Four Steps to extend your Wonder Woman Abilities into your Finances
Few people who have watched a woman juggle the demands of a successful career with being a loving mom, a caring partner, a devoted sister and daughter, a supportive friend and a dedicated community member with seemingly endless dedication, can doubt the accuracy behind the idea of a Wonder Woman.
Unfortunately, amid all these obligations, most women neglect to take care of themselves, and particularly of their personal finances. This eventually leaves countless women in a dire financial situation, especially since women face unique challenges when it comes to finances.
Unique Financial Challenges Women Face
- Women tend to live longer than men and must prepare for a longer retirement period.
- Women typically earn less than their male counterparts (about 25% less according to SARS statistics) and therefore need to be savvier with their money.
- In many marriages or life partnerships, men are often in control of the finances and planning, leaving the women without their own accounts or credit histories.
- Many women move out of the workforce for periods of time to care for children or aging parents, affecting their earning ability.
The good news, however, is that women can extend their Wonder Woman capabilities into their financial lives, too, and ensure that despite all their obligations, they can enjoy financial security.
During this Women’s Month, implement these four steps to ensure that you (or, if you are a man, that the women in your life – your mom, your partner, your daughters), can enjoy the financial security all women deserve.
Four Steps to Financial Security for Women
1. Educate yourself about financial matters
Every woman needs to be educated in financial matters. It is as simple as attending an Interface Women’s Day Workshop, conveniently offered at your workplace, to get started! You can also speak to a financial advisor or a trusted friend or family member, do research online or read books.
2. Assess your current financial situation
Determine how healthy your current financial situation is. What is your current income and what are your expenses? What are your prospects for increasing your income and how can you reduce your expenses? How much debt do you have and how can you reduce it? What insurance or savings do you have to cover unexpected emergencies or life events?
3. Take responsibility for your own financial situation
Even if your husband or long-term partner takes care of your family’s financial matters, take charge of your own financial affairs. Create a budget and stick to it. Save money from your income every month, no matter how little your start with. Open and manage your own bank account and build up a solid, clean credit record.
If you are married or in a relationship, make sure you understand and are involved in your financial situation as a couple. Record the account numbers and pin codes for your joint accounts and your partner’s accounts. Understand what provision has been made for your joint retirement, and what will happen if one of you passes away or becomes disabled, or if the relationship ends.
4. Create a financial plan for your future
Plan for your own financial future – don’t rely solely on your financial plan as a couple. Have your own vision of your financial future and do your part in securing your own retirement, as well as saving for your personal individual dreams. Discover your capacity to be a woman of financial vision!