How women can achieve financial independence

Today is International Women’s Day. The 8 March is a day where women across the world forget their linguistic, economic, political and cultural differences and come together to celebrate women and their struggle for justice, peace and equality.

We’d like to offer our amazing south African women some advice on how you can take charge of your finances, especially if you are the sole provider in your household.

Financial independence is a fiery topic for women these days, but do we know what it really means? It may mean something different for each of us, but the base meaning is the ability to support oneself and maintain a decent standard of living without support from anyone else. Women need to know how to manage their personal finances, including bills, debt payments and savings, etc.

According to the Women in the Workplace research programme at the University of Johannesburg, women earn between 15% and 17% less than men for the same jobs. They may also see the effects that childbirth and maternity leave have on their careers as they often have to stay off work for awhile and are unable to put in as many hours into their careers as men are. This means that, most of the time, women have to work harder to be successful.

Manage your finances effectively

  • Get knowledgeable about personal finance. Educate yourself about money management, financial planning and investing.
  • Never spend more than you earn.
  • Be aware of your ongoing expenses and financial/investment commitments
  • Set realistic financial goals, including short-term goals – goals that can be accomplished in less than six months, medium-term goals – goals that can be accomplished in six months to a year and long-term goals – goals that will take more than a year to accomplish.
  • Set up an emergency fund to cover any unforeseen expenses.
  • Get debt counselling if you are unable to keep up-to-date with your monthly expenses and debt repayments. Contact Debt Rescue for help.

Maximising your earning ability

If you are employed, try your best to improve your value to the company by constantly working towards goals, staying abreast of all the latest skills and technology in your field and taking on new responsibilities where possible. This will ensure you increase your earning potential in your career. If you have to take parental leave, make sure you continue to improve your skills, certifications and licenses while continuously networking with others in your field so that you stay connected and up-to-date with people and advances in your career.

Just remember, it’s never too late to start a new career, especially one that you are very passionate about. Make sure you speak to people in the industry you are interested in to ensure their is growth and earning potential in that industry.

If you are battling to pay back debt, contact Debt Rescue for help.

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