With the average life expectancy of women being higher than men, a global increase in dread disease, and the fact that in recent years more of us are entering the workplace and becoming the main breadwinners, it’s vital that we plan and take our financial future seriously.
1. Start a budget
To draw up a budget, you have to record monthly expenses such as housing costs, utilities, groceries, car payments, gasoline, insurance and entertainment. These expenses must then be subtracted from your disposable income. This will be a good indication of what is left over to divide according to what can be saved and what can go towards discretionary spending. (not splurging!)
It is also a good idea to pay off any debt as soon as possible in order to avoid unwanted interest costs.
2. Avoid the urge to splurge
We all know how hard it can be to ignore that burning desire to spend your salary... especially when there’s a major month end sale (hello Woolies) or the opening of a new store (yes, Zara Cape Town *sigh* ). But, you need to take a step back, look at the broader picture and question whether the purchase is a necessity or just nice-to-have.
A good question to ask is whether the purchase requires money to be borrowed, or whether it will need to be placed on a credit card - if this is the case, it is probably better to avoid.
When it comes to purchasing larger items like a big holiday or a car, these costs should be incorporated into the budget in order to start saving over a longer period of time to ensure the cost does not overwhelm your finances.
3. Insurance considerations
1 in every 8 women will contract breast cancer - according to the World Health Organisation - and ten in every 1 000 professional women will become disabled in their lifetime - according to the Actuarial Society of South Africa. These are only two of the many scary stats. Click here for the types of insurance policies you should be considering.
4. Planning for retirement
Many women mistakenly believe that when they get married their partner will provide for them. A girl can dream, right? Sorry to burst your bubble, but this is hardly ever the case..
So, even if you’re still young, and nothing has started sagging yet , begin saving now to ensure that you have a more comfortable retirement one day.
Remember that financial security is not only about achieving short-term goals but also ensuring financial security in the long run too. It is best to consult a financial advisor to select the most appropriate retirement plan before it is too late.
Dr Dominique Stott is part of Executive Medical Standards and Services at PPS