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Work-life balance for smart women


The Star Online - Tapping the 50 Plus Market by Carol Yip

By Carol Yip
Thursday Oct 28, 2010



Today's women are continually challenged by the demands of being a successful career woman and a loving wife. They report that their lives are a juggling act that includes multiple responsibilities at work, heavy meeting schedules and business trips. They then return home to manage the daily responsibilities of life and home, and at the same time, provide financial support for self and the family. When do they find time to enjoy their successes?

Smart career women will know how to balance time and energy for career achievements and a happy life. Smart women also know how to create a positive balance in their bank account. It is a personal choice to live a balanced life where they enjoy a quality life, coupled with clear financial directions. The desired outcome clearly requires effective planning and putting personal effort to work. So don’t procrastinate – start now!

 Here are five smart strategies to help you. 

Strategy  1       


Take charge of your work and control your finances



Budget your time, both in and out of the office (schedule your time efficiently at work). Don’t let work drown you and lose your freedom to do things yourself. Take leave and plan time off for self-indulgences, family and friends.



Prepare a weekly and monthly financial budget- preparing a budget will make you think about your finances. It will help you to track where your money is supposed to go and you'll be able to be in better control of your spending.


Strategy 2   


Prioritise your work and spending



Plan your work in such a way that you can leave on time, at least three days per week, for leisure activities like going to the gym, walking in the park, going for a movie, or just simply spending time at home. There are times when working late just can't be helped. But if you prioritise your work - complete with what is urgent or important( and leave for the rest of the day)- you can leave your office on time.


Be realistic about what you can or can't afford. There are times when you can spurgle to pamper yourself, but not all the time. You must make a point to stretch your money each time you go shopping, even for groceries and essentials. Cut back on expenses that aren't important. Make a conscious decision when you make a purchase. Ask yourself, "Is there a need for it?" This way, you can balance your monthly salary with wise spending and smart savings. Money not spent is saved for the future.


Strategy 3   


Stay focused at work and with your investment



Control interruptions and distractions - Stay focused while in office. Schedule a block of time during the day without meetings when you can focus on your tasks with minimal interruptions. Don't waste time in office by chatting on the phone or surfing the internet(if it's not for work). Instead use your time smartly to complete the work according to your boss instructions and wishes. By doing so , you have a good chance for your next salary increase and job promotions


Don't be easily tempted just because it sounds too good to be true. Make an effort to learn about investments, like property investments, to grow your money and don't be greedy. Understanding how investments work is the first step towards making your money works for you. Instead  on others for advice, be financially knowledgeable- read book, magazines and attend workshops on personal finance. Once you're armed with the neccesarry know- how, you'll be confident with your investments and will not be caught off guard or make foolish mistake.




Strategy 4        

Plan your career and financial future


Explore the availability of flexi-time, job sharing or work from home. Negotiate working flexible job options with your boss. If succesful, it will be a helpful solutions. You can have more time for your family. You will also have more time for personal growth, pursue your interests or enhance your skills and knowledge.


The best way towards financial success is financial planning. A good financial plan can help you  keep your finances on track to achieve short-term and long-term goals. You'll find that making small manageable changes according to your plans can create an impact on your finances, just like getting a salary increase. For instance, keeping your monthly expenses as low as possible will save you big money over time to buy your dream house earlier than planned.


Strategy 5         

Make good use of weekends and year-end bonus



Plan your weekend with activities like short trips, or just something fun, with family or friends. You are not supposed to bring your work home for the weekends. Otherwise, you'll be caught  in the work-life balance trap. Plan, prioritise and schedule as efficiently as possible your workdays, and don't compromise your weekend.


Two often-repeated mantras in personal finance are "Pay yourself first" and "Settle your debts as soon as possible". It's wise to put your year end bonus into good use. Allocate some to your emergency fund(having savings for emergencies can really keep you out of trouble financially and you sleep better at night).  Use a portion of the bonus to your housing loan or credit card debts. Save the balance on an investment fund with high return or buy another property to increase your investment portfolio for your future retirements.


These are five simple strategies that can add some control and balance to your life. When you find that you are overwhelmed or are having a bad day, just step back and re-evaluate. Recall that these juggling and balancing acts that you perform as part of your everyday circus act are truly appreciated by your loved ones and colleagues.

If you have any ideas or feedback on this topic, share it with Carol Yip at carolyip@aboutmoneytalk.com


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