Lead conversations about money
25 Aug 2020
Women need to confidently lead conversations about money and be part of making important investment decisions in the family. This is vital, especially if you ever have to become financially independent or leave an uncomfortable situation such as your job or an abusive relationship, or if you become divorced or widowed.
Be empowered in a divorce
The divorce rate in South Africa has hovered around 44%.1 While the reasons vary, a common thread is money problems. Concerns about money, and not being able to come out, follows years of economic stagnancy in the country. We live in a society of fear and the first place this affects is the home, relationships and marriage.
Divorce is often disempowering for women, as they tend to leave money decisions to their husbands who are usually the main breadwinners. Discussing money and making financial decisions are considered out of place when, in fact, women are doing themselves a disservice by not taking on these responsibilities. Every woman should be empowered with knowledge and influence when it comes to financial decisions, to help secure their future in the case of a divorce or separation.
How to share control and secure your financial future
When it comes to financial decisions, make sure you play a role by following these tips:
- Use a budget: Keep track of your monthly expenses and allocate money towards long-term benefits such as a retirement fund, property or an education fund for your children. Avoid overspending and credit card debt.
- Have an emergency fund: this will help you if you need to leave your job or in the case of a divorce. Put aside money in an interest-earning deposit account or a high-yield savings account.
- Have your own financial plan: be as independent as possible. Pay bills where you can. Keep track of your assets or what you owe. Discuss finances regularly with your husband or partner to make informed and collective decisions.
- Be a proactive investor: Don’t wait for your husband or partner to make all the decisions about investing. Make your own investments with confidence. Do research and ask for advice or help if you need to.
- Save: start saving for your future now. Keep the money in an account you don’t have easy access to, and set up automatic contributions.
Most women give so much of themselves to their loved ones until there is very little left for them. This month, why don't you start taking those first steps towards putting yourself first by making sure that your finances are covered? Every woman needs to plan and save for a nest egg of her own. This is empowering, giving you the freedom to leave a bad relationship and live with confidence, or simply live more independently on your own terms.
- Divorce statistics in South Africa – Family law,
- ‘Here’s why more South Africans are getting divorced’, Businesstech, 11 January 2019
- Stacy Francis, ‘Every woman should be her own chief financial officer’, cnbc.com, 4 February 2020
- ‘Why women need to have conversations about money and finance’, shethepeople, 20 November 2019