There is a particularly pertinent link between South Africa’s national Women’s month of August and the importance of financial independence for the women of South Africa.
Although Women’s month in South Africa is dedicated to the 20 000 brave women who stood in front of parliament in 1956 and protested peacefully against pass laws, it is also a time to focus on current issues faced by South African women today.
The unfortunate reality is that, according to research, women often stay in abusive relationships because their partners have financial control over them.
In many cases, women have children to look after and are afraid that they will not be able to provide for them should they leave their abusive partner and, therefore, feel have no other choice but to stay.
There are other situations where abusive partners have such physical and psychological control over women that it’s almost impossible for the women to have or keep a job.
It is common for abusive husbands or partners to withhold all forms of financial resources from their spouses, preventing them from accessing the money freely. As a result, women depend on their partners for basic necessities such as food and shelter.
Although this is a difficult topic to address, gender-based violence is a sad reality in South Africa which requires much attention.
However, women can take back their power by becoming financially independent so that if they find themselves with an abusive partner, they have the means and the confidence to leave.
These concepts don’t only apply to married women. In fact, women of all ages and from all walks of life can apply these few rules in order to achieve financial independence.
Although everyone should have an emergency fund, it’s particularly important for women to have as this can serve as the safety net that helps them get out of a dangerous, potentially life-threatening domestic situation.
This fund should be entirely separate from the household finances so that it can be accessed at any time that it becomes necessary.
One of the best savings accounts in South Africa for an emergency fund is a tax-free savings account.
It’s crucial to not rely on only one source of income. Whether you are married and your spouse is the main breadwinner, or if you are also earning a monthly income, it’s important that you find other ways of making money on the side.
There are many ways that one can bring in extra income which can be saved in addition to existing monthly savings or investments. Whether it be a side hustle or selling of unwanted goods, every bit counts.
There is a difference between good and bad debt. Bad debt should be avoided at all costs as it weighs down on your ability to be financially stable and independent.
Bad debt refers to anything that involves using expensive credit to buy things that you don’t need. This includes clothing accounts, credit cards and fancy new cars.
Although the idea of buying now and paying later is attractive, it can be a one-way ticket to overwhelming debt which is the biggest hurdle to financial freedom.
It can be difficult to wrap your head around the world of finances, investments, interest rates and stocks.
However, there is no reason to stay in the dark and feel your way around. Speaking to a financial advisor is hugely beneficial as they can help you get the most out of your money.
Financial advisors are trained and skilled in developing a plan specific to your individual needs and financial circumstances that will help you reach your goals.
Our financial advisors acknowledge the plight of women in South Africa regarding gender-based violence and inequalities that directly impact their ability to achieve financial independence.
Therefore, we aim to provide essential financial advice for women who would like to achieve financial freedom and independence as we believe this is key to living a life free from domestic abuse.
If you would like to speak about the importance of financial freedom for women in South Africa, or for more tips on how to achieve this, feel free to contact our financial advisors in Johannesburg.
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