Stereotypes are not an uncommon phenomenon in our Indian society. One of the most common ones we hear is how women do not know how to manage their money. I realised the seriousness of this stereotype after speaking to a few of my clients who said that majority of the spending of the family was done by the women. They would say how their wives and kids would buy unnecessary items instead of focusing on the importance of planning finances.
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A few weeks ago, a client of mine came in with his daughter with a conundrum. When I asked what was bothering him, he said he was in a dire need for his daughter to understand and focus on money rather than just blindly spending. He jokingly said with the lifestyle she leads, he would soon be bankrupt. I realised that he was not alone in such a situation. There are many indulgent fathers and husbands who realise too late about involving women in financial decisions.
The question that arises here is why should women also focus on finances? Here’s why:
It’s better to be prepared: It’s a sad fact but true. Most women do not know how to balance a cheque book. They often go about in life thinking that their husbands or the male members of their family will take care of them. However, in case of sudden death of these members, women are often found to be left in lurch as not only their current inflow of income has stopped but so has all her future finances that would satisfy her goals and desires. To avoid such situations, it becomes more than imperative to not only understand the most basic financials of the family but also to find a way to continue the same, so that your future goals are not under threat.
Avoiding the debt trap: Focusing on finance personally gives women an in-depth idea of how to avoid the debt trap. They become responsible for their own money and paying off their own credit card bills. A client of mine wanted his wife to understand the importance of managing her money. While she used to have a substantial earning, she would inevitably end up borrowing money from him to pay her credit card bills. We created a small project for her, where every time she swiped her credit card and borrowed money from her husband, she would not only have to repay him in a specific time but also pay him interest on those borrowings. This helped her not only to curb her splurges but also helped her in avoiding the debt trap.
Investments led to fulfillment of goals: Women often think that investments are for men who handle money. This is an urban legend. Some of the best investments that I have handled are for my women client base. Focusing on your finances through proper investment channels can not only help you to fulfill your dreams and goals on time, but also help you to create a savings pool that will help you in the future. A planner can help you not only find a good invest plan but also help explain the jargon that women find difficult to comprehend.
Money Management: It is a myth that women cannot manage their money. If you don’t believe me then look how your wife or mother runs your household with a limited budget. However, focusing on finances is a different league. Focusing on finance means not only spending on your basic needs but also having enough money saved and invested to accomplish your goals. A certified planner can help you to create a budget according to your needs and also help set a plan that will help accomplish your goals.
Financial independence: Financial independence is not an easy thing to achieve, especially for women. Even when employed, they are dependent on their husbands or fathers for financial support. Focusing on the smallest financial need can help achieve that. If you have trouble in achieving that, a financial planner can help you to understand the key areas you need to concentrate on and how you can curb on the unnecessary spending.
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Women are a strong force that can change the pave a way to a better future. With a little bit of help and insight, they can be on their way to be great money managers.
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