Most parents have an idea about the milestones they'd like to see their children achieve. While marriage and motherhood would come high up in the list, financial security on the other hand tends to feature lower, or perhaps, in some cases it simply isn’t there. We must ask the question, why must a girl worry about finances? Is that her husband’s job? For that's what peers would say? With changing times more and more women are opting to either marry late or not marry at all. Who then, would manage money for these single women? Which is why financial security should be a milestone for every girl, and it should come way above as a priority than marriage and “settling down”. Here are five things which parents and women must keep in mind, when it comes to financial planning among single women.
Parenting doesn’t end with marrying a daughter away
Parenting is a lifetime job. However, some parents feel that their responsibilities end towards their daughter once she is married off. She is someone else’s responsibility now. However, no one knows what fate holds for any of us. Thus it is parents’ responsibility to make their daughter financially independent and efficient. Why must she depend on anyone, when it comes to managing money? Why not inculcate an interest towards financial planning since early age, so that she grows into a confident young woman, who won’t have to depend on anyone to take care of her money, irrespective of her marital status.
With changing times more and more women are opting to either marry late or not marry at all. Who then, would manage money for these single women?
Don’t tell her that women are poor at managing money
Who runs the home? Women. Who manages the payments of household help and grocery on monthly basis? Women. Who saves bits and scrapes as a backup in times of need? Women. What more proof do you need that finances and women are compatible? Just because not many maybe well versed with financial jargons doesn’t mean that women are not capable of handling finances.
Make finance a part of her education
Starting early is the key to being a confident financially independent woman. And what better way than to start early. As author Madhuri Banerjee puts it, “Financial planning is a life skill like cooking or swimming.” Thus we must encourage girls to gaining this skill just as we encourage them to learn how to cook or drive. Starting young also means that you aren’t leaving it to the last moment. So when time takes turn for worse in your life, financial planning would be one thing you wouldn’t have to worry about.
Financial planning is a life skill like cooking or swimming. - Madhuri Banerjee
Author Sreemoyee Piu Kundu says, “I started managing my money from college when I started home tutorials to earn my own pocket money. I belonged to a very middle-class family. And this was my first brush with earning my own keep. Given that in India the divorce rates are less than 1 %, one of the reasons for women to stay in dysfunctional marriages according to me is the low self confidence women have with managing their own finances. We have one of the highest attrition rates with most women willingly dropping out of the work force due to various personal reasons. We must inculcate the essence and importance of economic empowerment in our daughters. Getting a job. Having their own bank account and health insurance. Saving for getting a home and car and planning for old age is more important. I believe even if I have a partner, my money is mine.”
One of the reasons for women to stay in dysfunctional marriages according to me is the low self confidence women have with managing their own finances. - Sreemoyee Piu Kundu
There is a certain amount of hesitation among parents, to let their daughters be independent and autonomous. They would rather encourage her to be adjusting and selfless, than authoritative and in control of her own life. The way we see married life as a woman’s ultimate destiny prevents parents from training their girls to be free. And yes it is possible to be married and financially independent!
Jessica Xalxo, who currently works as an editorial intern at a website says, “When I started to earn a stipend at the age of 17, the first thing my mother advised me to do was "to save at least half, if not more,” of the amount I was earning. My financial strategy has always been to save and invest, whether it be in mutual funds or in PPF (Public Provident Fund), because I want to have the stability to enable myself to take risks, learn and experience new things and to never have to depend on anybody but myself in the near future (privilege does get involved here). I'm not the most erudite when it comes to money and I'm still learning when it comes to managing my finances.”
I want to have the stability to enable myself to take risks, learn and experience new things and to never have to depend on anybody but myself in the near future. - Jessica Xalxo
Prepare for the worst
It is natural for every person to hope for the best possible future for themselves. We all have dreams and hopes and we all deserve them to come true. But alas, life isn’t a bed of roses, and rejections and setbacks are as much part of our lives as affection and success. Women are very practical creatures, but we have been conditioned to dream of a rosey future, replete with a perfect house and an efficient and loving husband blessed with a long life. No need seems too hard to be fulfilled through those rose-tinted glasses.
But it is important to teach girls the importance of being practical in life. Your efficient husband may still need a helping hand when it comes to running the household. The EMIs must be shared and savings planned, keeping in mind practical setbacks anyone could suffer in a lifetime, like untimely death, unemployment, financial loss or unforeseen expenditure due to sickness etc. When women walk into life with such a mindset, they automatically develop an inclination to save and invest.