Latest local statistics reveal that women are playing an increasingly critical role in ensuring the financial security of their families, highlighting the need for proper financial planning for all women. In South Africa, women make up more than half of university graduates* and over 50% of families are headed by single mothers**. For many of these women, the role of breadwinner brings with it an additional responsibility – managing the family finances. Why is it then that so many women leave their financial planning to chance?
A woman who is juggling a busy work and home life can easily make excuses that she does not have enough time to create a financial plan. But family responsibilities should never impact on financial security.
Every woman is fighting a different battle, and it can come in the form of ‘black tax’ (the extra money that black professionals are coughing up every month to support their extended families), ‘pink tax’ (where women pay more for gender-specific items) or even being in the middle of the ‘sandwich generation’ (being financially responsible for parents and own children). All of these situations can make it harder for women to make ends meet.
At the end of the day, it all boils down to the expectations that you have set for yourself and others. Ultimately, you are accountable for your financial situation and it is your responsibility to take control of your income and expenditures in order to ensure your family’s needs are met and they are financially secure.
The key is to always be honest with yourself regarding your financial status. You choose the type of relationship you want to have with your money, it is very important to understand what financial security means for you and to determine what your desired financial goals are.
For those women who are married or in a long-term relationship, it is important to realise that your spouse or partner is not an insurance policy. The life expectancy for women is longer than for men, so you need to plan accordingly and protect yourself.
The modern woman can create wealth by being deliberate and having a plan; just as you have goals for your career, you need to also have wealth goals.
The following are some non-negotiables to help you reach your financial goals:
Financial freedom is a mental, emotional and educational journey. Know your worth and reach for your goals with a purpose. “When you know better, do better,” - Maya Angelou.