6 expert tips for women to follow towards financial security

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Being a financially independent woman is no easy feat, especially because women are dealt a bad hand where remuneration is concerned.

For instance, women earn 28% less than their male counterparts in South Africa and it is estimated that it will take 217 years to close the global gender wage gap.

Although these figures are disheartening, we can find solace in the fact that there are things we have control over where our money is concerned. For instance, we can follow expert tips on how to make the best of the money we earn.

Marlies Kappers, chief marketing officer at financial services provider DirectAxis, and other experts, shared this advice:

1. Educate yourself

Don’t rely on other people for financial literacy. Instead, make use of the easy-to-understand, free information available online. Once you’ve read up and decided what works for you, you can check your ideas with financially smart friends and family or a registered adviser. Getting input from people with knowledge and experience is sensible but, remember, this is your plan.

2. Set financial goals

These could include improving your credit score by paying off loans and other debt on time. You can also get a free credit rating and track your progress  on sites like Direct Axis.

3. Spend less than you earn

The first step to being able to achieve this is to draw up a budget. List your monthly income on one side of a piece of paper, or a spreadsheet, and your expenses on the other. Identify unavoidable expenses, such as bond repayments, and avoidable expenses, such as your daily cappuccino. Be as accurate and honest as you can. Use this to see where you can make savings.

4. Don’t let investing scare you

Slow, consistent investment over time can often deliver better results than a more aggressive approach.

5. Don’t spend to make yourself feel good

Financial security is more gratifying than looking rich and, ultimately, you’ll get more satisfaction from being secure.

6. If you make a mistake, learn from it

Don’t allow a mishap to prevent you from pursuing your financial goals.

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