Money Matters: single woman

You work for your money, but does your money work for you? As the financial year comes to a close, we ask the question, how well do you know your money?

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SINGLE WOMAN
Dipanjali Rao (Digital product manager)

Natalie Robertson Photography

What are your financial goals?
To have a comfortable retirement; have enough money to deal with health problems.

How do you plan your cash flow (income and expenses)?  Do you use a budget planner?
I do a budget in Excel. I take a look at it once in a while, though I should manage my budget more actively than I do.

What is your Plan B in case you can’t work?  Do you have an emergency fund, or insurance policies to help out?
I have savings put aside that I don’t touch.

If you could cut back on one frivolous expense, what would that be?
Coffee, eating out and dating. Though dating isn’t frivolous, I have it down to an art form.

Do you send money back home? Or vice versa?
No. Though I did when I was paying back my student loan.

Have you thought about acquiring property before settling into a long-term relationship?
I’m not sure there’s a relationship between acquiring property and a long-term relationship? I would always recommend that women, especially, maintain independent financial stability irrespective of whether they’re in a relationship or not.

Will you discuss money matters with a prospective partner? Will their attitude to money be an important consideration?
Absolutely. I’d need a long-term partner to be reasonably financially secure with the ability to take care of himself. I’d also want him not to have any hang-ups about me earning more, because it’s very likely that I will.

Do you deal with your finances differently as compared to your non-Indian friends?  How does it differ?
I’m not sure I spend money similar to most Indians; my life is quite different to most Indian women/people my age. I’m single, and spend way more money on coffee, dumplings and in Bunnings than I should.

When choosing a job or career, which is more important: job satisfaction or income? Has this always been so?
For me, it is more about an opportunity rather than satisfaction as such. I would definitely turn down more money if the organisation offering the role violated my personal ethics. I’ve not actively thought about earning more money, but I have been privileged in a way that the work that I do is financially well compensated, so I don’t have to choose between the two.

Do you use your credit card as a tool for getting by during the month (repaying it at the end) or do you accumulate debt because you spend too much?
I spend too much. I should just cut my credit card up and throw it away.

Do you use any tax saving methods? Are you aware of them?
Nope. I don’t spend any time thinking about tax, other than getting my tax return done.

Tips and tricks you use to curb expenses and stop spending and start saving? Leave the credit card at home or skip one altogether. Do a budget and identify where you spend most money. Coffee, eating out, buying unnecessary stuff seems cheap but adds up in the end. Check your bank account regularly: it gives you a sense of control over how much you’re spending, and you can correct the course you’re in instead of realising it after you’ve spent too much. It’s good advice that I should follow more closely.

What do you understand about wills or estate planning?
Do they allow you to will stuff to your cats? I should find out. On a serious note, no I don’t.

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