August in South Africa is all about women. It is therefore most appropriate that YFN’s blog post is courtesy of one of our country’s female financial gurus. Mapalo Makhu holds a Bcom Finance degree and a post-graduate diploma in financial planning, and is a personal finance coach. She founded Woman&Finance to educate and inspire women to take charge of their finances and make the best financial decisions for their current and future selves.
Here’s what Mapalo says about the 5 habits of financially savvy women.
She budgets 3 to 6 months in advance
Yes, you heard right, 3 to 6 months in advance. Why? Because there are birthday celebrations, anniversaries, school excursions, holidays, etc. throughout the year that you need to budget for. I turned 30 this year, whoop whoop! and with that comes a lot of friends who are turning 30 as well, who will be wanting to celebrate their birthdays in style…which mean I want to be financially prepared and budget for gifts, eating out, or whichever way they want to celebrate.
You have to think about your expenses into the future and plan accordingly. You have to decide if it is a priority to you and if you can afford it.
She is honest with her money journey
They always say honesty is the best policy, and I couldn’t agree more. First, you have to be honest with yourself about where you are financially, what your priorities are, what financial goal(s) you are truly working towards. Then you have to be honest with those around you, including your partner, family and friends.
Let’s face it, some people may even feel uncomfortable with your new found wokeness when it comes to money but trust me, they will get used to it! #yourmoneyyourrules. Don’t be afraid to let them know that you are on a budget.
She has a sound plan to create wealth
I find that a lot of people are in trouble and continue being in trouble when it comes to their finances because they have an ostrich attitude: they know they are in trouble, they know they should do something about it, but because of feeling overwhelmed, they put their heads in the sand and hope somehow the problem goes away!
This approach has never worked when it comes to money, actually with most things in life.
Financially savvy women knows her net worth and works diligently to increase it through the following:
- She has a plan to eliminate debt.
- Has a budget and sticks to it.
- Does not ignore saving for retirement because it looks like it’s far off.
- Has an emergency fund.
- Has investment(s) either unit trust, ETF, shares, rental property or savings (or is aggressively working towards attaining them).
- She has set financial success as a goal.
She invests time to educate herself and other women about money
I say it all the time: for you to become more confident when it comes to money, you have to educate yourself. You cannot leave your financial education to chance or to your partner. It is so empowering to approach a financial institution well equipped with knowledge rather than to depend on them to give you the right information.
I cannot say it enough. Educate yourself. Educate yourself. Educate yourself!
She never lives a champagne lifestyle on a beer budget
She will not go broke trying to look rich! She understands that true financial freedom is worth the sacrifice. She does not support an expensive lifestyle through credit. She earns it, invests and only then does she live it up!
Having money and building wealth create a sense of peace, while living beyond your means is a sure way to cause you stress. Give yourself peace.