Are you sabotaging your personal financial future? Start making changes to your heads and hearts and take ownership of your money from today. Here are some tips for women to secure their finances in the long-run.
Start saving for retirement early to ensure you have enough to support yourself. Image: Corbis
DON’T RUN INTO SOMEONE ELSE’S DEBT
Easily swayed by emotions, women sometimes tend to feel obliged in supporting family, friends and colleagues when they run into financial difficulties. While it is good for women to sympathize and offer a helping hand through practical means, it is a bad idea to overspend or run into a debt over someone else’s needs. Help within your means and don’t be afraid to say “No” tactfully when you have to. When it comes to money matters, it’s not wrong to put yourself first.
BE YOUR OWN FINANCIAL MANAGER
Your money will not take care of itself, you have to take ownership of it. If you are making an investment, take the effort to understand how and where your money will be used. Don’t be afraid to ask seemingly silly questions, it is the job of your financial advisors to provide you with the full details. Always stay informed of the news and constantly evaluate your investment strategies instead of leaving it dormant. One thing to keep in mind is that you should only consider investing when you are relatively debt-free. It is a bad idea to incur another debt to cover an earlier debt.
START SAVING FOR RETIREMENT. YES, NOW!
We are part of a rapidly ageing population and if you intend to have a comfortable or even early retirement, then it is time to start saving up. Advisors typically recommend saving at least 20 per cent of your monthly salary consistently.
This takes an enormous amount of fortitude and willpower that most women find hard to do, especially when we are so often surrounded by material temptations in a lifestyle city like Singapore. However, this determination will pay off. Just calculate – if a fresh graduate’s take-home pay is $2500, saving $500 every month for the next 10 years would mean she will have at least $60,000 in her bank account by the time she is 31. Along the way, this savings can also be utilized for other investment plans to grow the pool of money along the way.
Fair planning, a certain goal and some serious focus will help you to lay the building blocks for a sturdy financial future.
DON’T PROCRASTINATE WITH YOUR HEALTH CHECKS
Of all the ways to save money on monthly expenses, cutting on healthcare costs should be your last resort. Saving few hundred dollars a year is hardly worth having to pay tens of thousands in medical bills a few years down the road.
Don’t scrimp on preventive health care costs such as regular pap smears, mammograms or body checkups. These checks are usually not too costly or are already subsidized by various health organisations in Singapore. A quick check on the internet can lead you to various affordable health checks for women.
This article was contributed by RHB Bank Singapore. RHB Bank is a full-licensed bank that provides a comprehensive range of financial products and services to consumer, corporate and commercial clients, ranging from various types of deposits and loans, treasury to investment banking. For more information about RHB Bank Singapore go to www.rhbbank.com.sg.