To some people, women and money cannot be used in the same sentence. This has become the case for a lot of people for so many years. I do not want to objectify these people because maybe that is how they have been raised. However, I for sure know that when a woman is financially empowered, informed and abled, she can do much more than she thought she can. I have grown to be one person who strongly vouches for women to try as much as possible to grow to their financial liberation irrespective of how much they earn. Below are 5 vital steps that any woman can take to become financially independent:
1. Come Up with a Budget
It is so easy for women to spend money to the last coin when we are blindly going about our lives. Why? Unlike men, we tend to have a lot of things on our minds ranging from beauty products, food for our babies, paying our workmen and even going out with the girls. We seem to have an endless list of needs and potential ones. The trick here is to come up with a budget and to stick to it. Find out what expenses are constant and the ones that vary then allocate money to each one of them. This will give you a bigger picture of how much money goes where.
2. Spend Less, Save More, then Invest
It does not matter on whether you do make a lot of money or not. In order to be financially liberated, you need to practice discipline and realize that you cannot make it a habit to spend more than you actually pocket. Plan your finances in such a way that you get to save something every time money comes in. The saved money earns interest which means you will have more money to your name as time goes by. I advise that you find profitable ways of investing your money.
3. Build an Emergency Savings Account
I cannot insist enough on how much an emergency savings account is essential. Things like falling sick, having to suddenly vacate a place and losing stuff to thugs do happen on a daily. Saving for a rainy day is something no woman should ignore.
4. Oh Dear Rent
We all want to live in enviable houses located in affluent estates that has greenery dot the entire neighborhood. We all do, trust me. However, there is no point of paying an arm and a leg for a 3-bedroom apartment in Kilimani when you are a single lady with no family. I know that you may argue and say that it is your money and you make much more anyway but, have you ever thought of using the same amount of money to start paying for a house under your name? It is totally doable, ladies. If you can, live with your parents as you save even more, till when you are comfortable to move to your own house. If you must move out, find a house that suits up your needs while at the same time remains within how much you are willing to spend on rent. An Economist friend of mine told me that one’s house rent should not go beyond 15% of one’s monthly income. I must say that I am not yet there but that is my goal.
5. Eliminate Bad Debt
If you get to a place where taking a debt is necessary, let it be one that you already know of ways and the timeframe that you will settle it. In Kenya, most loaning apps are dominated by women moving from one to another due to their inability to repay their loans in the other. This leads to a ripple effect of more loans due to more interest that will eventually lead the woman to be bankrupt and stranded. We can do better as women by realizing that we need to have control over our financial decisions.