Let’s talk about money. The currency is synonymous with wealth on one end of the spectrum and survival on the other. For some men, it is an essential part of being, and functions as a determining factor for provision and leadership in families and households.
While the world has since evolved from this patriarchal view, with many couples splitting the financial responsibilities, there are still those male counterparts who feel the need to bear the brunt of certain obligations. According to financial adviser Carlton Stewart, men naturally love to be in a position to support and to ensure things are in order financially. Because of this, they sometimes take more interest in the area of finance and money.
Stewart, who has been an active member of the financial sector since 2003, has decided to put his money knowledge to informative use by providing financial coaching via group sessions and individual one-on-one coaching sessions.
“I’ve met many people who aren’t handling money properly, and, as a result, make bad decisions financially. Most of these bad decisions are rooted in not having the know-how or right information. So I ventured out to educate people to improve their financial lives,” he told Flair.
Over the last two years, the numbers wizard has successfully provided financial education independently via social-media platforms. In recent times, he is offering free financial coaching to persons assisting with savings and debt-management strategies.
Stewart’s road to financial security had a few potholes along the way. Although his first job gave him the financial independence he desired, he lacked the knowledge to maintain solid savings.
“I took out my first credit card and felt like a king! The biggest mistake I made was to swipe and use the credit card even when it wasn’t necessary. By the end of one year, when I added up what I had spent using my credit card, it was more than what I ever had in my savings, and that was a light bulb [moment] for me,” he confessed.
Men, Stewart argued, are now facing varying challenges balancing responsibilities and providing support while being affected with job losses and reduced salaries. He weighed in on specific areas of money moves when it comes to those who wore the pants in the house, like budgeting. “From my experience, many men don’t really budget, and that has also placed a negative impact on their ability to pivot properly when financial crises suddenly or inadvertently kick in,” he said.
This is why he created programmes that give participants the opportunity to receive detailed personalised attention to their current financial position. Sometimes, a fresh eye on your position with expert objective coaching is all you need. “I assist with crafting your budget, share tips to track expenses and debt-management strategies. You are also given the opportunity to get clarity on financial terms and a better understanding of basic personal financial management.”
On the matter of investment versus savings, his original preference is savings. But with increased knowledge of investment and the potential profit, Stewart is definitely excited about investment. “With investment comes higher risk, albeit higher rewards, and as such, I try to balance the approach. But I’m definitely a savings kind of man.”
He shares these five financial tips for men to practise:
- Look at ways to increase your income stream
- Do your budget!
- Spend less then you earn, especially during these times
- Ensure savings is carved out in your budget and stick to your savings plan
- Once you have sufficient savings, start looking at investment opportunities