Irrespective of where we are in life, we should always equip ourselves with tools and the knowledge we need to confidently manage our finances. Every woman needs to at least know the basics of personal finance to avoid potential costly consequences especially in this period of global unrest.
Financial literacy has an impact on wealth accumulation, retirement planning and stock market investment. In financial literacy matters, women tend to score lower than men consistently, but with the aid of personal finance experts & associations like Nimi Akinkugbe, Arese Ugwu, Tosin Olaseinde, WIMBIZ and Women in Finance Nigeria that help in mentoring, encouraging, supporting and guiding women on how to gain financial literacy, this fact is gradually being eliminated and a lot of women are now making waves when it comes to managing their finances.
These associations and professionals encourage women to save, spend less and invest more, thereby enabling women gain financial freedom and create wealth.
Here are some financial tips for women during this global unrest
The following are few key guidelines that every woman should keep in mind in order to manage their finances well.
1. Cut down on Expenses
Money Management has been a major challenge for some women, combined with the society we live in, where most women want to stay relevant by acquiring expensive wears and accessories that most of the time becomes a liability. In as much as looking good and taking care of oneself is very important, it should however, be done wisely.
Studies show that women with high financial literacy and money management skills are less likely to engage in irrelevant spending/impulse buying and increases spending behaviour by 8%. While, 60% of a woman’s dream in a corporate organisation is to work hard, get promoted, earn more money, and leave the rest to work itself out.
The real issue with most women is that they have not articulated what they want the money they earn to do for them; hence, they end up letting their resources drag them into several directions that are not necessarily theirs.
The truth is, if you as a woman have a specific goal and a financial plan, you would avert going into debt and spending more than your budget. One needs to cut down on expenses especially as the global economy continues to be crippled by the coronavirus pandemic.
2. Have a monthly budget plan
This period of global unrest is not the period to spend unwisely. You need to set up a monthly budget plan that will aid your spending especially during this period. Reason being that no one knows when the world would fully recover from the pandemic.
During this time, identify and set a budget that goes a long way in accumulating money required for your various essential milestones and activities in a month. Set your monthly budget on rent, savings, utilities, groceries and miscellaneous, as it brings a lot of clarity.
More importantly, you also need to have a financial plan for the rest of the year and strictly abide by it, so as to reach your financial goal(s) for the year and beyond.
Point to note: This is not the period to over shoot budgets. When setting your budget, make sure it is well defined and prioritized accordingly. It is great to have a big, lofty budget, but be sure to break it down into smaller bits. That way, you are not overwhelmed trying to accomplish them and you can easily measure your progress.
3. Save! Save!! and Save!!!
Saving is setting aside a sum of money from your income, for future use, mostly for unforeseen emergencies. While growing up, the Piggy/Kolo box was an important financial lesson of life for me – a habit of saving my mother taught me. Not only did she teach me this, she also led by example. An example that should passed on to generations.
If you are scared of visiting the banking hall during this pandemic, this is the period to get a Piggy/Kolo box, or engage in some online saving platforms (such as PiggyVest, ALAT and Cowrywise) that enable one to save. These platforms are currently encouraging a strong saving culture in Nigeria with good interest rates.
This period has taught us a big lesson, as the global pandemic was unprecedented. If you have not started saving already, make this half quarter of the year reckoning. Let’s resolve to develop the habit of saving regularly, by removing 20-40% (or even more) out of your income towards building a financial future.
4. Plan and Invest wisely
Some women tend to shy away when investing is mentioned. Engaging in investments is extremely important but should be done wisely, especially during this time. Planned and regular investments can create the difference between you fulfilling your goals and you earning returns.
Planned investments entail estimating what the objective of the investment is, the sum of money required for the objective, the investment type that can be made and the time horizon for the investment.
It is very critical to choose the correct investment tool. In this period of global pandemic, it is advisable not to go into investments like the stock market as stocks are volatile in nature. Real Estate investing (distress sales), is a good option.
Investing in the stock market is a step with serious economic implications as markets are panicking and this global pandemic is unprecedented. Unless you run a business, it is advisable not to make any economic decisions at this time. It is also imperative not to buy, sell assets or modify your investments. One needs to stay put and see how things turn out.
Reading and watching stock & analyst updates via television, radio and newspaper will give you insights on when to invest. Do set some cash aside to invest in the coming months. If stock prices take a dive, one may have a prime opportunity.
5. Having multiple streams of income
The key advantage of having multiple streams of income is that you have a diversified revenue source. And therefore, the collapse of one sector will not result in a complete loss of revenue for you.
Adopting the multiple streams of income philosophy is, more or less, like deciding that you will not put all your eggs in one basket. In practice, adopting the multiple income streams way of life means that you will not get stuck on your day job so much so that you don’t give attention to anything else.
What happens if you lose your day job like thousands of employees did during the economic meltdown? If all you have is your day job, then losing it will be disastrous. However, if you are investing in multiple streams of income while doing your day job, losing it will not kill you.
Other benefits of having multiple income streams include: Peace of mind because you know there will always be money to spend and you will earn much more than you currently earn, enabling you to live better.
6. Get Insured
After working so hard to earn your money, the last thing you want is an unplanned occurrence to wipe you out. Insurance is essentially your back-up plan that will protect your assets in the event a life circumstance happens that requires a large amount of money to resolve.
Your insurance coverage should include health, auto, life, home, and business. Basically, you want to protect anything of major importance that has a high value to ensure that you (and your loved ones) are protected financially. Having the right insurance can turn what could otherwise be a major disaster into a mere inconvenience.