The best advice I can give to any woman is to always plan on being single, says financial advisor Susan Williams…..

If you have that mindset before you enter or are involved in a relationship, you only need worry about your emotions at the time of divorce or a break-up of a partnership….

How does a woman safeguard herself financially?

 Simple â?? stay out of debt. Credit cards, overdrafts and clothing accounts cloud your reality of what you are paying and what you are spending.

Make your credit cards work for you

If you have a credit card make sure it is working for you. For example a Discovery credit card pays you a minimum of  5% a month on total purchases from Pick â??n Pay and if you register for Vitality health foods online (does not cost you a cent if you are on Vitality) you get a further 25% back on healthy foods at Pick â??n Pay. In this way, you can save 33% a month by choosing where and how to shop.

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Many companies have loyalty benefits for clients â?? make sure that you are getting the benefit of the card and watch card fees and interest!

Pay yourself first!

You are part of your budget, savings is part of your monthly budget â?? it does not come after all your money has been spent because inevitable there is more month than money. You should be saving 10% of your income every month.

A smart move would be to take the money you save monthly if you did have a loyalty card and invest that into unit trusts â?? then you really are on a win, win situation!

Know where your money goes

Each time you purchase anything â?? ask yourself is this getting me closer or further away from my goal in making myself financially secure?

 Absorb what you sign for â?? how many of us make purchases on a monthly or daily basis and do not consciously absorb how much we are spending? It is the unconscious spending that gets people into trouble!

Understand your insurance and investment policies

Often women pay for these products with little understanding of what they will do for them and where they are invested â?? remember this is your money not the brokerâ??s â?? it makes an impact on your life not theirs!

Do not sign surety for anyone no matter how much you love him.

Susan Williams of Susan Mercer and Associates is a lifestyle protector and wealth coach. Contact her at susan@wealthcoaching.co.za or 031 266 3313 / 082 57 37 243.