It’s Women’s Month and while we’re meant to commemorate the more than 20,000 women who marched on the Union Buildings on 9 August 1956 it has become a month in which companies increase their attention and advertising might on women too.
“We’re told to pamper ourselves, treat ourselves and some companies even tell us that ‘you’re worth it’. But as you manage your way through a minefield of not so subliminal messages, it’s important to keep hold of your wits and your wallet and not get carried away with all the offerings that you’ll be targeted with.
Here are our top money saving tips for women:
- If you are an aspiring entrepreneur there are funding vehicles out there designed and aimed at womenin particular. Don’t just restrict yourself to asking your bank for a business loan. Look at other institutions and government divisions that are offering business finance, such as Business Partners Limited, which has a Women in Business Fund; the Isivande Women’s Fund and The Special Projects and Programmes Unit (SPP) within the Programme Analysis and Development of the Small Enterprise Development Agency.
- Consider getting quotes from companies that claim to cater to women specificallyto see if you can get a better deal or discount. However, don’t confine your search to these specialist companies. Get a quote from several companies and brokers and choose one that best suits your needs and budget.
- You can create that work/life balance you’ve always dreamed of. If you want to start earning an income again after taking a sabbatical or maternity leave consider watching out for roles on RecruitMyMom to get a job that offers you a reasonable salary while giving you the flexible hours your desire. Alternatively, start your own business or turn your hobby into something that can provide you with an income.
- Make sure you have financial independence and can manage your own money. Make it your aim to this month (and the months or years that follow) to ensure that you are aware of what goes on with the household finances. Some women let their partners do everything when it comes to the finances. Don’t fall into this trap because things could get difficult if they are no longer around and the learning curve would be steeper.
- Focus on your retirement at every age. A poll by Moneybags, Justmoney’s sister website, found that nearly half (49%) of people saved towards their retirement after age 30 and above. Don’t fall into the same trap. If you save early and start as soon as you start working in your 20s you get to benefit from compound interest.
- Take control of your debt. Don’t stick your head in the sand and ignore your letters of demand. Confront your money troubles now and get some professional help – either from a certified financial adviser or registered debt counsellor. In particular, stay away from high interest loans, such as store accounts and personal loans.
- Negotiate for a raise –even if you feel uncomfortable about it. According to the book ‘Play to Win: What women can learn from men in business’ by Donna Rachelson, a lesson women can learn from men is to not take ‘no’ at face value. Rather than taking the answer ‘no’ as the final word on a subject, rephrase and rework your argument, and develop your negotiation tactics to help you get ahead in business.
- Don’t be afraid to apply for a mortgage under your own name.According to FNB data, women make up 35% of FNB’s Housing Finance book, which is the bank’s affordable housing options. FNB say single women bondholders also have the lowest default rate. Buying a home can be scary as it’s a huge responsibility but it can be managed if you buy a home within your means and take into account other costs that come along with buying your home such as legal fees.
- Get the best bank account to suit your needs.“Don’t stay loyal to one bank just because you have a history. Shop around by comparing savings, credit card and current accounts on Justmoney.co.za to make sure you are getting the best deal. Compare charges and interest rates and make sure you know when your interest free period on your credit card (or store card if you have one) ends.
- Hunt around for bargains and discounts:There are many stereotypes about women and it’s often claimed we’re into our shopping, with a particular penchant for shoes and all things that bling.If you enjoy shopping on a regular basis, try and limit the amount of money you spend on luxuries by doing and sticking to a budget and save money even further by comparing prices.