There’s a common misconception that you need a lot of money to feel financially secure and empowered. In truth, financial empowerment is more about how you handle your money rather than how much you make or save. You can–and should–take control of your finances at any income level, whether you’re raking in big bucks or just starting out in your career, you have the ability to be in charge.
When you’re monitoring your spending and making money work for you, you will be able to see the opportunities available to get on track to a more stable future where you can do things your way.
What is financial empowerment?
Financial empowerment is when you take control of your finances–and not the other way around.
You need to be proactive with how you deal with your money, instead of just being reactive to your credit card bills and expenses every month or panic-paying because you’re not keeping a watchful eye on what you’re spending on. Empty bank accounts between paychecks, expenses that outpace your income or insurmountable debt–that compounds with interest and fees–are other examples of your money controlling you.
When you feel like you manage your money, you have a more positive experience with it in the long run.
Being on top of your finances and managing your money carefully and deliberately will help you gather the financial strength you need for those big financial decisions to come, and enable you to have a healthy financial buffer so that you can afford the essentials in life without running into the red.
You can easily stay up-to-date on your spending habits and savings using a user-friendly finance tracking app or budgeting tool which can help you make your payments on time and get rid of debt and avoid those costly added interest fees.
Don’t focus on how much you have–even those who earn a lot may be spending carelessly and struggling to pay the bills – the key is to make sure you’re aware and mindful with your spending. Even if you don’t have a lot of income, showing you’re cognisant of how much you’re spending and what you’re spending it on will give you the power to choose how your money works and what you spend it on.
Why is financial empowerment important?
Having control over your finances means you have control over your choices and your life. You need to spend to maintain your lifestyle; food, shelter and miscellaneous expenses require smart spending choices, and since you can never be sure what tomorrow will bring, you need to take control so you have the flexibility to meet the challenges and opportunities ahead.
Your life is directly impacted by what you spend on and how much you spend. After a promotion, you might be tempted to bump up your spending because you can afford bigger brands and more expensive holidays. However, if these things are luxuries simply for the sake of luxury, you’re spending money now that impacts what you can have in the future, like buying a property, starting your own business or building an investment portfolio.
Once you’re able to steer the financial ship and make your own informed and deliberate choices, you free yourself and become financially stable and independent with your economic empowerment.
Women have proven they can champion themselves and inspire others when it comes to financial and economic empowerment, even in the face of historic inequality. In the last few decades alone we have seen significant changes in career choices and opportunities, rising above pay inequality and powering businesses–even empires- forward. Now is the time to take charge of your finances–this is something anyone can do.
Being financially included recognises women’s spending power and legitimises it as just as important as men’s abilities to make economic choices.
It’s easier than ever to take an active role in your finances. Using digital avenues and financial technology (fintech) to access your money on the go makes everything much simpler.
Three ways to reach financial empowerment
Financial empowerment is much easier said than done. It requires a lot of patience, restraint and discipline. However, as soon as you can lock these habits into place, you’ll be able to empower yourself economically and handle your money with care and confidence.
Here are three concrete ways you can own more of your money and feel confident about your financial security.
1. Increase your financial education
While setting aside a bit of money from each paycheck is a good start, you need to think bigger to secure your future.
Investing in quality financial literacy classes or seminars will equip you with the skills you need to take charge of your money and have more confidence in your financial decisions. They don’t need to be expensive, in fact, some classes and reading material are free. Do your research, watch videos and read articles about financial history to make more informed choices around how you spend.
2. Adopt a wealth mindset
When you have a wealth mindset, you understand that earning a higher income doesn’t mean buying bigger homes or having more money to splurge on luxuries. It means making wise investments and minimising risk when it comes to your finances.
Your future rests on what you save and invest in today, so spend less, even if you start to earn more, to focus on future gains and gaining financial freedom sooner.
Reconsider your spending habits when you receive more income or a bonus. Do you immediately treat yourself? Do you give in and buy that designer bag you’ve always wanted? Take a minute to think about it. Just because you’ve earned more doesn’t mean you should spend proportionately more for something you don’t need.
It’s not a bad thing to buy yourself something nice now and then, just take the extra time to discern if it’s something you really need and want to prioritise.
3. Build your portfolio
Envision what you want in terms of your future finances–do you want to see significant growth in the next five years? Do you want to be financially independent in retirement? Do you want to start looking into owning a home? Once you have your goal set, consider what kind of savings you need to make each of your goals achievable.
Seeing these goals laid out and answering the above questions will guide you with your investments and money management. Having both your short-term and long-term financial goals in writing makes you more mindful of your expenses and gives you a reminder of the big picture life you are aiming for.
To maximise your savings, build an investment portfolio that will help grow your money. Instead of letting your savings sit in a bank and appreciate at a sluggish pace, put your money into assets and securities that are stable and resilient.
A nest egg of investments that include securities and less volatile assets like gold helps shield you from risk and gives you a well-rounded portfolio.
Empowering yourself financially makes every bit of difference, not just to your financial health but your mental wellbeing and self-confidence too. No matter what your current financial situation, your financial independence is an achievable goal. While it may take some discipline and education to get the ball rolling, once you have started to become aware of your choices it becomes increasingly easier to make informed decisions.
Becoming financially and economically empowered enables you to handle your money with more finesse and grow your savings at a steady pace, allowing you to achieve your future financial goals.
If you want to learn more about making smart choices around your money management and investing in stable assets like gold, get in touch with us.