’s take a look at what happens if the date is changed to an earlier year. If a scammer gets their hands on a check that was made out to you and decides to backdate it, the check may no longer be valid. Similarly, if you signed a legal document or a contract this year and a scammer adds “19” to the end of the “20” that you wrote to indicate the year, it now looks like you signed this document in 2019. As a result, your contract may no longer be valid. If this scam is pulled off on paperwork for an outstanding debt, your debt will now appear to be overdue. Thanks to this ruse, you might be charged late fees for a loan that is not yet due, or you may be charged a monthly fee for a time when you did not yet owe any payments.

The other way this scam can be executed is for the date to be changed to a future year. To pull this off, criminals will use the “20” you scrawled for the year, and change it to “2021” or later. If someone signed a document agreeing to start paying you for services you rendered in 2020, they can make it appear as if they don’t owe you any money until next year. Also, if you’ve neglected to pay a debt that is already past the statute of limitations, a scammer can modify the year on the relevant documents to make it appear as if you are still accountable for the debt.

While this scam is as new as the new year, and it’s still too early to know what kind of damage it can cause, financial experts agree that the threat is very real and precautions should be taken.

Avoiding this scam

As scams go, the 2020 scam is fairly easy to prevent. As you work on breaking free of bad habits and making improvements, add this to your list of New Year’s resolutions: Don’t abbreviate the year. Train yourself to write out “2020” in its entirety anytime you need to date a check, financial document or important paperwork of any kind. This simple precaution will keep you from falling victim to a date manipulation scam. It’s also a good idea to write out the full month when dating an important document, especially in January and February, since “1” and “2” can easily be changed to look like you wrote 10, 11, or 12 as the month. The stroke of a pen can push off the date on your document by nine full months or more.

Remember: the habit that was harmless in 2019 could make you vulnerable to fraud in 2020.

Your Turn: Can you think of any other ways scammers can manipulate a date to their benefit? Tell us about it in the comments.

VICE PRESIDENT OF HUMAN RESOURCES, RAE PERRY RECEIVES SHRM-CP DESIGNATION

Press Release

Thursday, February 13, 2020

 

Vicksburg, Miss. – – Mutual Credit Union is pleased to recognize Rae Perry, V.P. of Human Resources for her recent achievement. In January of 2020, Rae received her SHRM-CP (Society of Human Resources Management – Certified Professional) designation. President of Mutual Credit Union, Michael Mathews said this of Rae, “Human Resource Management is a key function in any organization.  Rae has demonstrated her knowledge and desire to ensure Mutual exceeds expectations in all aspects of our operations.”

Jostle picture

Rae joined the Mutual Credit Union team in 2017 as the VP of Human Resources. She is a Vicksburg native and is an experienced Human Resources professional, with a focus on employee benefits, onboarding, and handbook development.  She has received her certification as a Credit Union HR Compliance Professional and received her designation as an SHRM-CP.

She earned a Master of Science in Instructional Technology and a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management from Mississippi State University. During her free time, she enjoys traveling with her husband James, cooking, volunteering with the Meals on Wheels program, and attending Mississippi State sporting events.

For more information about Mutual Credit Union please follow this link to our webpage. For additional questions, please contact the marketing department at marketing@mutualcu.org or by calling (601) 636-7523 ext. 1226.

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7 Money Myths You Need To Stop Believing Now

Article-7-money-myths

 

Myth #1: Debit is always better than credit. 

The real deal: Credit cards may actually be the payment method of choice on occasion. First, many credit cards offer rewards in the form of travel miles, cash back, and other bonuses. Second, building and maintaining a strong credit history is crucial for your financial wellness; the best way to achieve this is by using your credit cards and paying your bills on time. Finally, lots of credit cards offer purchase protection, which makes them the smarter payment method for big-ticket items. 

Myth #2: Buy a home at all costs. 

The real deal: For many people, including those who are not yet ready to put down roots or who anticipate a career change that necessitates moving across state lines, renting a home or apartment might be the better choice. It can also be a financially expedient option if you live in a super-expensive area. 

Myth #3: Investing is for rich people. 

