Grace Winter, Head of Brand & Communications at FMI. Photo: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG – As South African women, what lives do we want to lead? How do we plan for those lives? And how do we make smart financial decisions that support our plans?

These are the types of questions that we should be asking ourselves all the time. And yet, far too many of us still don’t have proper answers to these questions.  This lack of certainty about basic financial issues or risks can leave us, and our families, vulnerable and exposed.

 I grew up in a home where both parents worked, and contributed more or less equally, to our household. More importantly than that, they both played an active role in setting budgets and financial priorities for the family. That’s not always the case, though.

 Even in 2018, unfortunately, we still see women abdicating the control of the household finances to their husbands because that’s how it’s traditionally been done. We need to break those old-fashioned gender-based roles. Money is no longer just the man’s responsibility.

 Where do you start? For us, the cornerstone of any financial plan is the ability to earn your income. Let’s face it, without an income, you can’t pay for anything. Your house, your rent, your family’s wellbeing, your lifestyle. This is particularly important in a South African context. In many other countries, if you can’t work because of injury or illness, you’re protected by government grants. In South Africa, we have UIF, but it provides only a fraction of your usual income, leaving you in a dire situation. At FMI, we’re passionate about educating South Africans on the necessity of getting insurance that pays you your income in the case of an injury or illness, and life cover that pays your family an ongoing income if you pass away.

We want to help young men and women make smart decisions for their financial future, and getting informed, independent and protected for life’s uncertainties. That’s why we’ve sponsored the upcoming Women’s Lifestyle Expo, which takes place at Montecasino on 29 and 30 September: we share the expo’s mission to empower and educate women to live healthier, better lives.

 At the expo, our call to action is going to be simple: it’s time for South African women to take control of their own finances and financial freedom. Make sure you and your family have the right insurance and protection in place. Know how to organise your taxes, how to save, even how to start making investments. Most of all, we want to educate the next generation of young women about what it means to be financially independent and empowered.

The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.

Grace Winter is the Head of Brand & Communications at FMI

PERSONAL FINANCE