Hey Girl, which ‘financial shoes’ do you wear?

It's Women's Month. Yay. This is the time where we celebrate more than 20 000 women who marched to the Union Buildings on 9 August 1956 in protest against the extension of Pass Laws to women.

The historic march in 1956 was a turning point in the role of women in the struggle for freedom and society at large. Since that eventful day, women from all walks of life became equal partners in the struggle for a non-racial and non-sexist South Africa.

Great strides have been made since 1994 to improve the status of women in our country.  Since the advent of democracy and freedom South Africa has seen a number of women taking up leadership positions in areas previously dominated by men.

August is also the time of year that adds a bit of colour to the South African calendar. Women’s Month is the perfect time to celebrate women and embrace the change they create around them. A lot of women are the mainstay of families, companies, causes and households. Besides being unique and diverse in their roles, talents, characters and personalities, they also stand out from the crowd with the distinctive ‘financial shoes’ that they wear. Women’s ‘financial shoes’ tell a story about how they manage their finances and what they consider to be important when making financial and / or lifestyle decisions.

Are you embracing the ‘financial shoe(s)’ that you wear or tend to wear? Do you even know what kind of shoe(s) you relate to? This month Zeeva’s team is encouraging women to continue to be the best representatives and stewards of their finances. In a nutshell - if the shoe fits ladies, wear it and wear it well. We  highlight the four types of ‘financial shoes’ women can wear as well as the financial pitfalls they may encounter while wearing them.

The High, Stylish Stiletto
If you are a typical loner, logical, factual or analytical, then this is your type of shoe ladies.  Stilettos usually work alone, resemble power, they love name brands and like to take control of situations. Their characteristics typically sketch the bottom line of things. They are able to draft a sum of their overall debt for example (note: not the detail thereof).

What to do to prevent your Stilettos from hurting your feet?
Because Stilettos are not necessarily detail orientated, they need to be aware of certain downsides that can hurt their feet (finances). There is nothing wrong with a bit of showing off, but you should not exceed your monthly income with purchases. You should, therefore, be careful not to try and keep up with the Jones’, as your debt can quickly spiral out of control. Zeeva advises Stilettos to start with the basics by drawing up a ‘user-friendly’ budget and to stick to their shopping lists.

The Smart, Casual Pump
Pumps are the type of ‘financial shoes’ that love detail, planning, routine and discipline. Pumps can explain their budget within their budget as well as the exact amount of each debt that they have – that’s how detailed they are.

How NOT to over-wear your Pumps?
To all the Pumps out there: too much of a good thing, may not be the best thing. Be careful not to be too focused on all that detail, you can fall into a trap where you overextend your financial situation. Do you really need that extended warranty for the new fridge or double insurance for long-term investments?

The Comfy Sneaker
You can be sure to find the Sneaker in group conversations and outings. They just love to communicate, express themselves and they are indeed people and family focussed. Their and others’ emotions and moods play a big part in their lifestyle and financial decisions.

Who can step on your undone Sneakers’ shoelaces?
  • YOU - If you are a Sneaker, be careful and do not allow emotions or moods to get in the way of any decision making. A bit of pre-financial planning is your ideal fairy godmother to remind you not to spend money (that you don’t have) on yourself, your friends, colleagues and family members.
  • RETAILERS OR YOUR CHILDREN - It’s best to stick to your budget and not let the kids or others (like the retailer behind the counter) influence the number of items you buy in the end. Ask yourself the following questions: Do you really need the item? And can you afford it? 
The Statement Shoe
Are you the typical risk-taker (like investing in aggressive type of investments), a bit impulsive, love trends and usually see the bigger picture? If so, you are indeed the embodiment of funkiness itself. The Statement Shoe is a unique type of trendy shoe like the ‘gladiator’, for example.

Why a Statement Shoe can lose its funkiness and ruin an outfit?
By not keeping your finances ‘close’, not planning, having no budget and not saving for unexpected emergencies, you can definitely lose your uniqueness. Regarding investments - if you do take risks, take calculated risks. Also, don’t let your image get in the way by spending more than you earn and buying what you don’t need. We encourage Statement Shoes to avoid making impulsive decisions and start trying out some good financial habits (like budgeting and planning).

We are  a proud supporter of Women’s Month and wants to celebrate women not only during August, but also in future months (and years) to come. We encourages women to embrace their originality and to wear their ‘financial shoes’ with pride - and a bit of caution of course.

* The examples in this article are generalised, any resemblance to actual women or circumstances are purely coincidental.

 Zeeva is a Debt Management Program specifically designed for women by women.