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20 December 2015

10 Financial Tips Every (Smart) Young Woman Should Know About Money Management



We all have relationship with money; some love it, hate it, worship it and some even have chrometophobia also known as the fear of money. Some have it and some do not but regardless of each person’s money situation, everyone deals with money on daily basis, as a result, it is very important for one to know and learn ways in which they can use money to serve them best.  
Below are 10 things that every young, professional woman who is new to the workforce or is a start-up entrepreneur will need to lead a positive and stress-free relationship with their money and assist them to get ahead and stay ahead with their money.
1. Set Financial Goals
Just like everything that you embark on in life, you should set long-term and short-term goals regarding what you want to achieve with your money. First, you need to identify what it is that you really want, when you want it and ways to achieve it. It is always the best practice to write down goals when making life plans and financial plans are not different.
This will help you as a reference in future in your path to achieve financial management and once a goal has been achieved; always make sure you cross it off the list. 
When setting financial goals, it is advisable to seek assistance of professionals such as an accountant or financial advisor to help you reinforce and reach your goal. 
2. Budget 
In order to manage your finances, you need to know where it is going. Make a habit to write down monthly expenses to track your money, this will make it easy to make monthly budget. Budgets are also essential to making financial goals.
 3. Shop Smarter and Cut Down On Unnecessary Expenses 
If you find yourself working hard but living from check to check (or so to say), then it is high time to take a very good and long look at your spending habits. Spending that is out of control is usually one of the leading hurdles to managing one’s finances. Do you find yourself spending money at work to buy breakfast and lunches? Why not make your meals from home and bring them with you to work. 
Going out every weekend can be replaced by having your friends over at your house and have ‘chill’ moments – not only do you save on fuel but also the costs of having fun will be reduced as any consumed beverage will be on limit. 
4. Create other income streams
As a working young woman, most of the time your salary does not cover all your monthly expenses and that requires you to cut down on things that you might deem important and if your monthly expenses are already spread thin, then cutting down will not do you any good. At this point, it is important to monetise on any talent you have that is not related to your job otherwise, your employers might accuse you of conflict of interest, for example if you are a professional teacher and you know that your baking skills can rival that of television bakers, you can bake cakes and sell them to your friends and neighbours and before you know it, you will be having orders that will make you smile all the way to the bank.
 5. Invest Your Money
The saying, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket,” can be successfully applied when investing one’s money. At young age, every woman, should learn to invest their funds so that they can dip into it in the future. However, you should avoid putting all your money in one basket, this will minimise the risks of you losing your money if the company you are investing on does not do well or as expected in the market.
To avoid financial rip-offs, you have to always remember, if it is too good to be true then it is probably is and that there is no getting rich overnight when it comes to saving and investing – these are for long term.
 6. Negotiate Higher Salary
The issue of women getting paid lower salary than their male counterparts has been around for centuries across the globe and African women are not immune to it but of lately, women have been advised to take hands into their own hands and ask for salary increase that they believe they are deserve.
 7. Avoid Paying Debt with Another
Pay down debts with more debt does not only put you in more debt but it will also make it hard to complete write them off. Try to avoid taking out loans or new credit cards to make debt payments rather, try to pay off your debts on monthly basis and on time without fail. Try also to add extra cash so as to meet you balance in short period. However, if you have high consumer debt, then using this system can be the only way out using the debt consolidation as a form of debt refinancing.
8. Have Emergency Fund
Rainy days, like losing your work, do not announce themselves when they close in on their victims so it is always best to be prepared. Make a habit of putting a certain amount of cash in savings account to save up as emergency funds – you can make a debit order to automatically debit your savings account.
9. Keep Your Personal Information Protected
This is one of the financial management tips that is often overlooked. Identity theft can results in you losing your hard-earned money to crooks that are always on the lookout for their next victim. 
Be wary of disclosing your personal information such as account, identity number through the phone or online.
10. Develop Strong Credit Report
Your credit history should the foundation of your financial management journey at young age. Credit report reflects how you managed your past debts and your current debt amount. Having good credit record and score can play a major role in you getting favourable loan and mortgage terms in future.