It is easy to get dragged into the so-called instant gratification and ‘consumerist culture’ in these present times…

Marketing gimmicks can look very inviting and in various cases you have already, perhaps, set a bad financial example for those around you. So how do you control yourself around all the pressure to spend, spend, spend, while you’re trying to manage your hard-earned money ‘wisely’?

As Carla Oberholzer, debt adviser at DebtSafe, highlights: “You have to define your own money psychology first – the way you think about your money when you want to spend it. And, then make sure that you set the proper example of the ‘money picture’ that you want to portray – not only for yourself, but also for the dear ones that regularly get to see your spending habits in action.

So, how exactly do you set a financial-savvy example when using your money and  become a financial femtor (female mentor) to those around you?

Here are some suggestions that you can add to your own money psychology or thoughts, and, in the end, to lead by a good fiscal example:

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Don’t become part of debt-related statistics

According to DebtSafe’s recent Financial Reality 2019 survey, 48% of the 20 to 40-something female respondents indicated that they were behind with their debt payments.

Forty-seven percent of these age category women indicated that they were in arrears with their retail credit and 48% said they were behind with a loan repayment.  Credit is not a bad thing, but how you manage it influences your credit score and that has an effect on your overall life.

Talk is cheap – lead by a financial-savvy example

It is all good and well to tell your loved ones what they should do when it comes to spending money, but do you set the example? This is for both your children and your partner, as well as all those in your life who look up to you as a mentor.

If your child is standing next to you at the ATM do you only explain where the money comes from?

Have you taught your kids to do chores to earn some pocket money? Chores teach them to work hard for their money. You can teach them valuable lessons about saving it, and then show them a good example when they decide to spend their hard-earned money.

Include your loved ones in your frugal money psychology process and actions

It is valuable to include those close to you (say your household or family members) when it comes to budgeting, planning and deciding what is acceptable ‘money behaviour’.

Have a brainstorm meeting before you go out shopping, and when in the shop, for example, ask your child or spouse what they think about a certain situation or decision when it comes to spending a bit of money at that moment.

Be HONEST when things are tight

The worst thing that you can do is not to sketch a practical, real-life picture of your current finances – particularly with your partner.

Be honest when it is a difficult financial month, and share ideas about how your children, and loved ones can help you all get through the month.

You can think about options like improving budgeting methods, insisting on cooperation from each member, or researching where to get expert advice. In dire situations you can take a look at what the National Credit Regulator recommends.

This helps in the situation where a house or car are on the line due to payments being in arrears.

To set a good financial example for those you love is not easy, but it is possible. Decide what you think your household’s money psychology should be, and incorporate actions that go along with your frugal financial outlook.

You never know who is looking up to you and will follow in your footsteps when it comes to those financial behaviour patterns.


(Exclusive article for All4Women)