From excelling in areas like the arts, sports, governance to pursuing the professions of their choice,from winning the world with the beauty and grace to landing in space and beyond, women have come a long way in empowering themselves. Yet when it comes to handling their finances, a lot of women still leave it to the men (if not entirely, partially) in their lives.
Although most women understand the importance of being financially independent some lack the confidence in their own ability to manage finances well. However, women should know and believe the fact that they are equally good if not better at making sensible money decisions (imagine your saving skills or purchase choice).
Just like financial independence is paramount, confidence to manage one’s own money is important too. No matter what stage of life, each phase has individual goals and objectives which ultimately strive for one thing – Financial Freedom. And the last thing they want is financial worry to overshadow their lives.
We have discussed, asked questions and gained clarity from women who have gone through circumstances that needed financial independence and they have learnt it the hard way how to have one. Through our post we will help you with few things that women must do to achieve greater financial independence.
Plan for your finances for life
You are single or married or about to get married, all this shouldn’t come in your way of having a strong financial plan. If you are single, either by choice or by circumstance, you need to create a master plan that provides a sense of direction of how to steer your finances. Married women too need to actively participate in any financial plan of the family,whether they are contributors or not, as they stand to be affected as beneficiaries. “Many married women, may seem happily settled, but, in fact, don’t have any financial freedom.
They trust their partner way too much and don’t find it necessary to build a savings basket to cater to their own needs. As a result, if they are unhappy in their married lives, nothing much can be done as they have nowhere to go with the children and have no means to support a separate life” said Mitra, a single mother.
And even if anything goes smooth, think of it this way, as women, you can bring in an element of discipline and focus in the family’s financial plan (skill sets). So, otherwise also seek active involvement in putting together a financial plan.
Switch to savings from spending
This is ultimate and irrespective of men or women, having a savings budget is an important step towards financial independence. The idea is to help you monitor whether expenses are overshooting in a particular month and to hopefully curb them in the following months.
However, such a budget doesn’t help to track your savings. So, what you need is a savings budget. Decide how much you wish to save from your family income month.
Ideally you should push yourself to save 25-30% of the household income (very crucial). Those who don’t get a monthly pay cheque can fix a percentage of saving from the yearly pay.
Don’t be ignorant in money matters. Never
This is especially for people who are married. The way you know the likes and dislikes of your family and have a good grip on household needs and requirement, you need to have a good grip on finances too. Even if you don’t have an income of your own, you must know what your family’s income and sources are (salary/business, income from investments, rent, etc.).
Know how much life and health insurance the family has. Know where to look for the documents and contacts in the event you need them. Additionally, as a good practice, have access to the family’s savings and investments through joint accounts. Mishra, a business woman, married with two kids, said “It’s most important for women to encourage their husbands to have term life insurance policies with them as a nominee. Any liabilities should also be covered through term policies so that if something should happen to him, at least the family is debt free.”
Not all of us are experts here. Taking sound advice from time to time isn’t a bad thing after all. So you can hire a good financial planner who can answer all your money questions and guide you on making a comprehensive financial plan.
Beware of free advice from your bank RM, or insurance agent who may not consider your goal in the first place. Always remember, a good planner will focus on your goals and risk behaviour to make a goal-based financial plan, and help you stay focused to achieve those goals on time. That’s basic.
Financial independence is not just about having funds in your individual and joint accounts and investments; it’s also about the ability to take strong decisions in times of need and uncertainty. It’s a big step and requires a shift in your attitude and lifelong beliefs; but it’s not unachievable and having achieved it will ensure a comfortable and meaningful life.
Our co-founder Rashi Bhargava advocates Financial Literacy and Financial Wellness in women, she believes a financially empowered women is not just more confident but also more productive and creates a perfect work-life balance. Her IAPs for women are all about the day-to-day financial issues and concerns of almost every Indian family and she works on creating a pathway solution devised out of your financial standing as per your life goals.
If you wish to enquire more about the programs or you wish to set up an appointment for a one on one discussion, write to us on firstname.lastname@example.org or connect here.