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Make finances a joint effort in a household

The management of finances should not be seen as the job for a man or woman in a household, but a joint effort between partners.

“Partners need to work together in order to achieve their family’s financial goals. Being equally involved in household financial matters makes it easy for partners to plan and work towards a common goal such as securing comfortable retirement,” Eunice Sibiya, First National Bank (FNB) head of Consumer Education, said.

Sibiya said in most instances women allowed men to take complete charge of long-term financial planning while they only focus on basic day-to-day tasks.

“This could be very risky because even though you are partners, as a woman, you still need to inform your own financial destiny and legacy,” she explained.

The following is Sibiya’s advice to women about getting more involved in the household’s finances:

Plan for your retirement
Failure to plan early for retirement will put you at a disadvantage if you take into account that the retirement age for women is 60 years whereas it is 65 for men. This therefore leaves women with fewer years to save for retirement

Generally, women outlive men meaning that women would need to stretch their finances for some 30 years after retirement.  Making it more important for women to become financially astute.

Plan your finances
Be involved in family finances and set clear goals with your partner that you can both work towards. This will ensure that you avoid unnecessary debt and continue providing financial support for your family.

Spend mindfully
Be careful not to be distracted by instant gratification and keeping up with the latest fashion trends. Be cautious about what this can potentially do to your pocket and your family’s financial wellbeing.

Review your finances regularly
It is highly recommended that you review your saving and investment strategy at least twice a year to ensure that your savings are in line with inflation.  This will help ensure that you top up your retirement savings if you see that there is a need to top up and be able to meet your retirement goals.

Sibiya said good financial habits and having long term thinking as a family were crucial in ensuring that one retires comfortably.

“Watching your money grow every month is a great motivator to keep yourself on the right track towards achieving your financial goals. Don’t be tempted to spend your hard earned savings on non-essential goods as that will set your family back financially.”

Photo by Switch.com

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