If you’re a woman and the thought of managing your finances either leaves you confused or feeling overwhelmed, then you need to read this. It is true that a lot of women are financially savvy and have no problem balancing their accounts, yet this can’t be said for all women. According to an article in the New York Times, women face special financial challenges because…
Women live longer, earn less and take more breaks from the workplace to care for children and elderly parents. And though studies show that women tend to save a slightly higher percentage of their paychecks then men, they ultimately end up with smaller balances because of their lower earnings.
The situation becomes crucial when women are suddenly single, which is why in Nigeria, widows often get the short end of the stick. When a woman is suddenly widowed, she discovers that she is in financial distress before too long. It could be argued that this is also the major reason women stay in physically abusive marriages.
1. Know where the money goes
It’s not okay to leave all the money concerns to your husband. If you have no idea how to pay the bills, how much they cost or even where to pay the bills then there is trouble. Take turns to settle the bills or split them. If you keep a joint account, you can be the one to pay the bills one month and then he pays the next. Don’t just leave things for your husband; get involved. That way if you ever find yourself single again later in life, then you won’t be at a loss on how to take care of yourself.
2. Earn an income
We cannot emphasize this enough. If you’re a career woman or an entrepreneur, then you’re already earning an income and that’s great. But most stay-at-home moms tend to rely on their husbands for every little bit. This puts unnecessary strain on your relationship and it leaves you feeling helpless. Plus if you are suddenly widowed or not together again then you will be in big trouble. There are several things you can do to earn an income and reading our interviews with a few women entrepreneurs should give you ideas.
3. Start Planning for Retirement
Don’t wait until it hits you in the face suddenly. Start planning for your retirement at an early age. This does not mean relying on your pension either; we all know how the pension system is in Nigeria…it never comes on time. So if you don’t receive your pension in a particular month, how would you survive? It’s important to ask yourself these questions and plan accordingly. Have robust savings and investments.
4. Get Financial Education
Studies have shown that women usually have less financial education than men. We know why…we hardly ever have the time to sit with a big book on finance and learn what to do, plus it can get well, boring. We understand, but that does not excuse you from learning about money. Money education is very important if money is to serve you and not the other way round. So read up on finances, talk to financial experts, read articles like this one and learn about investments and mutual funds. If you would like your financial education in small doses follow Nimi Akinkugbe @