The real deal: Anyone with a small pile of funds can get a foothold in the stock market. A smart investment strategy puts you on the track to financial independence. 

Myth #4: My partner manages our finances, so I don’t need to think about money. 

The real deal: While it is fine for one partner to actively manage the family’s money, it is crucial for both partners to be aware of the state of the family finances. They both should also be capable of managing household expenses and investments if something were to happen to their partner. 

Myth #5: Credit cards will get me through any financial crisis. 

The real deal: Depending on credit cards to get you through a financial emergency is the perfect way to dig into a deep pit of debt. Thanks to interest, you’ll be paying back a lot more than you spend. 

Credit cards should not be relied upon for a real financial emergency, such as a job loss, divorce or illness. It’s best to build an emergency fund with three to six months’ worth of living expenses so that you’re completely covered in case the unexpected happens. 

Myth #6: I’m so young; I don’t need to think about retirement. 

The real deal: The younger you are when you start building your retirement fund, the less you’ll be required to put away each month, and the more you’ll save by the time you’re ready to retire. Gift yourself with a comfortable retirement by maxing out your 401K contributions and/or opening an IRA or another retirement fund. Start today and let compound interest work its magic! 

Myth #7: I have enough money in my account for my expenses, so I don’t need to budget.  

The real deal: Budgeting is for everyone, regardless of their financial standing. A budget will force you to make responsible money choices, and ensure  that you’re fully aware of the state of your finances at all times. 

Your Turn: Which money myths have you bought into in the past? Tell us about it in the comments.

 

SOURCES:

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.thenest.com/content/amphtml/money-myths

https://www.listenmoneymatters.com/top-10-money-myths/

https://www.daveramsey.com/blog/foolish-money-myths

https://www.fidelity.com/viewpoints/personal-finance/6-money-myths

8 Creative Ways To Save On Heating Costs This Winter

Senior woman saving energy by dressing warm and adjusting her thermostat.

Q: I just got my first wintertime heating bill and I’m reeling. I’ve sealed all leaky windows and I’ve replaced the weather stripping around my doors, but my bill is still astronomical. Short of hibernating until spring, is there anything I can do to keep my heating costs down this winter?

A: Sealing air leaks and weather-stripping are great first steps toward lowering your heating bill. Luckily, there are many other things you can do to hack your way to a lower heating bill this winter.

Here are some creative ways to save on heating costs.

Dust your vents

When’s the last time you removed the covers of your heating vents or radiators to tackle the layers of dust that have built up inside? You don’t have to answer that, but this can be an easy, effective way to lower your heating bills. Dust acts as a natural insulator and can block some of the hot air from heating your home.

Lower your thermostat

Dad was right: If you’re cold, put on a sweater!

You don’t have to set your thermostat to freezing. However, the Department of Energy recommends keeping it at 68 degrees in the winter for maximum energy savings. If you’re still feeling doubtful, consider this: For every degree you crank it down over a 24-hour period throughout the month, you can shave up to 3 percent off your heating bill. This means each lower degree over an 8-hour period can save 1 percent off your bill. If you can lower your thermostat by 10 degrees at night or while you’re at work, you’ll save 10 percent off your heating bill! A smart or programmable thermostat can do the job for you so you don’t have to remember — or even put forth extra effort — to turn it down.

Don’t overdo it, though. Lowering your heat by more than 10 degrees forces it to use more energy than you’ll save to get it back up again. If you can’t sleep unless you’re snug and warm, you might want to invest in a heated blanket or mattress pad to keep you toasty warm on the coldest nights.

Turn on your ceiling fans

Most ceiling fans are equipped with a “summer” and “winter” setting. During the summer, blades should be moving in a counterclockwise direction to draw the cold air upward from the floor so it can cool the room. In the wintertime, you’ll want those blades to move in a clockwise direction so the hot air, which naturally rises towards the ceiling, can be blown downward and can warm up the room.

Use aluminum foil to make your radiator work harder

Tape a piece of aluminum foil behind the radiator to reflect heat into the room instead of into the wall. Don’t worry about how this might look; no one can see what’s going on behind your radiator.

