Are you financially independent and financial responsible? The single girls' guide to managing money

Published June 20th, 2016 - 08:57 GMT
To avoid bad surprises at the end of the month, budgeting is an absolute must. (Shutterstock)
To avoid bad surprises at the end of the month, budgeting is an absolute must. (Shutterstock)

Being a career-driven, single woman in the UAE means that you're financially independent and capable of managing your finances as you see fit. But here's something to think about - how many of us are just as financially responsible as we are financially independent. 

Results from the BlackRock Global Investor Pulse Survey show that only 42 per cent of Gen Y women are confident about their financial future, compared to a much higher 71 per cent of men. But why this significant difference in outlook? Is it because women have traditionally been less active in managing money than men or is a knowledge gap to be blamed?

Whatever the reason, women are now more financially aware, more independent and definitely more empowered than ever. And to make sure that you can better control your finances, here are a few tips from Souqalmal.com:

Don't underestimate budgeting

Many of us don't give enough credit to the humble budget, more so in the case of single men and women. And getting so caught up in living the good life in a city that never falls short of things to do and places to be, means that we often forget to take a closer look at our financial statements.

To avoid bad surprises at the end of the month, budgeting is an absolute must. A well thought-of budget can keep track of your income and expenses, and help you better manage your finances, make cutbacks where necessary and achieve long-term financial goals.

It's never too early to start 'retirement planning

How many of us have thought that it's too early to start saving for retirement. Especially early on in our careers, we are either so busy making ends meet, buying 'stuff' or fantasising about exotic holidays that we put retirement planning on the back-burner. Unfortunately many of us take retirement seriously only when it's too late.

A realistic approach and an early start will benefit you in so many ways, since you have more time to meet your retirement savings goal. And with savings being spread across a longer time-period, there will also be less pressure on your finances. What's more? You might also be able to retire sooner

Get life insurance, if you haven't already

As a single woman, you probably haven't considered getting a life insurance policy. But having elderly parents who you're financially responsible for or having debt in the form of an education, personal or home loan, are two big reasons that make getting life insurance extremely important for single women.

With life insurance, the earlier you start, the lesser you'll have to pay to get insured. This is simply because the insurance premium is also linked to your age and the younger you are at the time of taking the policy, the lower your premium will be.

Keep your credit report in mind

With the Al Etihad Credit Bureau up and running now, your credit report can now easily be accessed by banks in the country. And every credit card payment you miss, or loan installment you don't pay on time, will now form your official credit history which may come to haunt you later.

Banks will judge your credit worthiness based on your credit report, so it's important that you keep track of the debt you owe and only take on debt if you can afford to repay it. For example, it's advisable to avoid taking a personal loan that you can't see yourself comfortably paying off in the future or splurge with your credit card if you can't pay the outstanding amount when it falls due.

Don't shy away from asking for advice

Financial ignorance can be detrimental. If you feel that you lack the financial know-how to make important money-related decisions, be it about which savings account to open or what investment avenues to explore, it's always a good idea to seek help from the outside.

Expert guidance is available in all shapes and sizes. For example, if you want to invest in the stock market or in a retirement savings plan, you could enlist the help of a licenced investment advisor who can walk you through the options available.

You could also visit Souqalmal.com if you're looking for an account, credit card, loan or insurance for yourself and compare the various options before you commit. The Souqalmal.com blog, the Money Doctor, can also provide you with expert insights, guides, frequently asked questions, research and trends related to all personal finance related topics.

Millennial women are more financially independent, compared to women of the previous generation. This also calls for the average single woman of today to put a greater focus on managing money the right way, to ensure a financially secure future. And there's no better to time to get started, than now.

By Ambareen Musa


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