Financial independence gender equality are closely linked. The question of whether to be financially independent arises in a woman’s life but not in a man’s life, ever wondered why? Why are men considered to have financial independence irrespective of the circumstances while for women it’s a mere choice? How is it exactly that one becomes financially independent? Answering all these questions and many more here’s what you must know about financial independence and how to achieve it.
If one looks at the situation from an unbiased perspective, every person must be financially independent which allows one the power to take your own decisions. Hence, this is something that women must not keep questioning about. In fact, women must educate themselves and grow wiser in the subject of finance.
Financial independence in the Indian context
In the Indian context, men are respected for one so-called reason, for being the sole bread earners of their family. Even though in reality, it is the women of the family who support men and their professional obligations by running the household smoothly, their position is considered to be inferior as they are not in control of their own finances.
The women who are financially independent in life are in control of their overall decisions which may boil down to finances ultimately, experience respect and freedom in society. Hence, unarguably financial independence for a woman is probably the first thing she must think about. Read on to find out how to get better at handling your finances-
1. Acknowledge your individual identity.
Irrespective of whose daughter you are, whose wife you become, and whose mother you are going to be, relations must never bother a woman’s identity. In our country, women are merely seen as a burden who is initially dependent on their father, then husband, and ultimately their children. A woman’s identity and her life simply vanishes away in worrying about others. Hence, the first step is to acknowledge the importance of individual identity.
You are your own person and standing freely on your feet is your primary goal. So dream about financial independence for life and not just a single wedding day. Remember to be self-sufficient and earn your own money. And educate yourself well to invest in the right places. The most important thing, you must tell yourself is, your money is your money and you are not obliged to spend it on anyone. So save for yourself.
2. Plan your expenses
Now that we have established the fact that your life doesn’t revolve around any other person, remind yourself of your goals. Is it to buy your house? Or getting yourself a car? Investing in a new business? So set a goal and plan your expenses in that way.
Many women trust their spouses with the finance so blindly that they don’t even realise that they are losing control over their lives. Never say that finances are not my cup of tea. If you taught yourself how to earn your own money, it is merely a life skill to manage it. So be wise and plan your finances on your own.
Why are men considered to have financial independence irrespective of the circumstances while for women it’s a mere choice?
3. Save first, spend later
A common mistake that most women do is that they make the list of spendings on the day they get their hard-earned salaries or profits. But according to a wise saying in the finance industry, one must save first and spend later. On the day, you get your money in your hand, plan the places where you’ll lock it for the future, or invest it to maximise your profits.
The women who spend their earnings first may eventually end up in a potentially dangerous situation in the longer run. It may happen that one may not have the surplus funds to fall back on when needed in times of emergency. It may also happen that while satisfying the momentary urge of shopping you are missing out on the luxuries that you may get after the accumulation of these funds which just got wasted on unnecessary items.
Check the best mutual funds or stocks that suit you. Get help from a financial advisor. Calculate how much do you need to invest in order to achieve the goal you have set for yourself. After investing and saving your money, spend from what’s left. But NEVER save from what’s left after spending. Hence, get smarter about your finances.
4. Don’t be afraid to seek help
One can simply say, I am bad at finances. Oh, I don’t understand any of this. I hate math! But remember that your ignorance towards your own finances will only bring you down. Giving excuses won’t solve your problem. Seek the right help.
There are tons and tons of video tutorials out there on the internet which teach the basics of finances. Try them. When going for a higher level of investments, seek help from experienced financial advisors to minimise the risk. But never be afraid to ask for advice. This is your money and you must know about it. Plus if you do the calories calculation in order to look slim every day then why not calculate a little bit of basic math to earn more.
5. Invest more
In case you are the type of person who saves the money in a safe place that has no returns, you are going in a loss. Money is a concept that changes its value. A simple pen that was priced at Rs 2 a few years back will be at Rs 20 today. How? The answer is inflation. Money loses its value over time.
If you want to avoid your own money becoming lesser and lesser in value with time, invest in the right places. There are many options outs there. There is gold, stock market, mutual funds, government securities. One may also think about real estate, fixed deposits. And leave the myth behind that fixed deposits to need tons of money. Nope! There are things called recurring fixed deposits where you can invest an amount every month and ultimately the interest is compounded and you get a good fat interest at the end of five or ten years.
But all these methods need determination and consistency from your side. So own up your money. Take control of your finances and gain control of your life.