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Sheri Dew talks debt

Have debt? Most people do.

Want to talk about it? Most people don't.

But shining a light on family financial issues by engaging and educating women is the goal of a new initiative by Deseret Media Companies.

The "Imagine a Happier You" campaign launched Sunday with a website that offers loads of great financial advice, links, calculators and other tools to help everyone — but especially women — learn about money and how to take control of their finances, from the intricacies of budgeting to debt elimination and retirement planning.

If money problems have been weighing you down, consider this your weight-loss casting call: DMC also seeks three women who are willing to publicly and unflinchingly face their financial dilemmas in exchange for the kind of expert mentoring well beyond most people's means — or dreams.

Three women will be chosen to be mentored by experts for a year as they tackle their money woes and prepare for a more secure future. The expert mentors are being provided by the initiative's partners: Zions Bank, Merrill Lynch and AAA Fair Credit Foundation, a nonprofit credit and consumer counseling agency.

The public can follow and benefit from the women's experiences as they blog about their journeys and are featured in stories in the Deseret News and El Observador and on KSL-TV and Radio.

While money issues aren't gender specific, there are a lot of reasons to focus on women, said Sheri Dew, president and chief executive officer of Deseret Book and chairwoman of the "Imagine a Happier You" Women's Initiative. They are typically "the chief operating officer of a family, whether or not they handle the finances." Nearly all women are responsible for a household's money at some point. And, Dew notes, they make 90 percent of family purchases.

Read the rest of this story at deseretnews.com
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