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Sunday 21 April 2019
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Wise financial planning for women

By Charlotte Coertzen
 
William Golding was a British novelist, playwright and poet. He once said: “I think women are foolish to pretend they are equal to men, they are far superior and always have been”. Long gone are the days when women had to accept whatever life throws at them. Women should take matters into their own hands, even though change sometimes means changing small things, one at a time.
 
For me, there are a few small things to take control of. Firstly, it’s a budget. Failing to plan is planning to fail. All too often budgeting implies being able to spend whatever our bank balances are at. It’s become all too important to draw up a budget before our salaries are received. This means to write down expected expenses and compare this to your expected income. Once you have this comparison, you can add a little here, for nice-to-haves, take a little away where you can see there’s no funds available, etc. A budget is not a statutory plan, you can play around with it, amend it where you see you got it wrong. But very importantly, you can’t spend more than you earn.
 
Warren Buffet said: “Do not save what is left after spending, but spend what is left after saving”. Savings should form part of your budget. Worldwide trends indicate that a good savings target is about 10% of your income. Unexpected expenses always come along, whether we like it or not. More often than not, these unexpected come when we least expect it, and can least afford it. Savings should be used for necessities, like servicing your car, getting a plumber for a burst pipe, etc. Savings does not constitute a kitty for an expensive girls’ night or that Bobbi Brown blusher you’ve always wanted.
 
Sometimes you’ll be surprised at how much can be saved by not paying interest. For this reason, it’s important to pay off loans and credit as soon as possible. When you walk into Red Hanger Sale at Edgars, you think it’s a sale. If you buy on credit, they start charging interest. All of a sudden that top you bought on sale becomes much more expensive than it says on the tag. For this reason, it could be useful to pay off debt as soon as you can.
 
In life, it’s never comfortable to think about death. But have you ever pondered what’s to happen to your children should you pass away? Have you contemplated how your children’s father would afford taking care of them on his own? For this reason, it’s all too important to take care of them, in the untimely event of your death. It might sounds strange, but it could mean that the answer lies in insuring your own death. You might not be the breadwinner in your house, but taking out life cover could mean that your husband can afford to employ someone to assist him with the care of your children.
 
They say that rich people stay rich by living like they’re broke and broke people stay broke by living like they’re rich. I suppose the key in life is then to spend what you have, as overspending leads to a snowball of paying off debt.
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