Auto Insurance

Auto Insurance



Helpful Terms
& Tools


Auto Overview

You may think of vehicle insurance as one of those things you just need to buy, making quick decisions based on the “standard” policy that suits most people. However, coverage can be expensive—and damages from an accident can be even more expensive, so it pays to think about what you’re buying, and why.

    • Before you purchase vehicle insurance, make sure you think about your life as a whole, the value of your assets and risk factors as a whole, and begin there when making decisions about what coverages to buy. Coverage could be different if you drive a Jaguar versus a Kia.
    • Be sure you share these factors with your agent, if you use one.
    • Be wary of any insurance company or insurance agent who tries to sell you insurance coverage without asking you any questions! Chances are you’d find out that you weren’t properly covered when you’re in an accident, or perhaps you’d discover you’re paying too much money for coverage you don’t need or that you already have through some other means.
    • Your coverage should be designed for you!

Vehicle insurance is not a no-brainer or one-size-fits-all. As with any other financial transaction, education is your best tool and will lead you to the greatest success.

Here You
Will Learn

  • An overview of vehicle insurance
  • How to get the right amount of coverage
  • How auto insurance can crossover other insurance products so that you don’t overpay for coverage, or worse, underinsure yourself.
  • How to read your policy’s declaration page.
  • About the broad number of people and entities with a financial interest in any automobile insurance; know who these parties are and what they need or want when there’s an accident.
  • Know what to do if you are in an auto accident with damages and/or injuries.

Auto Basics

Accidents happen. We don’t mean them to, they just do. And so you carry insurance on your vehicle, to pay for the repairs and sometimes medical bills that come with accidents. Whether the accident is your fault or someone else’s, you’re a responsible adult, and adulting means having insurance.

But not all insurance is the same. There are varying levels of coverage that protect you in different circumstances. Some insurance covers things other than accidents (and sometimes these things can be covered more cheaply elsewhere). And there are also state minimum coverages you need to keep in mind.

The “auto” in auto insurance doesn’t stand for automatic – you need to consider a lot of factors, and most policies are endlessly customizable. Here are the four most important things to think about.

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 What are your minimum coverages? There are likely state minimum for Liability and Collision coverage, and if you have an auto loan or lease, you’re likely required to carry certain amounts of Collision coverage.

How much coverage do you need?  This requires some significant thought. Do you need towing and rental coverage in your policy? How much liability coverage is the right amount? How important is uninsured motorist coverage?

Do I need to use an insurance agent?  The choice of whether to use an agent or not is a personal one, but should be considered. Many agents are very helpful professionals who can help you navigate a complicated subject. Having that kind of person in your corner can definitely be a benefit – but like insurance policies, not all agents are created equal.

What is your insurance company going to do in the case of an accident?  Understanding how insurance companies operate, and who has a financial stake when an accident is involved, can help you be a more informed consumer – which in turn results in better choices on your part. Do I need to use an insurance agent? The choice of whether to use an agent or not is a personal one, but should be considered. Many agents are very helpful professionals who can help you navigate a complicated subject. Having that kind of person in your corner can definitely be a benefit – but like insurance policies, not all agents are created equal.

Did You Know

Many states set minimums for auto insurance coverage? Make sure you check with your state’s department of motor vehicles or insurance agent to get enough coverage.




Saving Hacks

Helpful Terms
& Tools

Snowball Method

Budget – The Dreaded B Word

Budget. The dreaded “B” word. Everyone hates making a budget. It gives you feelings of dread, cold chills up your spine. But it doesn’t have to feel that way. In fact, budgeting can be rather empowering. Remember, you are in charge of every single dollar you earn. And making a budget helps you spend those dollars where you want to spend them.

Fair enough – when you pay the rent, the light bill, the water bill, etc., it doesn’t feel like you are in control… but, you made the decision to live where you live, to have running water at the lift of a finger and lights at the click of a switch. How lucky are you? The more you practice noticing all of the things you own, have and enjoy, the more you can create a feeling of abundance instead of dread.

