Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

Many South African women live from month to month and save far less than their male counterparts. This emerged at a Liberty masterclass in Durban on Tuesday‚ where experts unpacked the financial planning habits of South African women.

Statistics SA says 41.3% of households are headed by a woman.

According to financial services company Liberty‚ while women play a pivotal role in joint household finances‚ socioeconomic challenges make financial planning more complex.

Liberty financial expert Daphne Rampersad told the media gathering that many women had little savings and relied heavily on their salaries to pay their monthly expenses.

"Women live longer‚ earn less and save less than men. Having a proper financial plan in place allows women to be independent‚" said Rampersad.

The need for long-term investments was paramount to achieve this‚ she added.

"It’s daunting and complex and research shows that women tend to shy away from long-term investment. But research also shows that women do

well at investment‚ once they get going."

Rampersad said having a "financial awakening" — an event that forced a person to realise they needed to take control of their money — was the key to financial freedom.

"Never be dependent on anyone else’s income. Women need to identify their spending triggers and address them."

Rampersad said women often spiralled into debt when they spent on big events such as Christmas‚ Diwali and Eid.

"Life is not linear‚ things happen‚ make sure you have a financial plan in place to deal with eventualities‚" said Rampersad.