Why is it important for women to become financially independent?
In India, a general perception prevails that if the man of the house is earning sufficiently to provide financial stability, why do women need to worry about it. Financial independence however is a much larger perspective than just making a living, which gives a feeling of fulfilment. Financial independence must be considered as a need and not as a choice. Irrespective of the social status of being married, single, separated, widowed, or divorced it’s imperative for women to be financially independent for preparing herself for life altering events or emergencies such as lay- off spouse, untimely demise of earning member of the family or any other medical emergencies. The rising cost of living is another driver for ensuring financial independence so that the lifestyle is not compromised with the rising inflation and last but not the least is to feel morally strong and responsible.
What can women do to achieve financial independence?
Women have distinct emotional quotient than men when it comes to managing finances. They are more compassionate and thoughtful. Given the protective nature of women, the underlying motive for achieving financial independence is to ensuring wellbeing of her family, rather than meeting her own expense and lifestyle. Women generally tend to be future oriented and therefore tend to be more cautious about taking risks. But at the same time managing money efficiently is also important. With a disciplined and consistent way of investing, even the small amounts invested wisely on a consistent basis may generate fortune. To ensure it the first step is to create a budget and start saving a certain percentage at timely intervals. Next step is to open one separate bank account to operate it in desired way. ‘Start investing not only saving’ is the next step otherwise inflation would erode your savings, so starting an SIP with a small amount is recommended.
How can women strike a balance between their family’s and their own financial well-being and needs?
Women take the driver seat when it comes to taking care of the family. Its always enriching and empowering for women to contribute in both ways i.e. physically and financially. Women have come a long way, fighting for equal rights and opportunities and therefore need to balance between their own needs along with fulfilling for family. Building an emergency corpus for themselves should be a distinct goal apart from contributing for the regular family needs. Taking an insurance cover is must to ensure the financial protection for the kids.
How important is it for women to have financial protection mechanisms in place?
The one- stop solution for all the possible hardships a woman can face is financial protection mechanism, be it a volatile domestic environment, financial and medical emergencies, discriminatory social policies. Financial independence makes them self-sufficient, confident and gives them a sense of fulfilment.
What do women need to watch out for?
Women should start saving with the growth mindset. For creating a Contingency fund, RD or debt mutual funds can be looked at to start with. Gradually with the increased savviness, Women should gradually start Equity SIPs for long term wealth creation. Higher inflation adjusted returns would fetch real growth to the savings in long term.
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