Be the CEO of your finances

27 August 2020 | Opinion

Windhoek • Ester Kali
As we draw to an end of women’s month, allow us to reflect the importance of women when it comes to her finances.
At Letshego Namibia, we pay close attention to our customers and more so, the needs of each and every one of them. The way we allow customer experience for a man, woman, teenager as well as a child who is embarking on a savings is critical.
So, why is this important and how does this relate to a female banker?
It’s simple: We need to understand the customer journey from when she was a school goer, landing her first job, getting married and continuing to take charge of her finances despite developments in her life. Women head households and should be extra cautious of her financial ability and responsibility.
Although comprehensive data is limited, regional figures and the national census suggest that between 30-50 % of households are effectively female-headed, according to the National Sectoral Report for Namibia.
So often we witness and see unhealthy financial behaviour of our female bankers through patterns of withdraw, loans, over indebtedness as well as not being able to commit to payments. This is also the common pattern by men; however, in women’s month we would want to aid our women bankers to empower them more.
By following the steps below, you will ensure you to become, remain and continue to be the CEO of your finances.
• Regardless of your financial situation, you should always plan to put something away into your savings account. This is do-able and women can be in charge of their own pockets. As much as we earn, as much as we should save at our own discretion.
• List that budget. If you go over by a mere N$50 this shows a form of ill-discipline in budgeting. Small amounts add up and this can easily throw financial planning off guard. It is so easy to swipe cards, before debit orders go off and worry about repayment after an impulsive spending. So, how do you overcome the side effect? Easy. By sticking to your budget and not going over that unaccounted cent.
• Saving too little. Compare how much you save in your household and assess if this would be enough for you, if anything had to happen which is not in your favour. Empower yourself and take control of your finances. It’s never too early or too late to start. Your hard-earned salary should be spent and saved at your discretion. So often as women we feel obliged to take care of others who have not planned financially or look after others expenses and allow our needs to take the back seat. This ownership and confidence of our finances should be clearly defined and prioritized.
• Consultation with your spouse should be agreed upon; however, your sound planning and knowledge of what needs to be budgeted for, should come above all other plans.
In conclusion, spend less than what you earn. You can never go wrong with this philosophy. Above all, you must review your portfolio every month to weed out risks that aren’t in accordance with your financial goals.
Take time this month, if not already, to assess if you really are the CEO of your finances.
Ester Kali is the CEO of Letshego Bank.

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