Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Susan Mucheke: Saccos, MMFs effective ways for women to grow wealth

Susan Mucheke is a financial advisor at financial and investments consulting firm Enwealth Financial Services.

Are there any notable changes in how women are approaching their finances?

Definitely! We’re seeing a shift towards women taking charge of their financial futures. This includes pursuing career growth for higher income, exploring investments through entrepreneurship, and most strikingly, actively increasing their financial knowledge through online resources.

Recent market trends suggest women are becoming more involved in long-term financial planning. Is this reflected in your observations?

Absolutely. There’s a clear rise in women participating in pension schemes and investing. This trend aligns with a report by Enwealth Financial Services, “Savings and Investment Behavior Among Kenyans,” which highlights a surge in women actively saving for big purchases and long-term goals.

Financial security can feel overwhelming. What are some simple first steps Kenyan women can take to build a brighter future?

A budget is a perfect starting point for women to secure their financial futures and take control of their finances. Tracking income and expenses helps one to plan efficiently and identify areas for saving.

Regularly contributing to a savings account that earns interest such as a Money Market Fund or SACCO adds to their financial health. Beyond the savings, an emergency fund of 3-6 months’ living expenses provides a safety net for unexpected situations.

Remember that while the emergency kitty can cater for unforeseen expenses, it is important to have the necessary insurance policies up to date to avoid breaking the kitty. Considering health and life insurance provides protection against unexpected costs.

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Continuously educating themselves on personal finance and exploring investment options that align with their goals allows women to make informed decisions about their money.

Regular reviews and adjustments to their financial goals and investments ensure they stay on track, while planning for future expenses like children’s education ensures their long-term financial security.

Diversifying their investments across different asset classes also helps manage risk, while considering long-term options like stocks and retirement accounts allows for future growth.

Women should also consider increasing their income by negotiating fair compensation at work. They can also build up their skills through further education and build a professional network for mentorship to expand their career prospects. Finally, tailoring these habits to their unique circumstances and seeking professional guidance for personalized advice allows them to create a roadmap for a secure financial future.

What role can Kenyan men play in supporting women’s financial security?

Financially, men can support women by encouraging financial literacy and shared investment decisions. In a 2022 survey carried out by Enwealth Financial Services titled Savings and Investment Behavior Among Kenyans, 83 percent of couples who conduct financial planning with their spouses were reported to have an improved financial position. Open communication about money and investment options empowers women and builds confidence in their financial future.

Even as Women’s History Month comes to an end, this conversation about Kenyan women and financial security remains timeless. Women have come a long way and they are now more empowered to make prudent financial decisions than before but there is still more to done.

Equipping women with the knowledge and resources to manage their finances is not just empowering them, it strengthens families, communities, and the entire Kenyan economy.


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