Contributed by Nancy Azeez, a proud Ghanaian migrant, award-winning business strategist, successful entrepreneur, and international speaker.
“I raise up my voice not so I can shout but so that those without a voice can be heard...We cannot succeed when half of us are held back.”
This quote by Malala Yousafza, a Pakistani activist for female education, embeds the sentiments of my heart–my courage to speak out is the ripple effect other women are seeking to speak up. A unified world where women stand together regardless of race, religion, or culture is one that will cause a global disruption. A disruption that leads women to take back their liberation while paving the way for others.
Today is a day to commemorate the outstanding women that came before us and paved the way for you and me for more representation and social equality. Women such as Valentina Tereshkova (the first woman to go to space) and Nancy Pelosi (the first woman Speaker of the House of Representative) who I consider global disruptors fought to ensure women have a seat at every table.
With a myriad of global issues geared towards women’s equality, the topic I revere the most is finance. If women want to continue the stride towards social liberation and develop a greater global footprint, we must start with our personal space.
Yes, I’m referring to money management. According to research by USBS Group AG, 59% of women defer investing and financial planning to spouses. Over the years I’ve made many financial mistakes, but after hard lessons, I have adopted a new paradigm and basic financial disciplines that have changed my life for the better.
Here's what I've learned.
7 Rules that I’ve adopted over the years:
1. Do not defer your rights to manage your money to someone else–be a participant in every financial decision made even with a trusted spouse. Don’t be afraid to ask questions when you do not understand and make it your responsibility to educate yourself on the topic of finances.
2. Spend less than you earn. Learn the concept of delayed gratification.
3. Invest, invest, invest! Investing may sound scary but once you educate yourself on the topic, it can change your life. How many of us were present when companies like Facebook stock price was $21.00? If only I knew then, what I know now.
4. Don’t fall in credit card debt. If you intend on using credit cards, spend wisely, use only what you can pay back, apply for cards with low interest and great rewards. My husband and I travelled 10x in 2019, and 90% of our costs were paid using reward points.
5. Have an emergency fund of at least 6 months. This is very vital. Life is full of surprises, get prepared.
6. Build great credit- this gives you borrowing power.
7. If possible, have passive income streams. It’s important to have more than one source of income. Besides your 9 to 5 job, what else can you do to earn money? I once spent 2 months trying out dog sitting and earned $1900 in those two months.
Today, as we speak out, I encourage you all to speak up and take control of your finances.
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