Financial independence is the cornerstone of growing your business, building a brand and even getting to know yourself. ETNOW’s Anchor Avanne Dubhash shares her views on what matters most.

I know. It’s daunting. The numbers, the pages, the clauses and the fine print. ‘Finance’ for some reason conjures up an image of my math tuition teacher in the eighth grade – Mr. Rammamurthy; slightly balding, bespectacled, poring over masses of paper, furiously punching numbers on his ‘Casio’ calculator. And sometimes, I think that’s where part of the problem lies. The deeply engrained impression, that anything to do with ‘finance’ must be handled by someone well- ‘finance-ey’. Someone brainy. Someone nerdy. Someone that’s…. well, not you.

But here’s the thing– that someone can and more importantly SHOULD be you (minus the balding and specs, of course). Being financially responsible is equivalent to being independent and empowered. So before you speed dial your accountant (or dad), why not go over my tips on

8 Ways To Stay Financially Smart.

Tune in.

Think of it as a binge watching session on Netflix. Watch the Budget, flick through the business news channels, read the pink papers- get a feel of what’s going on. What are the current tax slabs? How are the stock markets performing? What’s the Finance Minister saying about banks? Find out. You don’t want to be caught off-guard when your accountant spews jargon at you.

Just Do It!

Invest. Yourself. The only way to know how to handle your money, is by actually handling it! Mutual funds, SIPs, stock markets- the world (of finance) is your oyster! Ask for help, keep the amount minimal, take an informed decision and just do it!

Hey, Big Spender.

Now don’t beat yourself up for buying those must-have shoes or trendy handbag but at the same time, know where to stop- or start for that matter. Keep in mind Thomas Jefferson’s golden words, “Never Spend Money Before You Have It.”

Who’s gonna pay the bill?

Not the Spanish or the Portuguese.

Not the Israelis not the Saudis

You’re gonna pay the bill!

True story.

Bills have due dates that need to be adhered to. Strictly. Just about making your credit card payment on time doesn’t take you to the Hall of Fame of financial restraint. Say hello to phone reminders!

List, list, list!

An unassuming yet powerful tool! I have a sheet (shocker!) of all the expenses I make- Groceries/Transport/Travel etc. And they do elicit a gasp or two at times! Did I really spend that much on milk and eggs last month??!! The list puts things into perspective and can help you completely overhaul your daily spending patterns. #savinggoals

Diversify!

Dad says Bonds, Mom says Gold, husband – equities; all effective investment avenues. Ladies, diversification is the name of the game. That said; make sure you don’t have your finger in too many pies. Appropriate diversification is vital- both in terms of returns and peace of mind!

S.O.S!

I don’t want to sound dramatic, but with all the crazies in this world – it’s imperative to save up for a rainy day. So have an emergency fund, a piggy bank of sorts that you dip into only when there is an actual emergency.

Know-it-all!

Drown out the noise and weed out what’s relevant. People love giving spiels on what a killing they made investing, all the while conveniently omitting their misfortunes. So, learn to distinguish whose advice you should heed to and the times you just have to nod and smile politely.

So who’s ready to take control of their finances? Think Maria Bartiromo– not Gordan Grecko.

Views are author’s own