Use zone heating

If you live in a large home with more rooms than you regularly use, keep the lesser-used areas just warm enough to prevent pipes from freezing. You can close some of the vents in these rooms and shut the door to keep that heat in.

On the flip side, be sure to open the doors of the rooms that see heavy use so the hot air can flow evenly throughout the house. Some rooms are naturally warmer than others, and you want your unit to heat your entire home as efficiently as possible.

Rearrange your furniture

Take a quick tour of your home to check if you have any furniture situated near your heating vents. You don’t want to be paying all that money just for hot air to be flowing into the underside of your living room sofa.

You may also want to rearrange your furniture in the wintertime for another reason. No matter how well you seal your windows and doors, the perimeters of rooms are almost always colder than the interiors during the winter. If your favorite armchair is near a drafty window, you’ll feel that cold air blowing in whenever you sit down, which might prompt you to run and crank up the thermostat. Consider rearranging your furniture for the winter so your favorite pieces are in the warmest areas of each room.

Let the sunshine in

The low-in-the-sky winter sun can give you hours of free solar heat each day — if you let it in. Be sure to open the curtains in the early morning hours and to close them at night to keep that warm air inside. You may also want to swap your curtains for thicker, insulated ones in the winter for further protection against the cold night air.

Humidify your air

Remember those hot, sticky days of summer? Use that humidity to your advantage now by investing in a humidifier for the winter. Moisture helps to hold onto heat and will keep the air warmer for longer.

Don’t be left out in the cold! Use our heating hacks to keep your house toasty warm this winter without breaking your budget.

Your Turn: What’s your secret heating hack? Share it with us in the comments.

How To Make Your Career Choice Fit Your Budget

Student reading record before the exam

As you prepare for graduation and begin scouting different employment opportunities, be sure to look at the larger picture before you accept a position.

Hopefully, you’ve chosen a career path that will bring you joy and gratification. Equally important, though, is a job that can support your lifestyle choices. While the positions you consider for your first post-college job will likely offer the opportunity for growth, you’ll still need to pay your bills—and make your student loan payments—as soon as you graduate. A job that brings you satisfaction and a pleasant working environment will not last long if the salary it offers causes you to sink into debt.

How do you determine what kind of salary will be large enough to support your desired lifestyle?

To get this information, you’ll need to create a mock monthly budget for your post-college self.

Using a spreadsheet or paper and pen, create two columns, one for expenses and one for actual dollar amounts. In the expense column, list your typical monthly expenses, including housing costs, transportation costs, health insurance, groceries, entertainment costs, clothing costs, dining out, savings, etc. In the dollar column, list the amount of money you expect to pay every month for each expense.

Your budget should look something like this:

Expense Monthly Cost
Housing $1200
Transportation $300
Health insurance $250
Groceries $350
Student loan payments $350

It will take some research and some hard, honest thinking to come up with these numbers. For housing costs, take a moment to think about where you see yourself settling down after college. You don’t have to know the exact neighborhood you’ll live in, but it’s good to know the city that will work best for you in terms of lifestyle, career path, and family plans. You can narrow this down to a few choices so long as you keep it reasonable. Once you’ve chosen your desired location, research the median rental prices in the area on real estate sites like Zillow and Redfin.

Next, work on transportation costs. If you already own a car, you’ll have an idea of what it costs you each month. Otherwise, spend some time thinking about what kind of car you want to drive. You can find listings on Carfax.com. Include costs like auto insurance, gas, and upkeep, in this category.

Or, if you plan on living somewhere with reliable public transportation, you might choose this route instead. Make a calculation of how much you’ll spend on bus and/or train rides, along with the occasional cab or ride-share ride.

Complete your budget using your best estimates for each category. Once you’ve filled out each expense amount, add up your total and multiply it by 12 to give you the amount of money you’ll need each year for supporting the lifestyle of your choice. (This number will increase with inflation, but since current salaries will likely increase along with the inflation rate, this exercise can still give you an idea of the annual salary you’ll need.)

