“There is nothing more attractive than a woman who is doing well financially. A woman who makes her own money, and also understands how to save, invest and grow her wealth. A financial plan is the starting point,” says Mulalo Nemataheni, CEO at ImPowerX Advisory Services.
We asked the experts for their top tips on how to get your financial plan started!
Learn more about money
“The first things I say to a woman looking to do a financial plan is to empower yourself with financial literacy,” says Mulalo. Learn more about money and you will understand how it works and how to manage it well!
Read blogs and articles, listen to podcasts and financial news shows, and attend financial education webinars. You can also take financial education courses, such as the free online courses from Truth About Money.
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Pay yourself first
“Most women are selfless and will pay school fees, kids’ extra murals, buy food for the house, donate to charity, and more, way before they think of taking care of their own financial future,” says Melissa Dyer, certified financial planner and managing director at Harbour Wealth.
“I advise my clients to set up recurring investment debit orders right when they receive their salary so they can ‘pay themselves first.’ Before all the added household and family expenses are deducted.”
She says this is not only a great investment discipline, it also lessens the chances of you becoming financially dependent and a burden on your kids or parents.
Prioritise what is important to you
“I am a single parent, which means I have to juggle time and money,” says Ursula Malebo Molefe, wealth coach at Wellfin. “For me, a priority is to make sure my children get a good education. Instead of focusing on driving an expensive car, I settle for a cheaper car and send my children to a good school.”
Ursula says you should avoid comparing yourself to other women and families. “Focus on what is important to you. This will help you reach your goals, and you’ll be happier!”
Have a spending plan
This tip, also from Ursula, is essentially about budgeting. But we are using the more friendly term of a spending plan – which is all a budget is!
“We like shopping, we love buying things. Before you do, draw up a budget or spending plan that will guide you. If you have a proper budget in place you know how you are supposed to spend money and are not going to indulge too often!”
“If you need to go shopping – go window shopping and leave the cards at home!”
Stay the course
It is important to have a plan and stay the course, even if you think things are not going the way they are supposed to. This tip from Ursula and Mulalo is critical!
When you have a financial plan – stick to it! “You need to take set actions laid out in the plan so that the plan can be a reality,” says Mulalo.
And when it comes to your investment, Ursula says you should avoid panic selling investments when their value goes down or there is a market fluctuation. Many don’t, and end up making a loss on their investment or taking much longer to reach their financial goals. Learn from history, markets fluctuate and the quickest way for an investment to lose money is to sell when the price goes down.
Have a will
“Every woman needs a will,” says Sunel Veldtman, certified financial planner and CEO of Family Foundation Wealth, in her book Manage your money, Live your dream.
“Even if you are single with very little in the way of assets, you need a will. If you die intestate (without a will), the Intestate Succession Act determines how your assets will be distributed after your death. This can create endless problems for your loved ones. The trauma of your death will be aggravated by the administrative burden of your estate. A thoughtful and legal will is the last gift of love to your family.”
Get expert help
Your expert can help you draw up a financial plan, review the plan and encourage you to stick with the plan so you can achieve your goals.
“Find a trusted, experienced, independent, certified financial planner who can create a bespoke financial plan to cater for your unique needs,” says Melissa.
She says you should ask your adviser or financial planner as many questions as you need to, to make your financial plan work for you. “Make sure all the complex jargon is explained, as well as the consequences of your actions, for example how investing or not investing will affect your current and future finances.”
She adds that you should also know what fees you pay for financial planning services. “Transparency is key!”
Get your plan today
Do your financial plan today! With these top tips and commitment to your plan, your money journey can be rewarding and set you on the road to financial freedom.