Think about it: in Haiti, 78% of people live on less than $2 a day. More than half of rural households and about a quarter of urban households in sub-Saharan Africa lack easy access to drinking water. In the US, the average household net-adjusted disposal income per capita is USD $41,355 a year versus Mexico which is $13,085. We have a lot to be thankful for here in our country!
So as you take stock of all the things you have, we want to give you some tools on how to make your income work even more in your favor. This handy guide will help you change your mindset about budgeting from dread to empowerment. It will turn it from a chore into something that you do to help take control of your life. You will learn about some tools that can help you track expenses – there are many apps out there, for free, that can give you economic power at your fingertips. You will also get some tips on being conscious about spending your money and ideas on how to save some of that hard earned cash. Finally, we’ll share some tips on debt reduction that can make small amounts of money snowball into big payoffs!
Let’s reframe how powerful you really are and how you wield your power with your money.

Here You
Will Learn

  • To think about budgeting as making empowering decisions about how you want to manage your life (as well as your paycheck).
  • To identify apps and tools that can help you easily track spending.
  • Tips on how to be financially conscious about how you spend your hard-earned cash!
  • How to identify and stop the leaks in your budget.
  • How to use snowball payments to reduce (or eliminate) debt.

Rethinking Spending

When we want to manage our weight, we log what we eat so we are conscious about how we are spending our calories. Budgeting uses the same concept – it’s being financially conscious of where your money is going.

You may feel trapped by your paycheck, but budgeting gives you back the power and control. Creating a budget makes you think about “needs” vs “wants.” When we talk about needs, we’re talking about the bare necessities – food, shelter, etc.​Wants are things like​a new pair of shoes or handbag.

wants vs needs
needs vs wants

We know, despite the best budgeting in the world, its sometimes difficult to stretch your money between paydays – so the first step is to see where the money is going! Once you’ve assessed that, we’ll help you figure out the next steps you can take to financial empowerment. 

Did You Know

If you buy a $5 coffee every day it adds up to $150 a month! If you make around $40k per year, that’s about 5% of your monthly income. On coffee!

Buying A House

Buying a House

Home Buying

Mortgage Payments

Steps To Buying

Financial Help & References

Your Biggest Purchase

So you’ve decided to buy a house. This can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your entire life. Nothing feels quite as good as the pride of owning the place you call home. But the process can be overwhelming but if you have Purse Strings Approved Professionals on your team, they can make it smooth experience. 

You are to be congratulated if you’re at the place in your life where you’re considering this – it’s a huge milestone in your life. And if you’re doing it as a single woman, we’re even more proud of you!

Homeownership provides the financial security to safeguard women’s progress, and paves the way for future generations. With college degrees and higher earnings, women have increased their home buying activity and buying power. More single women purchase homes than single men, so you’re in good company.

We’re going to cover all the things you need to know to make this process go as smoothly as possible, but every situation is different. This is without a doubt the largest purchase you’re ever going to make, so it is one that you should approach with honesty and care. We will discuss the various costs involved with buying a home. Next, we’ll give you some steps to take to prepare for your home buying journey. A Purse Strings Approved Provider can help you calculate how much home you can afford.

Nothing really compares to the pride of home ownership!


Here You
Will Learn

  • How to determine if buying a house is a good financial investment for you.
  • Considering ALL the costs involved with buying a house.
  • How to prepare to make the biggest financial decisions of your life.
  • Calculate what you can afford for your homeownership.
  • The best places for women to buy a home.
What You Need to Consider.

Purse Strings is here to help you make educated choices about the best way to use your money and empower you to take your financial futures in your own hands. The decision to purchase a home can be one of the biggest purchases you make. But, home ownership is an investment that can really pay off. Consider these five factors to help make the right decision.

Debt. Do you have significant credit card debt? Then consider talking to a Purse Strings Approved Professional to help you take a look at your debt and still achieve your goal of buying a home.

