A woman's financial planning is as important as that of a man, even when she is married. Also, she doesn't have to earn a lot of money before taking control of her financial position.
Financial experts recommend the following:
- Start by drawing up a budget. A budget is a money plan that helps you to organise and control your financial resources, set and realise goals, and decide in advance how your money will work for you. The budget is a plan or guide to help you make, spend and invest money wisely.
- Understand your spending behaviour. Some women are compulsive buyers. Analyse your own spending, and be honest! Try to buy what you need and not what you want.
- Set achievable goals. Do you want to go on a luxury holiday or buy a flat as an investment? Whether your goals are short, medium or long term, break them down into achievable portions.
- Start now. Don't wait until you are "older" to start financial planning. If you start early, you will reap the benefits when you are older and retired.
- Invest and save. Investing is a part of your financial planning, but be realistic on the returns that you expect. By saving, you can make your money work for you as it earns interest in the bank or other financial services provider. The effect of compound interest is huge. If you save enough you can negotiate favourable loan terms or a cash discount, or minimise the effects of emergencies on your budget.
- Pay yourself first. In effect, this means that you first make provision for your long-term financial security before you start spending in the present on luxuries or wants rather than needs.
- Keep a record. This will help you see where your money really goes. I will also help you when you want to claim on a warranty or for repair work.
- Get professional advice. Sometimes only a professional can give you the advice that you need. It is also recommended that you talk to various professionals such as bankers, financial advisors and property investors to get the complete picture.
- Revise your financial planning regularly. Incomes, needs and circumstances change and your financial planning should be kept in line with these changes.
Call the EWP if you want to take control of your finances but don't know where to start.
Rapport Geldsake, 6 May 2012