Sheila Andah, Head, High Net Worth Clients – Stanbic Bank Ghana

Today’s woman is a significant player in our rapidly changing socio-economic environment. In the past she has being in the background providing support. She has now emerged as a provider, investor, and decision-maker through various avenues such as entrepreneurship, corporate careers as well as formal and informal self-employment.

Despite these advancements, women often experience financial stress, primarily due to the persistent wealth gap that renders them more financially vulnerable than men. Factors like gender pay gaps and caregiving responsibilities further impede women’s progress towards gaining financial independence, impacting their ability to create, build and sustain wealth. This article aims to explore wealth creation and management strategies to empower today’s woman.

Wealth creation involves steadily building or growing wealth through financial products and methods. Regardless of whether one is an entrepreneur, corporate employee, or a self-employed professional, there are no shortcuts. Establishing a solid financial foundation requires careful consideration of key elements, such as having a financial goal with a clear plan that influences your wealth-creation journey and maintaining a budget that details income and expenses.

Here are some essential elements to consider: The first key is to understand how to create and buildwealth. Ask yourself these questions; how do I currently make money; how else can I make more? What are the risks with my current or future income source? The ability to create an income is the source of your wealth and the beginning of your journey to financial independence.

Secondly you need know how your earnings can cater for yourself, family, education, buy an asset, entertainment, or a holiday. It is having a clear understanding of the lifestyle you have chosen. How much of your income are you budgeting to spend on education, entertainment, communication, and lifestyle assets? You must reflect carefully on living a life you can afford and make lifestyle choices in line with your budget and future financial goals. The key is to live within your means.

The next important key is to save and invest:  It gives you financial independence in the short, medium and long term. You may have heard of the 50-30-20 rule and to reiterate, it is recommended that you put 50% of your income into your needs, 30% into wants and 20% towards savings. You should save for specific financial goals like your children’s education, emergency funds, expanding your business side hustle and retirement. After reflection, you should decide on which goal is a priority. They may, however, be short, medium- or long-term goals.

Another key is to plan for and protect the wealth you are creating: This looks at planning wisely and protecting your family and assets. It is important to protect yourself against unforeseen events that can erode your wealth by having an insurance policy. Another way is to write a will which details how your assets are distributed upon death.

Finally, where possible you may decide to share and leave a legacy. This aims to invest in future generations as well as impact the world around you. This could be achieved through intergenerational wealth transfer to your children and family. You may also choose to donate to charities or a cause to help your community.

I would like to share some strategies that could help today’s woman have a good foundation for creating wealth. You must learn to live within your means especially in this era of pressures of social media.

In this socio-economic landscape she is pivotal in supporting the family and more is expected of her. One key strategy is to have an emergency fund which is usually equivalent to 3 to 6 months of expenses. For instance, if you spend 1000 Ghana cedis a month from your earnings you should aim to save between 3000 cedis to 6000 Ghana cedis as emergency funds. This fund is saved for a ‘rainy day.’

It is never too early or too late to start saving for retirement and ideally you must endeavour to allocate at least 15% of your annual income to your retirement fund.

As we celebrate International Women’s Day, we must recognize the changing roles and responsibilities and encourage women to take proactive steps to achieve financial empowerment. The key lies in maintaining discipline and consistency in the pursuit of financial goals. Seeking advice from a financial professional is a crucial tool in navigating the wealth creation journey. By attaining financial literacy, women can actively contribute to their financial empowerment paving the way for a secure and stable future through effective wealth creation and management.

Source: Ghana/