Your Money- Financial advice for women by women
By Boitumelo Mothoagae, Manager – Customer Management Operations Liberty and financial adviser
Financial hurdles are something that many women are faced with. Women live longer, earn less and take more breaks from the workplace to care for children and even their elderly parents. This is something that remains a challenge to women as they have to oversee a large number of responsibilities whilst seamlessly running their households. Furthermore, statistics show that many women are less financially literate than their male counterparts and it is therefore important for women to become more financially savvy in or out of relationships.
As a woman, your needs may be different to others as your circumstances differ, therefore, when it comes to financial planning a one size fits all approach will not work. One of the major things women face is a lack of retirement planning and preparedness. It is a real fact that many women earn less than men, and as a result often walk away with a bigger retirement challenge.
Some financial tips for women by Boitumelo Mothoagae, Manager – Customer Management Operations Liberty and financial adviser
1. Don’t rely on someone else
Overcome the gender gap and don’t rely on your husband, boyfriend or partner to handle the finances. Educate yourself about your money matters.
2. Set financial goals
If your goal is to overcome debt, then draw up a spread sheet with how you envisage getting out of the debt trap. Pay the smaller debts off quicker if you can. If you get a bonus, use apportion of the money to service unwanted debt and rather save towards an item you desire or want to purchase in the future – cash is king i.e. if you owe a credit grantor R10 000 on clothing you have purchased, set a goal to pay this debt off in the next 12 months. If you don’t know how or where to start, speak to your financial adviser for advice.
3. Never spend to make yourself feel good
Don’t feel the need to spend because you are having a bad day or you want others to accept you. This may leave you with unwanted debt and your self-worth goes beyond splurging money.
4. Don’t overspend
Spend within your means - if you earn R15 000 a month, don’t overspend and live beyond your means. This is the secret to wealth creation.
5. Build an emergency fund
Yes, I am sure you have heard this many times before. However, it is a realistic fact that many people are not as safe as they think they are in their jobs and more people are losing their jobs due to various economic factors. Waking up to not having a job or incurring a large unexpected bill could force you to take on heavy credit card debt and could put you into a financial hole that will be difficult if not impossible to dig your way out of – so save for that rainy day.
6. Talk, talk and talk some more
Get involved in the day-to-day management of your family’s finances and keep the lines of communication open with your spouse concerning money matters affecting your household.
7. NEVER, take on your spouse’s debt when you marry
Instead, rather wait until debt is paid off on either side before tying the knot or protect yourself with a pre-nuptial agreement – they’re aren’t just for the rich. Start your marriage on a clean and debt-free slate. Finances and debt is a huge cause of divorces and is the cause of many breakups.
8. Learn from your mistakes
Learn from your financial mistakes and make an oath not to make the same mistakes over again. Don’t allow the mistakes to hobble you.
Don’t allow the fear of losing money, fear of failure, or fear of the unknown stop you from investing. Speak to your financial adviser should you need to know how to start.
Fleishman-Hillard | Digital. Integrated. Global.
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