Now that you have these numbers, you’re ready to go ahead with your job search. When considering possible positions, you don’t have to choose the one that pays the highest salary if there are other things about the job you don’t love. However, it’s best to pursue positions that can actually support you.

Your Turn: Are you choosing your first job for the salary or for other factors? Share your take with us in the comments.

Doorbell Security Cameras Not So Secure

scamalert.securitycam

When parents hear, “Mommy!” yelled from their child’s room, it’s usually the result of a minor ouchie, or perhaps a stomach ache.

But, for recent users of a doorbell security camera, hearing, “Mommy!” come from their daughters’ bedroom turned their dreams of peace of mind into a nightmare.

Hackers have recently been gaining access to users’ homes via their systems’ two-way talk features. Two-way talk allows users to see what’s going on in their homes and talk to the occupants from a remote location via smartphone or tablet.

One recent attack involved an 8-year-old girl who was told by a male voice over the Amazon Ring security camera in her bedroom that he was Santa Claus and wanted to be her friend—all after calling her racial slurs and telling her it was OK to mess up her room and break her television.

The frightened girl could be seen and heard calling for her mother in the video provided to the media.

In another instance, a woman was awakened while sleeping in her bedroom by a strange voice coming from her Ring security camera. The voice was yelling for her to wake up and calling her dog.

Google’s Nest Cam security cameras are not immune to hackers, either.

One couple experienced hearing a man’s voice over the camera system. It was talking to their baby and then yelling obscenities at them before asking why the homeowners were looking at him (the crook). They also reported that the hackers had made adjustments to their thermostat.

In yet another Nest Cam incident, hackers warned a family about a supposed North Korean missile strike.

A spokesperson for Ring told The Washington Post in a recent statement that the Santa incident “is in no way related to a breach or compromise of Ring’s security. Customer trust is important to us and we take the security of our devices seriously.”

They added that the hackers “often re-use credentials stolen or leaked from one service on other services.”

Nest’s parent company, Google, told CBS News that Nest’s system was not breached, adding that reported incidents stem from customers “using compromised passwords … exposed through breaches on other websites.”

The Ring spokesperson told the Post, “Consumers should always practice good password hygiene and we encourage Ring customers to change their passwords and enable two-factor authentication.”

To prevent these incidents from occurring, CNET.com urges companies to require two-factor authentication (2FA), not just suggest using it.

“2FA would need a second form of identity, often a one-time code sent to a phone after a username and password are entered, or a physical token that’s plugged in,” according to CNET.

The report adds that hackers are using a technique called credential stuffing, a practice of acquiring lists of stolen usernames and passwords and then trying to use them on different accounts. Software tools have been created to specifically hack Ring cameras.

Ring’s representatives told Vice, “As a precaution, we highly and openly encourage all Ring users to enable two-factor authentication on their Ring account, add Shared Users (instead of sharing login credentials), use strong passwords, and regularly change their passwords.”

Take precautions before hackers take your peace of mind via your home security system.

Your Turn: How do you protect yourself from home security camera hackers? Tell us in the comments.

2020 BUSINESS MEETING OF MUTUAL CREDIT UNION

NOTICE TO THE MEMBERSHIP

January 10, 2020

Mutual Credit Union’s annual BUSINESS meeting will be held February 20, 2020 at 6:00 PM in the Cherry Street branch lobby located at 1604 Cherry Street, Vicksburg, MS. This meeting is a chance to review the state of the credit union and the 2019 annual report.

This is a business meeting of the membership, there will not be door prizes or refreshments available during this event.

Elections for the volunteer board of directors and supervisory committee will be open from January 13 through February 14, 2020. Voting will be held electronically through a secure portal on the mutualcu.org website, or by accessing the voting site directly at mutualcu.cuballot.com. You may also request a paper ballot by contacting us at 833-282-6595. Voting is fast and easy!

Working with financial information

How Men And Women Manage Money Differently

man and woman digital banking with laptop

Over the last century or so, society has made tremendous strides toward gender equality on every level — and this includes basic money management. Today’s culture has further narrowed the gap between the sexes, and the caricatures of the “overspending wife” and “overworked husband” have nearly become extinct.