Savings. There are loan programs for financial and down payment assistance and other options like negotiations to get sellers credit. Some people think they need to wait until they have 20% of the purchase price for a down payment; however, waiting to save this amount may cost you in the long run. Your Purse Strings Approved Professional can help assess what is best for your situation. 

Stability. Everyone is a lot more mobile these days and are not sure if they should purchase a home. Do you envision moving within three to five years? Some people consider moving and renting their home as a way of building equity in their home ownership. Your Purse Strings Approved Professional can help assess what is best for your situation. 

Income. A reliable and steady income is needed to qualify for a loan. Types of income can include your salary/ wages, self employment income, alimony, child support, social security and trusts.

Responsibility. Home buying is a big process and a decision that should be made with a Purse Strings Approved Professional Realtor and loan officer. Understanding all the cost that go into a home purchase is important.  

Did You Know

More than one in five home buyers is a single woman, and twice as many unmarried women are buying homes than single men. Single women make up more than one-third of the growth in real estate ownership since 1994.

Home Owners Insurance

Homeowners Insurance





Helpful Terms
& Tools

What’s Covered

Homeowners Overview


Homeowner’s and renter’s insurance is one of those aspects of adult life that you just can’t avoid. It is something that is potentially expensive, something you will rarely use, but also something every responsible adult should have.

Like auto insurance, this is one of those bills you’re going to have for the rest of your life. Even if you pay off your auto loan or your mortgage, you still need to have insurance. And like all of the topics we cover on Purse Strings, a little bit of education goes a long way in being a smart consumer and taking your financial future seriously.

The topic of homeowner’s insurance is a big one. This is because there are so many variables that come into play when purchasing coverage, and a lot of it is based on where you live.


    • Insurance regulations vary by state
    • There are many regional variations as well – depending on risk factors such as floods, hurricanes, wild fires, and earthquakes (among others)
    • Even at the neighborhood level, things such as how close your home is to a fire department, a fire hydrant, a major roadway, or a river, factor into the insurance company’s risk equation

In addition to all of these factors, the insurance industry has come up with all sorts of different (and creative) products and add-ons to address all of the different ways people live in and use their homes. Understanding the endless product options can be overwhelming, and we certainly won’t be tackling all of these topics, but we will try to make sure you know what you need to be an informed consumer.

This module will get you up to speed on the many terms you will need to know when talking to your agent, teach you about what insurance companies will want to know about you, cover the basic types of insurance policies, and show you how to figure out how much coverage you need.

Here You
Will Learn

  • Important terms you will need to know when talking with your agent about your Homeowners or renters insurance policies.
  • What insurance companies want to know about you before they will insure your home or apartment
  • The two basic types of homeowner’s insurance policies.
  • How to calculate what it would cost to rebuild your home so that you know how much coverage you will need.
  • How insurance companies share information with each other about your claims.

Homeowner Basics

When you buy insurance you’re buying the promise of help in the event of a disaster. You make a monthly payment (premium) that is calculated according to your unique probability for a loss. This includes not only your home and furniture, but your activities in and around the home as well.

rent vs own

When you shop for insurance, insurance companies provide a price quote to you based on the risk factors they determine you are exposed to. They determine that level of risk based on a brief interview about you and your property, or if you’re shopping online, through an online questionnaire.

The price quote is an estimate of your premium cost. Once you agree to the price quote, the insurance company goes to work verifying everything about your dwelling—data that tells them how likely it is that you will need to file an insurance claim in the future. They also check YOU out, using something called an insurance score, your credit report, your motor vehicle report (yes, even if it’s a homeowner’s policy!) and other data to ensure you’re an upstanding citizen who is a good risk.

When something happens to your home (or sometimes to the people in your home), you file a claim. The insurance company will send out an adjuster, a person trained to assess the damage and how much the insurance company should pay out on the claim. You will pay a deductible (which is determined in your policy) and then the insurance company will pay you for the damages (based on the adjuster’s estimate).


