Taking charge of your money and making your own financial decisions will better ensure you secure your future. Here are four ways to empower yourself financially
Beyoncé knew what she was talking about when she said: “I truly believe women should be financially independent from their men. And let’s face it, money gives men the power to run the show.” We couldn’t agree more with these sentiments from one of the most powerful and richest entertainers of our time. While we might not make it to the Forbes list of the richest women alive, yet, here are financial tips to liberate and empower you:
Do a reality check: You’ll first require a clear picture of your income and expenses. To help you do this there are plenty of online budgeting tools and apps to help you keep track of your money.
Alternatively, get an exercise book and write your income and expenses, be sure to be honest with yourself when you do this exercise so you know your financial status or whether you are living beyond your means.
Take control: If your expenses match or exceed your income, you need to fix the problem. There are only two ways to do this: either you need to earn more, which is easier said than done, or you need to cut back on your spending. The best place to start is with unnecessary expenditure. Can you cut back on entertainment or reduce your grocery bills by sticking to necessities and not buying treats? Try making your own meals and not ordering takeaways, or start a lift club to get to work and save on petrol.
Stay in charge: Being in control requires more than a once-off exercise. You have to remain actively committed to managing your financial affairs. Once you’ve won a few small victories such as setting a budget, cutting unnecessary expenses and perhaps settling and closing high-interest retail accounts, you can start making bigger, longer-term plans. Some financial experts recommend the 50/30/20 rule as a guide on how to prioritise spending. It suggests using 50% of your income on essentials such as food, rent or paying your bond, spending 30% on discretionary expenses such as clothing or entertainment and then saving or investing the remaining 20% for rainy days as well as retirement.
Take the first step:
Educate yourself. There’s plenty of easy-to-understand, free information and tools online. Once you’ve found a few sites that work for you and cover relevant topics, you’ll be able to compare the information and advice to make informed decisions. Don’t let investing scare you. You don’t need to make big investments to make your money grow. Investing smaller amounts consistently over time can often deliver better results than an aggressive approach. Don’t spend to make yourself feel good. You’ll ultimately get more satisfaction from being financially secure. If you make a mistake learn from it. Don’t allow it to prevent you from pursuing your financial goals.