Financial independence has become a vital conversation for many African millennials, especially women. From making money moves, securing the bag, investing in stocks, real estate, and building thriving businesses, the African millennial woman is evolving and taking more control of her financial freedom. She’s not afraid to take risks and look for opportunities.
This was not precisely the case some years ago. But, then, our mothers, hardworking as they were, were often termed incapable of taking care of themselves and dependent on the man’s handouts. Moreover, despite being the best savers, women have been known to be scared of plunging into the uncertain world of investments in the past. They’d rather hang on the fringes than throw themselves into the murky unknown waters of the financial world.
Today’s woman is different. She is interested in investment opportunities that create multiple streams of income. The African millennial woman is ambitious! She is a real visionary with a clear-cut perspective of what she wants her life to be. She understands the risks and also the rewards involved in investing in ventures. She is level-headed enough to leverage her need to have financial freedom by spotting the perfect investment opportunities that fit her long-term financial goals.
For you to be guided on your new path towards financial freedom as a millennial woman, here are a few tips to focus on:
- Don’t stop learning
Before taking this step, find out all you need to know about managing and investing money. Then, take your time and learn about all the nuances involved to choose what works for you. There are several resources and information on personal finance available on the internet to help you learn about the basic skills and knowledge you need to build a better financial future. Edtech platforms like Money Africa provide resources on financial literacy and personal finance courses to step up your money game. Taking a financial literacy course can be the first step towards making progress on your investment journey. You can also join a community of like-minded people based on your financial goals. Look for a community that is willing to share knowledge, tips, opportunities, mistakes and are ready to hold each other accountable.
- Have a clear financial goal
Research has shown that achieving financial freedom is 80 % mindset and 20% action. Having a clear-cut goal can help you focus on achieving your short- and long-term financial goals. Until you do this, you will have an undefined perspective. Be determined about the plan you want to achieve, whether it is investing in real estate, higher education, purchasing a car, among others. Your drive will get you a great deal closer to your goal.
- Have a specific budget
Go according to your budget. Live within your means and don’t try to impress anyone. Limit impulse spending and distinguish between your wants and needs. Pay all your bills upfront and draw a budget based on your earnings. You can also use financial apps and tools to track your expenses, budgeting and investing.
- Start saving for your retirement
Your 20s and 30s are a great time to start saving towards your retirement. It doesn’t matter how small you begin with. Keep at it and grow your retirement funds now that you can. Consistency is always key. Building a good cash reserve now can help to secure your future and keeps the worry bug away.
- Do not rack up debts!
As much as possible, try to avoid taking loans. Instead, live within your means and practice delayed gratification. Try saving a minimum of 15% of your income and spend less than you earn.
- Learn from your money mistakes
The goal is to get up 11 times if you fall 10 times. We have all made money mistakes at a point in our lives, but as we grow older, we begin to realize the importance of achieving financial independence. It’s never too late to start, and no better time than now. Your mistakes are a blueprint to help you make better and sound financial judgements. So instead of playing the blame game, take a cue from your money mistakes. Understand that you owe yourself the life you want to live a decade from now by making sound financial and investment decisions today.
- Automate your savings & investments
A good savings habit has an automated system in place that sweeps a portion of your income into a preferred investment vehicle consistently. You can also issue a direct deposit into your investment account. As a result, your money is safe, and your future secured. It is always a win for you.
- Don’t underestimate the power of small, consistent contributions
No amount is too small to invest. Whether it’s from your side hustle or some free money, use it to grow your portfolio. Do not turn down opportunities to gradually increase your investments simply because the money is small. You’re never too rich to have more money.
- Start small and take baby steps
You don’t have to be an expert to be interested in finance. Learn the basics and ask questions from professionals along the way to gain more insight on investments and how you can make the most out of them.
- Be disciplined
Attaining financial freedom requires discipline. Put in the work and be diligent in practically raising money for your investments. When your motivation increases, you have a profound need to see your goal come alive. Also, understand the importance of having good spending and saving habits.
- Create multiple streams of income
Creating multiple streams of income is also an effective way of building your investment portfolio. By investing in your knowledge, skills and expertise, you can create various income opportunities that can also help you make passive income streams.
Achieving financial stability and independence is definitely possible, with the right attitude and mindset, you will soon be on your merry way to achieving financial freedom!