[bctt tweet=”Budgeting is not difficult, but sticking to the budget is where discipline comes in” username=”SheLeadsAfrica”]
Most young women in their 20s and early 30s dream about quitting their jobs and starting their dream businesses. But if you ask them how they manage their salary, you will be met with “uuumms” and “eeers”. How will you manage your business income, expenses and plans of you can’t manage your salary?
Welcome to feminancial management! As women, we need to stop being controlled by our finances and take charge of it!
Let’s get started with 5 easy tips to begin taking charge of our money.
How many sisters budget their finances? Let’s talk about Achieng. Achieng is 26 years old. She works in a bank and her career is just starting to take off. Achieng lives from hand to mouth waiting for her paycheck at the end of each month. She spends on hair (with the natural hair trending, products are not cheap hehe!), clothes, social hangouts and such like expenses.
Come one week before pay day, she is already broke, with just enough cash to last her till exactly payday.
Does Achieng budget her salary? No.
Does she track her expenditure? No.
Has she allocated some money for investments or savings? No.
Her reason will be she just earns enough for her upkeep. Once she’s promoted or gets a better paying job, she will start saving. Chances are she will not. Actually, no, she won’t save.
What am I saying here in short?
- Budget your income.
- Distinguish between your “wants” and “needs”. You want that designer bag, you don’t need it!
- Budget “Savings” as your first expense in your budget.
Once you budget your finances, you need the discipline to stick to the budget.
Meet our other sister, Fatma. Fatma is a 24 year old entrepreneur. She does online jobs and her income is intermittent. Once she gets paid, what does she do? Remember that nice dress she saw in that shop? She buys it and spends and spends and spends till she is broke and waits for the next gig to come along.
The truth is, budgeting is not difficult, but sticking to the budget is where the rubber meets the road. That’s where discipline comes in.
- Track and monitor your expenses on a daily or weekly basis to help you stick to the budget.
- Separate your finances as per your budget e.g. if it’s bills, pay them immediately your salary comes in, if it’s savings, put up a standing order to a separate Savings account
- Remind yourself of the target, create a board even with pictures of your goal to keep you focused.
Have I told you about Maame? Maame is a 30 year old stay-at-home mum. She recently had her second baby and can’t wait to shed the baby weight. What’s her goal? To shed off 20 Kilograms. What is she doing about it? Nothing!
What gyms or exercising videos has she researched on to start her off? None. Doesn’t that look like most of us making New Year resolutions? It’s definitely me. We make plans in our head about our financial goals but we don’t put in the work needed to reach those goals. After a few months, we’ve forgotten all about it or have a myriad of excuses on why we couldn’t attain our goals.
What can we do about that?
- Write down your goals.
- Break it down into sub-goals with time frames.
- Lastly be realistic about your goals otherwise you will get discouraged along the way and quit.
[bctt tweet=”Keeping up with the Kardashians is great but keep up with news and current trends too” username=”SheLeadsAfrica”]
Meet Bola, a 32 year old doctor. She is a high-flying woman with the world at her feet earning a six figure salary and living the life. What investments has she made since she started working 8 years ago? You guessed right! None!
Why? She doesn’t know where to start in investments. Is it real estate or stocks? She has no clue which direction to take. Most young women know a lot about their field in careers but no zilch about investments. But here is a chance to start somewhere
- Find a field of investments that interests you, and research on it. Make Google your friend.
- Mentors –talk to someone older, not even necessarily in your field who can guide you and perhaps you can learn from their success and failures.
- Keep up to date with current trends. Keeping up with the Kardashians is great but keeping up with news and current trends and innovations will help you a huge deal.
Say hello to Esihle. Esihle is a pretty 23 year old in her first job after university. Esihle now has the “financial independence” she has been waiting for and no longer has to ask her parents for money. So where does she spend her free time?
Social media, just stalking her friend’s timelines seeing what they have been up to, posting photos on Instagram with hundreds of filters and catching up with her friends over drinks after a hectic week of work or just catching up with the latest series or movies.
According to research, the average millennial spends 9 hours a day on social platforms. How many years did she spend in the university learning about let’s say Journalism? About four years. How many hours does she spend learning about something financial related? Well, not enough.
If she took four years to study in University and can afford to spend 9 hours on social platforms, how much more informed can she be if she spent one hour learning about investment opportunities like stocks for example each day?
The point is we become empowered when we are more knowledgeable. We become knowledgeable when read and learn. We can only read and learn when we create time to do it! *Drops mic!
What are you waiting for? Get empowered! Start by using this FREE budget template. Take charge and remind your finances that you own them and they don’t own you!