Despite society’s advancements, there are still significant differences in the way each gender relates to and manages money. Dozens of studies have been performed on this subject, with research culled from around the globe. Being aware of these innate differences can help us understand the ways we deal with our finances so we can stop fighting our financial strengths and work on building them instead.

Attitudes toward shopping

Men and women look at shopping very differently. A study by the Wharton School of Business titled “Men Buy, Women Shop” found that women are more likely to view shopping as a recreational activity, while most men just want to get out of that store with their purchase as quickly as possible. Because of this, women will be quicker to notice and care about a store’s environment and the way they were treated by the salespeople.

Spending habits

Consumer Expenditure Survey by the Bureau of Labor Statistics studied the spending choices of single women and single men. Here’s what they found:

●       Overall spending: Single men outspent single women, but only by a slight margin. Men spent an average of $35,018 a year as opposed to $33,786 by women. It’s important to note, though, that the men earned roughly $10,000 more per year than the women.

●       Food: Single men outdid women here, too. Their annual food bill was $4,173, as opposed to $3,680 for the ladies. They also spent more than double what women spent on alcoholic beverages, at $537 a year compared to the women’s $234.

●       Clothing: Women came in first place in this category. They spent an average of $1,140 on a category titled “apparel and services” while men spent $813. Typically, women’s clothing costs more than men’s even for similar items.

●       Cars: Men outstripped women in this category, spending a total of $5,507 a year on personal transportation costs, compared to women’s $4,273.

●       Entertainment: Men and women spent similar annual amounts on entertainment, but they chose to spend those dollars differently. Men spent an average of $835 on “audio and visual equipment and services” but only $206 caring for pets. Women spent $725 on their home entertainment and $488 on their pets.

It’s not just the spending numbers that set men and women apart, though. There are multiple studies proving that women are more price-conscious shoppers than men. According to PaymentSense, 71% of women say the last item they bought online was on sale, compared to only 57% of men.  Coupons are also used more commonly by women than men, with CouponFollow’s 2017 Millennial Shopping Report showing that 74% of millennial women will look for coupons when shopping online, compared to 65% of millennial men.

Financial goals

Which gender has bigger dreams?

That question is difficult to answer, because men and women tend to have different priorities for their savings. A recent survey by The Motley Fool found that men are most likely to name saving for a vacation as their top financial goal, followed closely by paying off credit card debt. Women had identical goals, but they put their credit card debt first and their dream vacation second.

Savings

Although men and women have similar financial goals, there’s a vast difference between how much money each gender sets aside for those goals. A recent report by Mylo Financial Technologies found that men had set aside nearly twice as much money for their long-term financial goals as women. A BlackRock survey published by CNBC had similar findings:  American women nearing retirement age had an average of $81,300 in retirement funds, while their male counterparts had $118,400.

However, if you look at the percentage they save from their paychecks, women come in first place. A recent Vanguard study found that women are more likely to participate in workplace retirement plans, and that they put up to 8 percent more of their pretax earnings into these plans than men in the same earnings bracket.

The discrepancy between the dollar amounts saved and the percentages of incomes earmarked for savings is due to the reality that the average woman is still earning less than the average man. As a result, a female employee saving 10 percent of her salary might have less money stashed away than a male employee who is saving only 8 percent of his paycheck. Add compound interest into the mix, and you have the current gap between the accumulated savings of men and women.

Investing

There have been copious studies performed on the different investment habits of men and women. Most of them conclude that, of the two genders, men tend to be more confident in their financial knowledge and more open to risky investments, while women are the more cautious investors with an eye toward the future. Not surprisingly, studies have found that the average woman’s investment strategy and eventual performance tends to be more stable than the average man’s.

Men also seem to take more of an interest in investing. The Black Rock Survey found that 70 percent of millennial men enjoy managing their investments compared to just 36 percent of millennial women.

There is no right or wrong approach to finances. However, with an open mind and the willingness to learn about our natural strengths and weaknesses, we can all improve our money management skills for building a life of financial wellness and success.

Your Turn: Do the money habits of most of the men and women you know match up with the findings of these studies? Tell us about it in the comments.