Every­one has an in­ner fi­nan­cial whizz. These women tapped into theirs.

Glamour (South Africa) - - Contents -

How to ip your money script

truth time: 65% of women don’t feel to­tally con­fi­dent about mak­ing fi­nan­cial de­ci­sions, ac­cord­ing to a study. Ex­perts say one cause is our ‘money script’, or pre­con­cep­tions about fi­nances we picked up in child­hood.

“Women typ­i­cally haven’t been en­cour­aged to take charge of their money,” says Dr Kristy Archuleta, pro­gramme direc­tor for the In­sti­tute of Per­sonal Fi­nan­cial Plan­ning. “Those so­ci­etal mes­sages have an im­pact and cause anx­i­ety.”

The good news? Your story can be rewrit­ten. “I was al­ways afraid of be­ing broke.”

– Ra­mona Ortega, 42, founder of a fi­nan­cial man­age­ment plat­form

“My par­ents were farm work­ers be­fore they got bluecol­lar jobs. I started work­ing at 14 and put my­self through uni­ver­sity. Af­ter grad­u­a­tion I did hu­man rights work, fo­cus­ing on so­lu­tions to end poverty. Still, I wasn’t sav­ing my own money. Like many peo­ple from a low-in­come back­ground, I fo­cused on get­ting by; I never planned ahead. When I started prac­tis­ing cor­po­rate law, I got a re­al­ity check: most of my col­leagues al­ready had ro­bust re­tire­ment ac­counts. It was time to snap out of sur­vival mode. So I started in­vest­ing in shares. I lost money. But I don’t re­gret it; I learnt that I needed to do more home­work and that fi­nan­cial em­pow­er­ment is about ac­tion. Last year, I launched a per­sonal fi­nan­cial man­age­ment plat­form to help un­der­served women and mil­len­ni­als. I still worry about be­ing broke, but now I have a grow­ing re­tire­ment fund and I’m in­vest­ing in my busi­ness. I have the power to change my sit­u­a­tion.”

“Money made me feel help­less.” – Rachael Rifkin, 35, free­lance writer

“Grow­ing up, I was con­vinced my par­ents were poor; when we went shop­ping, they’d com­plain about prices and my mom even avoided us­ing the ATM. I was wrong: my par­ents owned their home and had sav­ings, but they were so fru­gal I as­sumed the worst. When I got mar­ried, I let my hus­band han­dle our bills. Then I started talk­ing to my mother-in­law, who was a bank teller. She man­aged the fam­ily fi­nances and taught her kids to bud­get. She gave me sav­ing tips and made me feel com­fort­able talk­ing about money. I started read­ing fi­nan­cial sites for kids; they were less in­tim­i­dat­ing than adult in­vest­ing books. I set up reg­u­lar fi­nan­cial check­ups with my hus­band. Now money doesn’t over­whelm me – I see it as a way to build the life I want.”

“I wish I’d known how money could work for me.” – Zim Ugochukwu, 29, CEO of trav­el­

“I was bul­lied in high school be­cause I looked dif­fer­ent, so when I got a part-time job, I used my salary to buy nice clothes so I’d fit in. My mom taught me to save at a young age, but I wasn’t al­ways very good with money. Then, at 16, I went to Nige­ria to visit fam­ily. It was mag­i­cal, but I thought travel was too ex­pen­sive to en­joy reg­u­larly. Af­ter uni­ver­sity I spent a year in In­dia and re­alised trav­el­ling doesn’t need to be pricey! See­ing the world be­came my mo­ti­va­tion for sav­ing. When I came home, I lived fru­gally: I didn’t eat out, walked to work and put away half my salary from my con­fer­ence pro­ducer job. I started book­ing more trips and launched a site fea­tur­ing trav­ellers who are peo­ple of colour, like me; now I make a liv­ing help­ing oth­ers ex­plore. I’ve learnt that ex­pe­ri­ences are what makes sav­ing worth­while. My ad­vice: cut out what you don’t need so you can save to spend on what you love.”

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