I have grown up in a society where there are numerous complaints that if a woman is financially independent, she forgets her responsibilities. But the question I am forced to ask people is, does it mean it is wrong for a woman to have a financial freedom? During the weekend.
I got a chance to attend an event organized by a group of women known as Women of Hope Alive in Dar es Salaam. The aim of the event was to provide financial knowledge to various groups of women, who have joined community banks popularly known as “Vicoba”.
During the event, I was touched by the guest speaker, Amina Baamari, a lecturer at the University of Dar es salaam and personal finance consultant at Personal Finance Lounge @tzpersonalfinancelounge found on Instagram.
In her presentation, she provided crucial tips, which are worthy to be shared, on financial freedom for women. Even if to other people money is not everything, I have grown and seen how money provides stability and freedom to grab greater chances, take risks and go for new opportunities.
During an interview, we asked her why women are not experiencing financial freedom, even though they are working so hard, and even opt to join self-help groups to enable them have financial ability to help their families.
'Women need to invest more in Knowledge'. She pointed out, “It is true that nowadays women work so hard to have their own financial ability, but you find a woman venturing into business without a good understand of the business she is investing in”.
She said that women join various Vicoba groups and take loans to venture into business, but the problem arises when they realize that they have no experience in whatever they are engaged in.
“First and foremost you need to assess yourself by identifying the things you have passion for and which you will be doing without regrets. First passion, then money will follow,” she said.
She also said that women spend more time on social media chatting away and following social pages, which do not add any knowledge to them.
“I started providing personal finance consultancy free of charge on Instagram to help my fellow women on financial difficulties they faced, but I ended up receiving messages from men seeking financial help and showing an eagerness to learn,” she said, adding that it is high time women seek more knowledge, especially now that they are more focused on doing business.
Despite community banks (Vicoba), playing an important role in enabling groups of women access loans without any difficulty, mounting debts lead these women financial prison.
She said that mounting debts among women has become a major problem among many vicoba groups in Tanzania, saying that to avoid this situation; women must have plans for their money.
“Learn how to balance and manage the loans you receive from these groups by having focus on your plans. At the end of the day, you will not be stressed when the time for submitting your returns comes,” Ms Amina insisted.
She urged women to compile their spending habit, because when it comes to shopping and having a good time, women tend to forget some responsibilities and minimize their expenditure, because by doing this they will be in a good position to be financial free.
“You can use financial tools like Wallet App and money manager App in your tablets or smart phone, which will let you know how much money you have spent, she said, adding that soon they will come up with COBA Application which is in its final stages.
“We want every woman to feel free when it comes to matters of money, and this app will be more transparent to all members because everything will go digitally,” said Amina.