Managing your finances as women – celebrating International Women’s Day

|    Standard Chartered Bank    |

THE role of women in the workplace, home and society has evolved and changed over the years. As we see progressive steps for women in general to be recognised as being valuable contributors in society, we must also remember, that as women, they need to stop and take stock of their achievements, contributions and aspirations for themselves.

These days, the modern woman, juggles family life with work and career – a balance that some women may find hard to come to terms with. Indeed, women have come a long way from stepping out of the kitchen into offices and sometimes even running their own business.

With all these things keeping women busier than ever, it is important to stop every once in a while to keep their finances in check.

Diarise routine financial health checks

Make it a point to spend some time on yourself. And we don’t mean just going for a spa treatment which is probably well deserved, but also to just be able to concentrate on sorting out your finances properly.

As a daughter, mother, employee, or manager of your own business, it is easy as a woman to put other’s needs first before taking care of your own because it is only natural with maternal instincts to do so.

Ensure that you have a respectable percentage of your earnings set aside for savings. This is essential to ensure that you have sufficient funds for emergencies and retirement. Women are usually careful with their money but may get distracted with having to provide for parents, siblings and children all at the same time and may tend to forget about saving anything for themselves.

Diarise your financial health checks as often as possible, making sure that you cover all bases such as insurance and retirement. These health checks help you to consider if what you are putting aside or insuring yourself for is sufficient.

Be careful with your spending

Some women tend to be compulsive shoppers, whether it’s buying a new pair of shoes, a new handbag, make up or even groceries. Shopping is after all a majority of women’s favourite past time.

Adopt coping strategies to ward off shopping cravings. When grocery shopping, arm yourself with a shopping list of what you really need and stick to those items on the list. Try not to get tempted with cakes and sweet treats.

If you are travelling, give yourself a limit as to what you are allowed to purchase and be disciplined about it. Travelling provides greater temptation to shop compulsively but if you have a fair idea of the kind of items that you really would like to find and that is within your realistic budget then the next step is to be disciplined with this approach.

Ignorance is not bliss

Many times, women make excuses not to learn about new things that sound technical or confusing like hooking up a sound system and in this case, learning about investments. Limiting your knowledge on managing finances is however a matter that should not be ignored.

With abundant resources available these days on the Internet, finance talk shows on certain TV channels or self-help books at the local bookstore, you can take control of the way you manage your finances and learn more about what investment options you can try in order to make your money work for you.

Banks, such as Standard Chartered Bank also offer personal financial consultancy and advice that you can use to make financial decisions not just on investments but also on retirement needs. Gather all your sources of information and gauge what would work best for you.

Prioritising your needs

As women, we tend to put all our needs in the backseat and tend to everyone else’s first. As daughters, as mothers, as friends, as wives, as employees or employers, as grandmothers and so forth. The roles of women are endless. So through the many hats that women wear, their own personal needs get nudged off the plate.

The great juggling act that women have to perform these days are becoming more complex and to add to that, they have to juggle their own personal well-being as well.

For very busy women, prioritising is key. Instead of trying to be good at everything at the same time, focus on three or four key priorities that you know is realistic given the time constraints that you have in your life and keep your focus on them.

While being a woman can be tough sometimes, there’s no better person to be than yourself. Standard Chartered Bank wishes all women in Brunei, Happy International Women’s Day.

This article is for general information purposes only and while the information in it is believed to be reliable, it has not been independently verified by us. You are advised to exercise your own independent judgement with the contents in this article.