Money is a feminist issue – and yet, women are still, in 2018, reluctant to talk about it. Thing is ladies, managing your finances should feel empowering not intimidating.
Recent surveys indicate that 32% of South African women feel unsure about their retirement plans whereas men show almost 10% greater clarity on their long-term investment and saving plans.
Financial independence for women isn’t just a matter of strength, it’s a matter of necessity. Why? Well, according to Statistics South Africa, 41.3% of South African households are headed by women. Truth is that South African women are comfortable with day-to-day budgeting, but tend to leave long-term financial issues, such as retirement and investments, to their partners.
True, men and women don’t have the same relationship with money. For one thing, women are more likely to have less of it, and no, this has nothing to do with the so-called “shoe fund”. While the wage gap between men and women is getting smaller, women still, on average, earn less than men. As a result, we save less and are hesitant to take risks when it comes to investing the money we do save.
However, it is crucial for women, regardless of their marital status – single, divorced, widowed or married – to take an active role in their finances. Statistically we live longer than men, earn less, and take more breaks from the workplace to care of kids and elderly parents. On top of that, we are often faced with discrimination in terms of advancement opportunities. All of this mean we have to work harder and save more.
So ladies, don’t rely on someone else for your financial security. Basic financial advice is hardly gender specific – everyone needs to know how to budget, save and invest.
Are you ready to get your Wolf of Wall Street on? We have a few tips on how to do just that:
- Have your own account. Being in the driver’s seat when it comes to your finances is crucial. Study your bank statements and come to grips with what’s in front of you. You never know when life might throw you a curveball!
- There are plenty of free budgeting apps which calculate exactly how much money you can afford to spend each day.
- Avoid credit card debt. This could put you into a deep financial hole.
- Follow the 50-20-30 rule. Divide your take-home money into three categories: essentials, lifestyle, and the future. 50% of what you bring home should go towards life’s must-haves: a roof over your head, groceries, utilities, and transportation. 20% to a savings account or retirement fund, and no more than 30% to your lifestyle budget: shopping, gym, travelling and general fun.
- Focus on the future. Start saving early, even if it’s just a little. Dedicate a fixed amount every month to savings, make it a habit.
- Have a financial plan. Set goals, take care of your future needs such as a retirement fund. Are you saving up for a deposit on a home? Also, work on an emergency fund for unexpected expenses.
- Don’t just save; if you have money to invest (it should be less than 5% of your net worth and money you won’t need within the next 5 years), go for it!
Although most of us won’t ever be billionaires, that doesn’t mean we can’t be financially secure.
Straightforward strategies such as spending less than what we earn, making a commitment to growing our savings, and paying off debt, are the cornerstones of achieving financial security.
Good luck ladies!
Source: www.bustle.com, www.iol.co.za, www.morganstanley.com, www.thebalance.com, wtop.com, www.fin24.com, www.theguardian.com, www.womanshealth.com.au, www.womanshealthmag.com, www.shape.com, brazenwomen.com, www.schwab.com, www.cnbc.com, www.themuse.com, www.nytimes.com
DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms or need health advice, please consult a healthcare professional.