Manage my purse: Sources of income

Have you every wondered why you are always running out of cash? Why your money never seems enough? Some people blame their worries on the high cost of life, chronic spending or mismanagement of finances. But the truth of the matter is that most people simply believe that they do not earn enough.

They say that in today’s society a household needs two incomes. I say that today, a woman simply cannot afford relying solely on one source of income. Women should not shy away from being ambitious, climbing the ladder and negotiating a high salary or cutting a good deal. With your wealth vision in mind, become a go getter.

Main source of income

It is important for you to know your worth at the position you hold. During interviews, young graduates are either clueless or truly unrealistic about how high their earnings should be. In informal societies like most African countries, wages are not publicly known. So you have to do your homework and investigate by asking your parents, older siblings, peers or professionals in the same field to get a ballpark. Also get to know your future employer, how employees are treated there and how well and often they are paid. Don’t forget to work hard, make your own promotion to rise to a higher position at a later date.

A young woman I met started as an intern at a real estate company straight out of school. Less than two years later she is now the manager. She learned fast, worked hard and positioned herself to be chosen at that position.

Similarly, if you are a business owner, understand your market and target your clients accordingly. Who are your competitors and how much they charge for similar services? Who are your clients and how much you should charge them.

At the end of the day, you’re striving to earn sufficiently to exceed your minimum expenses and have enough to enjoy life. Sometimes, it’s tempting to just take any job offer. That’s acceptable when starting out or when you have been unemployed for long. But you have to be proactive about find where and how you can better earn a living. The same applies to your business: make sure that the prices at which you sell your goods or services are reasonable and especially profitable.

woman-moneySide business

In a globalized world of multi tasking, networking and career changing, one can earn money from her passion. We all have skills and talents, it’s time to know what you are a truly good at (other than your profession). A friend of mine completed her graduate degree and took night classes in photography, her passion. Fastforward today, she has perfected her craft and does commission work for organizations like Amnesty International while pursuing her job at an NGO.

Another friend of mine is a gifted painter and artist. She studied management but a few years later when she found herself unemployed, she reconnected with her passion. Today, she is a manager and also sells her marvellous art work at a hefty price to select customers.

So, whether it’s art, culinary skills, fashion, entertainment, real estate, literature, science or whatever, there is a wide range of businesses that you can run. As long as you are professional about it and make sure that whatever you offer is good quality, you are likely to be make additional money out of your  skills.

Tip 1: Never be so desperate to offer your services for free. Every good service is worth paying for.

Tip 2: Your side business should never present a conflict of interest with your main job. It should never prevent you from attending work and performing well. Also, you should never be a direct competitor to your employer. You’ll end up losing on both ends.

Purse pulse: A new month is upon us, who has established her monthly budget, keeping track of her expenses?

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GoWoman is the reawakening of the 21st Century African Woman - a bi-annual magazine sharing the complete stories of the African Woman who finds a way or makes one. We do this for self-love, for womankind and for the continent.

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