Is your piggy bank blinging or broke?

So recently I have been looking at the expensive as hell properties here, and commented to a male friend that the single woman was seemingly put here to suffer. He suggested that I could marry him, and pay half his mortgage. A good suggestion perhaps, but I told him I would still need to find my own place for the day he decides to put me out. He thought my suggestion was funny and asked if I intended to do something wrong to warrant getting put out. But this is a very real prospect and what happens next?

Fifty years ago, women would probably wait for the knight in shining armour to ride in on his white horse and rescue them from clinical things like savings and money and investing. Today, with more and more women ticking the "Single" box on application forms, this is not an option. Any woman who sits around all day waiting for Mr "Right on Time" to swoop in with his financial know-how is an idiot. I think the days of women not being financially savvy are long gone and if you intend to survive singledom, because hey, let's face it, there is no guarantee that this man will EVER come along, then you need to start being sensible and practical about money.

I give people financial tips all day as part of what I do and where I do it. I am the first to admit that I don't know about everything and don't do everything I send messages about, but I do have my finger on my financial pulse. I am no Warren Buffett but have to know something about money, ladies. Oh gosh. These are the basics and you would not believe how many women have no clue about any of these in this day and age.
  • Savings accounts - Short term savings. Vacations, bills, floating cash, car repairs. I mean everyone should have one, right? Right? And have an emergency savings fund - an account you don't touch, with at least 6months salary in there, so if the worst happens, you have something to fall back on to cover expenses. Unemployment for example should not send you to the street corner with a pan and a bell.
  • Mutual funds - For long term investments and convenient if you don't know a whole lot about the stock market. Start reading up on the different types of mutual funds wherever you are and assess your risk profile and your time horizon. If you are one of those who have sweaty nightmares about losing all your money, then certain funds may not be for you. But if you have cajones and can take stress, look at some more aggressive funds. If you are looking at short term goals, read up on the funds which may work better for these. But don't make the mistake of believing that you need a man to make these decisions. You don't.
  • Have you just come back from a vacation with some left over foreign currency? Some institutions offer certificates of deposit in various currencies. Or look at mutual funds as well. I came back from London with a wad of the queen's money that I did not want to necessarily convert or hide under my mattress. My bank offered CDs in GBP and I looked into socking that money away for the short term until I was ready to go back and spend it! lol
  • Insurance/pension plans - Insurance people may be annoying but don't lock up your house and hide from them forever. You could learn a thing or two from them and maybe then you can make a decision about which of their products is right for your future.
  • Know your financial planner. Let's face it, finance is not always (never) sexy and you will need stuff explained to you, so get to know your personal financial planner. Don't be afraid to ask questions. Get second opinions too. It's your financial health you're talking about. This could be the difference between you having that awesome vacation in 2010 or renting DVDs and sitting on your couch with popcorn for 2 weeks.
  • Be prudent in your spending. Unless you have a sugar daddy (I wish!) or rich parents who spoil you even at age 30 (I wish!), chances are you are taking on the burden of your living expenses by yourself. So do you really need that Nine West handbag this month, when the plumbing needs fixing next week? Noone is saying you cannot treat yourself and be single and fabulous and oh so Sex and the City, but be responsible.
  • Look at other investment avenues eg. property investments. Learn from those who have already done it and start looking at options. Read, ask questions, research.
  • And talk to your other friends about money and how they are saving. Chances are, they may know things you don't and vice versa. But be empowered when it comes to your money. Take some risks and take some action. Don't just spend it!
  • And look at how you spend your money. Seriously. I wish I could drink Rituals mochaccinos every single day, but that $20 multiplied by 5, multiplied by 52. $5200 a year in coffee? Seriously? Have you thought how buying lunch every day or buying that sada roti every day can add up, as opposed to cooking a lil something once in a while? I have cut back on my -ccino fix for diet reasons but still, Hi-Lo has various coffees you can invest in and you get more than the single cup you would get at Rituals. I grew up constantly hearing from both my parents, "Doh let no man buss style on you" and that rings true. I buy what I want when I want it, go where I want when I want to, but everything in moderation. 
And even if I do get that elusive sugar daddy (and I have the t-shirt to prove that this hunt is real), I don't plan to give up my financial independence cause in this day and age, you have to keep worst case scenario in mind because when daddy leaves, where does that leave you if you're not in control of your own money?

Not a nice thought is it? And don't think you cannot ask a man about these things, cause this is not a man hater kinda post, but just saying, you don't have to sit at the window waiting for one to depend on.


Anonymous said...

Preach sista!

Anonymous said...

You made a specific mentioned:"Unless you have a sugar daddy (I wish!) or rich parents who spoil you even at age 30 (I wish!).All I can say is "lol".I love the fact that you broke down every financial criteria and backed it up with a solution.You're vision and advice is surely taken into serious concentration.Good one Avi!

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