Factors in your Home Insurance Quote
understanding home insurance | guide to home owners insurance

Insurance Score

learn about auto insurance

Motor Vehicle Report

Credit Score

Did You Know

Half of adults age 50 and over have not discussed retirement health care costs with their spouse.

Medical Expenses

Medical Expenses

Health Care

Helpful Terms & Tools

Ways To Save

Medicare Basics

Medicaid For Women 

In Retirement & References

Unraveling Health Care

There’s no argument that health care has gotten complicated over the years – and so expensive. In fact, women ranked healthcare the number one financial burden for the US economy.

One thing that we know for sure – you and your family need some kind of healthcare coverage. Data show that health emergencies are among the most common economic hardships, and one in six families makes an extraordinary medical expense in any given year. The result? A financial impact from which a family cannot fully recover – even after a year. And not surprisingly, the financial gender gap worsens after a large, unexpected medical expense, leaving women with significantly more revolving credit card debt than men.

So we’re going to help you get educated on the things you need to know about healthcare and how it impacts your financial future. You still have to do the work on your particular situation, but we’ll share some pointers on how to figure out what you need and ways to work the system from a financial point of view. We’ll give you some ideas on how to get relief in the case of major healthcare expenses, so it doesn’t ruin your finances. We will also talk about healthcare expenses in your retirement, which will be significant, and give you some tools to help calculate those costs. And finally, we’ll give you a breakdown of Medicare and Medicaid and how and when each program can help you.

This is a big one, but it is as important for your overall financial picture as anything else we could talk about.


Here You
Will Learn

  • How to make smart financial decision when it comes to healthcare – without sacrificing your health
  • Ways to get help with health care expenses
  • Why saving now for future healthcare costs is so important for women
  • How to calculate costs of healthcare in retirement
  • The different parts of Medicare
  • When Medicaid plays a role in retirement healthcare

Where to Start

Every year you have important financial healthcare decisions to make, based on our own particular situation. Healthcare is complicated enough to begin with, but since every individual has a unique case, it just makes it that more difficult. You need to think about which plan to select, whether to go with a low or high deductible, how many times you might go to the doctor, your children’s needs, planned surgeries, whether or not you’re going to have a baby, and most importantly, what kind of plan can you afford.

So where do you start? Well, if you’ve been following along with our other education pieces, you’ve already worked through your budget. Having a number to start with can be helpful in any financial decision, so we recommend looking over your budget and seeing how much healthcare you can afford. Keep in mind you might need to figure out how to make this number bigger as you assess costs and your needs, but you have to start somewhere, right?


Next, we recommend capturing two sets of data:  

Go through your medical needs for you and any dependents you may be responsible for. Do you have any ongoing medical conditions? What medications do you take regularly? How many times per year, on average, do you go to the doctor? Are you thinking about getting pregnant? This information will be important when you look at available plans.

Gather information on healthcare plan options, including the costs and coverages. Your employer may or may not offer a plan, and that plan may or may not be the best option for you. Your state may have a healthcare exchange, and there is also a federal exchange, where you can shop for plan options. You may also qualify for CHIP, Medicare, or Medicaid. All of that can be reviewed here: You can also look at plans by a simple Internet search, or if you have an insurance advisor they may be able to help you identify and evaluate plans.

Then comes the really hard part – you need to go through each plan, assess what it covers and, more importantly, what it doesn’t cover, and make a decision. There are trade offs you will have to make (see some tips below), but if you do your homework you can make an informed decision. We’re not going to lie: this is a really difficult process, and at times you’re going to feel like you need a crystal ball. The decisions you make could be life changing for you and your family. But we know that you can handle it – because you’re a savvy and intelligent woman!

Did You Know

Before ACA, women buying insurance on the individual market were routinely charged up to 50% more for monthly premiums than men. This practice was known as “gender rating.”