Financial Advice for Women – Celebrating Women’s Day in South Africa: In the colourful and vibrant nation of South Africa, as we celebrate Women’s Day, it’s essential to acknowledge the significant role women play in our society. From leading boardrooms to managing households, women are the backbone of our communities. We penned this piece to provide financial advice tailored to the unique challenges and opportunities women face, ensuring they are empowered to make informed decisions about their money. Mastering the key pillars of investment and money advice for women will be a game-changer for anyone who reads this.
Money Advice for Women
Understanding Different Roles: When it comes to providing money advice for women, irrespective of the role you’ve chosen or your stage in life – there are timeless principles that will always apply to managing money and which form the foundation of getting ahead financially.
For the Career Women: If you’re a woman with a bustling career, you’re no stranger to the challenges of balancing professional and personal responsibilities. Financial empowerment for you means more than just earning a paycheck. It’s about managing those earnings wisely, investing in your future, and understanding the benefits provided by your employers, such as retirement plans and medical aid. Remember, it’s not just about making money; it’s about making your money work for you.
For the Homemakers: For those who have chosen the equally challenging role of managing the home and raising children, financial empowerment is crucial. You’re often the one managing the household budget, saving for your children’s future, and ensuring the family’s overall financial well-being. Even without a traditional income, your role in financial decisions, savings, and investments is pivotal. Your financial health ensures the family’s stability. And if you’re not involved – start to take a more active interest and role in managing the household budget so that you’re informed and empowered with what’s happening.
4 Money Steps All Women Should Take:
1. Understand Your Financial Situation:
Before making any financial decisions, it’s crucial to have a clear understanding of your current financial situation. This includes knowing your income, expenses, debts, and savings. Create a monthly budget and stick to it. Apps and tools can help track your spending and savings.
2. Build an Emergency Fund:
Life is unpredictable. Having an emergency fund can be a lifesaver during unexpected events like medical emergencies or job loss. Aim to save at least six months’ worth of living expenses.
3. Tackle Debt Strategically:
If you have debts, prioritize paying off high-interest ones first. Avoid accumulating unnecessary debt and consider seeking advice if you’re feeling overwhelmed. There is nothing so satisfying as being debt free. Figure out a plan to make that happen.
4. Educate Yourself:
Financial literacy is empowering. Attend workshops, read books, or consult with professionals to enhance your financial knowledge. Here are some books that every woman, regardless of your financial background, should consider reading:
“Rich Woman” by Kim Kiyosaki: A direct conversation about understanding money and investments tailored for women.
“The Financial Diet: A Total Beginner’s Guide to Getting Good with Money” by Chelsea Fagan: A hands-on guide for those just starting their financial journey.
“Women & Money: Owning the Power to Control Your Destiny” by Suze Orman: A deep dive into achieving financial security.
“Broke Millennial: Stop Scraping By and Get Your Financial Life Together” by Erin Lowry: Perfect for the younger generation looking to set a strong financial foundation.
Investment Advice for Women
1. Start Early:
The most important piece of investment advice for women is that the power of compound interest is real. The earlier you start investing, the more time your money has to grow. Even if it’s a small amount, the key is to start. Here is a simple example that shows the power of compounding over different time horizons and the difference in value you end up with after 10, 20, 30 and 40 years. We assume R1,000 per month invested generating an average annual return of 10% p.a.
Observe where the magic really begins to happen. The incremental increase in value of your investment relative to what you’re contributing really takes effect somewhere between years 20-30. Compounding takes decades to play out. But once that snowball begins to accelerate, it really is phenomenal. And think of the implications – from investing for financial freedom to your children’s education. Start early and keep going. And if you don’t have 20 or 30 plus years left to invest anymore? Start anyway. It’s liberating to watch your investments grow over time, giving you options with what you’d like to do with that money.
2. Diversify Your Portfolio:
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Spread your investments across different assets classes to maximise returns while minimising risk. This might include shares, bonds, property, and more. Understand what a real return is and that to grow your wealth and become richer (not poorer), you need your investments to be growing at a rate higher than inflation. In South Africa inflation has averaged between 5-6% p.a. – so ideally you want your investments to grow at something beyond 10% p.a. if financial freedom is your goal.
3. Set Clear Investment Goals:
Whether it’s buying a home, funding your child’s education, or planning for retirement, having clear financial goals will guide your investment decisions.
4. Stay Informed:
The financial market is dynamic. Stay updated with market trends, but also remember not to make impulsive decisions based on short-term market fluctuations. For South African women looking to stay informed with market trends and news, here are some good resources:
Fin24: Your go-to for breaking business news and expert opinions.
Moneyweb: From the stock market to property investment, they’ve got you covered.
Women’s Property Network (WPN): An invaluable resource for women in the property sector. Whether you’re a student or industry professional, it’s a wonderful forum where women connect and learn from each other.
5. Consult with a Financial Advisor:
As financial advisor’s ourselves, the importance of professional guidance can be a game-changer. An advisor can provide personalised advice, keeping in mind your financial goals to help you achieve the things that matter to you. Our Ultimate Guide to Financial Planning will also empower you with a host of information and knowledge to master your finances.
Closing Remarks on Financial Advice for Women
In conclusion, as we celebrate Women’s Day in South Africa, let’s also celebrate the financial empowerment of women. Whether you’re climbing the corporate ladder or managing the household, your financial health and empowerment matter. Here’s to making informed, confident, and successful financial decisions!
Further Reading: Financial Help for a Newly Divorced Woman