Empowering South African women through financial independence

15 August 2023 Momentum
Janine Horn

Janine Horn

Financial literacy is a powerful tool to empower us all to take control of our financial destiny.

The problem is that too many South Africans are not financially literate – not necessarily through fault of their own. To put it into perspective, the 2020 Baseline Survey conducted by the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) revealed that only 52% of South Africans are financially literate. Considering 42% of households are female-headed, what does this mean for the women of South Africa?

According to Janine Horn, Financial Planner at Momentum Financial Panning, financial literacy is particularly important for women in South Africa, as many of them are sole breadwinners and look after extended families. “Financial literacy plays a crucial role in helping women achieve their life goals and secure a brighter future.”

From managing day-to-day expenses to investing for the long term, Janine says financial knowledge is the key to unlocking women's potential and fostering economic independence.

“Building a strong financial foundation is more than just managing money; it’s about gaining the knowledge and confidence to make informed decisions, overcome financial challenges, and secure a brighter future,” Janine says.

She says financial literacy refers to the knowledge and skills required to manage personal finances effectively. It encompasses understanding budgeting, saving, investing, debt management, and retirement planning. When women are financially literate, they are better equipped to handle life’s uncertainties, pursue career aspirations, and confidently reach important milestones.

“Financial literacy serves as a catalyst for achieving long-term life goals. Whether it’s starting a business, pursuing higher education, buying a home, or securing a comfortable retirement, financial knowledge empowers women to make informed decisions that align with their aspirations,” Janine says.

Additionally, she says life can present unexpected challenges. Having a strong financial foundation can make all the difference. With the right financial literacy, women can navigate through difficult times, such as dealing with emergencies, overcoming debts, or coping with economic downturns.

“Investing in financial education should be a priority, both on a personal and societal level. Governments, organisations, and individuals should collaborate to provide accessible and relevant financial literacy programmes. Women must take the initiative to seek out resources, attend workshops, and engage in conversations about personal finance,” she says.

However, Janine says finances can be complicated and daunting, which is exactly why financial advisers are so important. “Financial advisers analyse what you need and what you want to achieve. They also look at your priorities and how your current assets and income can help you achieve your goals. Simply put, financial advisers have the blueprint for securing your financial future.”

As women become more financially empowered, Janine Horn believes it is their duty to pass on their knowledge to future generations, creating a legacy of financial independence and resilience. “The impact of educated women on society is profound, as it can lead to stronger families, improved communities, and a more prosperous nation. With the right advice and information, women can make strides on their journey to financial success,” Janine concludes.

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