WOMEN are more in control of their finances than ever before. This Women’s Month is a great time to assess your finances, pin-point where you want to be and refine your financial focus.“Women have come a long way when it comes to control of money and finances,” says Eunice Sibiya, head of Consumer Education at FNB. According to FNB data, women make up 35% of FNB’s Housing Finance book, which is the bank’s affordable housing options; they also have the lowest default rate. Further, FNB data also shows that women lead in terms of good banking behaviours, by swiping their cards, withdrawing at retailers instead of ATMs and banking less in branches, saving in terms of banking fees. “Women have more control of the household budget, their own spending and working towards financial goals than before. But it is always a good idea to take a step back and reassess where you are financially,” says Sibiya. Carve out some time for yourself to go through your own finances, and your own goals. “Our goals and dreams change as we grow, so it is important to take a step back every now and then and reassess our financial standing,” says Sibiya. Have you reached your goal or have your goals changed? These can be saving towards a house, your child’s education, or finding ways to supplement your income. Understanding your finances within context is also important, whether you are single or have a family. “If you have a family, ensure you are involved in your family finances,” says Sibiya. “Go through all the aspects such as what debt you as a family have, if that is a home loan, vehicle finance or credit cards. It is also imperative that you go through what insurance policies, savings and investments you have as a family.” Whether you are single or have a family, find ways that you can contribute positively, financially. “During the assessment find solution such as spotting inefficiencies, like credit cards or store cards with high interest rates or wasted spending that could be utilised in a more positive manner. All of these actions will ensure that you are a positive financial influence in your life and those around you,” says Sibiya.