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Gofaone Nina Tladi

I celebrated myself on International Women’s Day with cake and by listening to back-to-back songs and talks from some of the most influential women who have made an impact on my life.

If I could have a brunch with five women, I would definitely have a star line up. I grew up watching Oprah Winfrey and now binge on Super Soul Sundays and Masterclasses. Next is Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, my favourite African writer who is the epitome of poise, brilliance in a craft I love so much. I quote her many times in my writing and have read and re-read all her books and constantly on the hunt for a new speech. I would also invite Michelle Obama who won the world with her intelligence and genuine care for others and for me showed that there truly is such a thing as a power couple. I think most people secretly love her a tad bit more than Barrack.

I would also invite Issa Rae, the awkward black girl who brought us Insecure, one of my favourite series. Issa is closest to my age, very funny and challenges the moulds of what a woman should be and is unapologetically herself. She also does raps to herself in the mirror which I may or may not also do. Lastly, I would invite Dr Lois Frankel, the lady who authored the Nice Girls don’t get it book series, my favourite being Nice Girls Don’t get Rich.

This book brings to light a lot of the avoidable mistakes that women make with money. In my journey to dump debt and build wealth, I thought it best to go back and see if I was guilty of them. As we celebrate women and the need for more women to join the conversation about money. I have noted that majority of the support I get on this platform is from men, though some insist it is because they need to get their financial act together for us. So from one woman to another, I hope you can identify some of the financial mistakes you have made or are currently making and do the work to change what Dr Lois Frankel outlines in her book:

  • Women,wealth and getting in the money game : As the Forbes richest people list was published, only two women made the top 20. There is a great need for women to occupy positions of power as the majority of the country is women thus a woman’s voice is necessary. I saw a Twitter thread praising Rwanda for the innovative initiatives, one commentator highlighted that this could be the result of half of the country’s cabinet being occupied by women.
  • Taking charge of your financial life: I have said that the fairy tales we grew up reading did a great disservice to our ability to take charge of our lives, making us financial damsel’s in distress waiting for the handsome prince to come save us. The truth is that no one can take care of you better than you can. What do you make, what is required for financial independence? What does financial freedom mean to you as a woman?
  • Spending your money wisely: Women love shopping. I avoid the mall like the plague because even I am not immune to a new dress, shoes and yet another pink or nude lipstick. There is great profit to be made from our insecurities and that the more stuff we accumulate the more beautiful, more worthy and socially acceptable we become. Spending money is not a bad thing, but if it is “retail therapy” then it is not beneficial. After watching a documentary on minimalism on Netflix, I went on a rampage. I gave away several bags full of clothes that didn’t fit anymore, that I hadn’t worn in several months or years. I was very disappointed in myself because as I was broke, I realised that all these bags I was packing up to give away had once been money, money that I could have used to pay off debt, save and invest.
  • Learning money basics: I live by a financial plan which emphasises that I live on less than I make, increase my income income and decrease expenses and most importantly, don’t owe people money.

I noticed that as a woman there is no pressure to have my financial act together and so I have to constantly cheer myself on. Money is a woman’s issue, we often outlive men and are more susceptible to cancers so we need to be more involved with our financial futures.

You can read a book, take a course and more importantly decide to be financially responsible. It will not only make you happier and give the men in our lives a little break from the constant pressure to make money for us to spend.
PS: You don’t have to be a hero, you just have to be what most people aren’t, consistent!
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