In Africa, female entrepreneurs are finding their voices and showcasing their finance skills. Last year, the Womenpreneur Pitch-A-Ton initiative was launched by Access Bank Plc and the International Finance Corporation, and provided substantial financial grants along with mini-MBAs to empower women entrepreneurs across Africa.
As well as starting and growing your own business, managing your own finances is the key to your future success. To help you with your financial journey, here are some money milestones that every woman should aim to accomplish this 2020:
1. Track your spending
Keeping track of what percentage of your income you save and spend will show you where your money is going. Petal Card suggests writing down your weekly expenses and calculating how much you spend on average before you create a realistic budget. Don’t forget to account for certain months where you may need to spend more, such as upcoming birthdays, vacations, and the like. Although it may be a difficult habit to stick to at first, being honest about how much you spend is the first step to maintaining control over your finances.
2. Stick to your budget
After creating a budget plan to control your spending, the important part is sticking to it. Forbes recommends three simple habits to establish a budgeting mindset, such as switching to using cash or a debit card. When you use credit, it’s easy to make mindless transactions without keeping track of what you can afford. Handing over cash or using direct debit will more clearly illustrate your financial limits. Also, keeping track of your progress by noting which areas you did well in will help you maintain a positive mindset.
3. Create a savings plan
Interestingly, The Old Mutual Savings and Investment Monitor shows that only 39 percent of women have banked cash savings compared to 45 percent for men. While it may be comforting to have surplus cash in your wallet, this money can be invested in savings accounts, time deposits, or retirement annuities for further growth. The good news is that women tend to be better at saving for short-term goals compared to men, but to set yourself up for future success, it’ll help to have a long-term savings plan.
4. Build an emergency fund
If you don’t already have an emergency fund to tide you over in the event of an accident, natural disaster, or a job loss, you should start adding to your savings right away. Her Money describes how having emergency savings are invaluable for women and can help you care for your children, pursue your passion, recover from a relationship, and even save you from being homeless. You may not need it right now, but at some point down the line, you’ll be glad to have a safety cushion.
5. Seek expert financial advice
Lastly, it can be confusing to figure out how to start investing if you don’t have any prior financial knowledge. According to Pulse, seeking guidance from a financial planner to help maximize your savings potential. Instead of waiting until you’re in the middle of a financial crisis, it helps to get personalized advice tailored to your specific living situation and future goals. A professional can also help ensure that you stay on track in terms of savings and that you continue to practice good money habits.
In the end, achieving your financial goals isn’t impossible if you take that first step today. All it takes is a committed decision to take charge of your finances and make them work for you.