By Sydney Sekese, CFP® professional and member of the Financial Planning Institute
As we enter women’s month of August, the purpose of this article is to provide some tips on how women can regain their financial confidence. A common, local legend assumes that women have a special gift of multi-tasking and completing several projects/tasks on time. Regaining financial confidence is possible if women could use this multi-tasking talent to good use.
Financial confidence is the pathway to inner and outer happiness. The power to discover that pathway is within each and every one of us. But first, we have to know where we want that path to take us. Women have to know what their goals are and in what direction they want to go. Not identifying their goals is like visiting a foreign city without a map. If women did this, they would probably wander around that city aimlessly. Without financial goals and a road map, it is highly probable that women will miss out on opportunities that lie within their own financial city.
It is suggested that for women to see their intentions clearly, they could ask themselves the following questions:
What do I want my ultimate financial destiny to be? What do I want from my money today, as well as years from now? What do I need to do to make my life worthwhile?
Another common local legend assumes that women are more tenacious and able to handle life’s hurdles much better than their male counterparts. To regain financial confidence, women need to understand and accept the natural cycles of money as it ebbs and flows through their lives, sometimes in harmony, sometimes in discord.
Similar to how we experience life’s journey, money will also have its ups and downs. Money, like other living things, isn’t always going to behave in ways women can predict. Sometimes women will have more than they expected and at other times; money will flow out and they will have less than they thought. These transactions can be exciting and often scary. It is highly recommended that women take the long term view of their financial future via a properly crafted Financial Plan. This plan needs to be dynamic and flexible to cater for changing environment.
There are practical steps that women can adopt to regain their financial confidence. These include:
- Maintaining a proper household budget
- Checking their credit score and report
- Ensuring their tax affairs are up to date
- Reviewing insurance cover
- Drafting a proper will
- Paying themselves first
- Boosting their retirement savings
One of the most important steps women can take is to manage their own finances and not delegate that task to their husbands or partners. David Bach, in one of his books says “You should be the one who is in charge of the money” That way, women will be prepared to handle finances in the event of divorce or death. You will make mistakes, we all do but it all starts with the courage and determination to empower oneself.