Image Source: Noirlinians-Mama Africa
Hello sheVestors! These 7 tips will change the mindset of every #sheVestor about money. Living in a continent like Africa, we can honestly say that being financially independent does not go down well with many societies due to various reasons that include being told that a man wouldn’t marry you and you are proud and arrogant. A few years down the line, we as women living in the 21st century can confidently say we have broken the odds and are more geared towards financial independence and freedom. However, there is more to be done.
- INVESTMENTS AND SAVINGS ARE NOT ONLY FOR MEN:
I started saving when I was 6 years old. I had a wooden savings box designed by the neighborhood carpenter and in there, I kept all my extra cash. I kept this habit up for 6 years, until one day, I decided to spend it all despite my mother’s objection. She wanted me to keep saving indefinitely, but I was fed up of stacking coins so I broke the box and boy did I enjoy every Cedi! I have always had the culture of saving money and it has helped me in many ways. Being women, we are mostly brought up to consider men as the providers. Our fathers pay the bills and other expenses and when we eventually get married, most of us pass on that responsibility to our husbands. As much as you might be tempted to spend all your money because there is someone else available to provide for you, DON’T ! I repeat, DON’T DO IT! Think about it: what if that someone, for some reason cannot provide for you when you need it the most? Wouldn’t it be more prudent to set some money aside from time to time so you can weather the storms in case a financial crisis strikes? It doesn’t have to be a huge sum of money. The most important thing is that you are setting some money aside for the future.
- WISDOM IS MORE VALUABLE THAN MONEY:
If I were to ask how many of you would want to be given a gift of a million dollars, I am certain all hands will shoot up high into the air. Everyone wants to have money because it makes the world go round, it makes the difference whether you like to admit it or not. Unfortunately, not many people are blessed with the wisdom to handle their finances. That is why someone can be given money yet still end up poor while another person can make billions out of hundreds. Don’t just be eager to make money sheVestors, be equally eager to learn how to handle your finances and that is why sheVestor Africa is here. Remember that millionaires and billionaires are what they are because they acquired the wisdom to make more out of the little they had.
- EGGS CRACK EASILY WHEN THEY ARE IN ONE BASKET:
Ensure that you have more than one source of income. Do I need to give reasons? In this era of uncertainty and unemployment, you simply cannot afford to put all your hopes on one source of income. You need to think and plan ahead so that in case of any unforeseen circumstances, you can still find your feet. Proof? Look around you. All the wealthy people you look up to, have multiple sources of income so dear ladies, be like them!
- PASS ON THE TRAIT:
My father was responsible for giving my siblings and I our daily allowance for school. However, before giving us money each day we had to show a breakdown of how we used the previous day’s money. My mother would get us the notepads and pens and my dad would do the auditing. This didn’t make sense to us back then ,but now I appreciate the value of their financial management lessons.What is the point in having so much money and not teaching your children how to save and manage their finances? We don’t only need to help with their homework, it is our duty to educate them in financial management.We owe it to them to ensure that they are capable of handling their finances especially when we are long gone.
- BORROWING IS THE ENEMY:
The only justification for borrowing is to invest it into a profitable venture. If you can’t avoid it, do not borrow and if you can’t afford it, don’t buy it. I can’t stress this enough. It starts the endless cycle, which is hard to break. We must learn to live within our means and stop trying to do what others are doing all in the name of keeping up appearances. In the event that you end up in debt for one reason or another, ensure to pay it off as fast as you can before it piles up beyond your control.
- TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR FINANCES:
This tip comes in handy especially after marriage. As I stated earlier, you might be tempted to let your man do all the financial management, but don’t make such a colossal mistake. Don’t cede all financial control to your husband or partner,whether you are a housewife or a career woman. If there is a joint account, have a personal one on the side and be informed about the financial arrangements that are being made for the family. Don’t be comfortable with being ignorant about the family’s finances because many women have fallen from grace this way.
- BUDGET IS EVERYTHING:
Countries, companies, industries, ministries, international organizations and so on, run on budgets. It is a core component of what makes them efficient and keeps them afloat. If key organizations and nations are doing this, this should tell you that it works so you as an individual should adopt it too. Have a daily, weekly and monthly budget and stick to it as best as you can. The trick is to make the budget tighter than usual and try to live within that range, so that in case you exceed it you do not run at a loss. For example, you earn 400gh cedis($100) a month and you have a weekly budget of 100gh cedis( $25). Make the weekly budget 80gh cedis ($20) and live on that as though the 20gh cedis($5) was not available. That way, in the event that you have to use that 20gh cedis($5) it is still not a loss because it was part of the budget all along. This strategy has worked very well for me so from one lady to another, I can assure you that it has a high success rate.
Rebecca Naa Yemoley Yemo is a Ghanaian who is currently pursuing a Master of International Studies at the North Carolina State University and a Contributor at SheVestor Africa. At SheVestor Africa, our vision is to provide African women with financial skills, tools and guides, and connect them with experts to empower them achieve their dreams and become financially independent.
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sheVestor Africa is a community that helps young African women with financial knowledge that empowers them become financial literates and hone their financial skills. We inspire, connect, educate and equip our community and spur them on to actively participate in Africa’s growth story.