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Die Burger - Women and Money - March 2011
If you are a woman in todays world, you surely have more options than your mother and her mother before her had. Yet this does not take away from the fact that todays woman has more than enough on her plate to deal with!
We have to see to the children, the house, our jobs, our partners and always lastly, ourselves. And since we are the ones taking responsibility for everything, its not surprising that it is women who are taking the reins of the finances in the household. And why not? We see to everything else, dont we?
Gone are the days when it was thought that “ women are not good with money “ and when only the “man of the house” dealt with the money. These days women are financially savvy and educated. Even stay at home moms running the household, should realise that they are actually in charge of a micro – enterprise.
We transact with money everyday. It is an essential part of our lives. And in life, there often personal and emotional hurdles which women face, getting in the way of us making the best emotional decisions. Everyday life DOES take its emotional and physical toll on women, and sometimes its just so much easier to blame a bad financial situation on something or someone else. We very often even blame the fact that we are not earning enough. Though most times, its not about how much we make, but about what we do with what we have. Its often said that if you work hard, you will reap the financial rewards. Thats not necessarily true. It doesnt help that you work hard, but not smart! So become financially informed and educated. You dont need a university degree in finance, but good, basic financial knowledge surely goes a long way!
Like it is important for a woman to be aware of her body and her health, it is important for her to be aware of her finances and her financial habits. If you have diabetes, you take care of your eating habits and avoid whats bad for your health and your body. The very same care should be taken with your money.If you are aware that you have bad spending habits, then CHANGE THEM! Do not be frivolous and make impulsive buying decisions. Treat your financial health the same way you would your physical health. You are not going to let your body deteriorate without a fight, so start fighting for you financial survival too!
The best way to deal with your financial situation is to be in charge of it. But that does not mean you have to be in charge of your partners too! Especially their debt! As women, we really have to be aware of “relationship debt” There are so many women who end up paying for their partners or even ex-partners debt, simply by loving and trusting and placing their finances in their partners hands.
Before taking drastic decisions involving community of property agreements, ante nuptial contracts, signing surety for a loan or buying something on your name and letting your partner pay you back without anything formal on paper – go and see a reputable financial advisor or visit a financial guidance office.
We have come a long way from being Wilma Flinstone. We are strong, educated and empowered. We are the delegators and planners of everything in our lives, yet many of us still dont have a financial plan. There is no excuse for not taking charge of finances and our lives! Constantly being aware of what is happening with your money, can only stand you in good stead!
Moeshfieka Botha is Media and Communications manager of Credit Matters, the largest Debt Counselling firm in South Africa. She is also a debt expert on Women24. For more information, visit www.creditmatters.co.za, call 086 111 6197 or email her at email@example.com