Hailing from a familial background, where women are kept out of the more important financial decisions, I have always found it difficult to develop a relationship with money. But the impetus to live my life on my terms and the consequent challenges that I have to face made me realise the importance of financial fitness. As a single woman in her early twenties, the most important weapon that I should possess to survive any struggle in life is financial independence and security. Why should a single woman be so conscious about financial fitness? Here are the reasons that made me understand it.
Financial security gives the power to make your decisions
A single woman in India who has crossed twenty years of her age is always seen as a prospective bride. As soon as she completes her conventional education and has a job in hand, families start forcing her to get married. What is the way out of it? To assert your own choices and plans and this is where financial independence and security becomes important. No matter whether you have many degrees or a smart resume, until and unless you are financially independent and secured, your decisions as a woman will never be taken seriously. So it is important that single women not only earn but also manage their money. Financial fitness is the most evident way to show that you understand the world and can take your own decisions. And once you have secured yourself for future, you can easily live your dream life- continue your education, travel, live alone, decide not to marry or marry someone of your choice! No one will stop you because financial fitness will give you that confidence to survive on your own, with or without the needed support of the family.
Makes you independent throughout the life
If single women start taking charge of their money, they will not have to depend on their fathers or husbands for managing their money. The age-old belief that women need to be taken care of by their fathers or husbands will break only when women pay their own bills. With health insurance, FDs and other savings, women can take care of their own needs. Besides, with a good financial investment that covers a family, a woman can become the “man of the house”, taking care of their parents’ financial need. Furthermore, if women are caught in an unsuccessful marriage or have to outlive their spouses, financial security is the only way to fend for themselves and survive through it.
Helps you cope up with the wide gender pay gap
Another very important reason why single women should be financially secured for the future is the existing gender pay gap in the firms. According to Monster Salary Index Report 2019, women earn 19 per cent less their male counterparts. Besides, the women workforce in India is very less compared to men which means that there are more uncertainty and chances of losing the job. If a woman does not have future goals, financial security, and is hit by a crisis like job loss, it becomes harder for her to manage than for men. She has to deal with a personal financial crisis and the identity crisis caused by the pressure of the society to get married so that the husband can take care of her bills. Therefore, it is important that at least 10 per cent of whatever a woman earns should go in emergency funds so that she can fend for herself in a critical situation without having to give up on her dreams.
Moreover, women often have to take career breaks for taking care of their sick parents or maternity leaves. This affects her progression and lowers her pension and retirement benefits. Since women live longer than men, it is important that they ensure their financial security for the retirement age too.
When a woman is single and working, she is the most independent, defiant and strong.
The wise decisions she makes at this stage have a long-term effect on her future. So, if a single woman takes charge of her money today, she will continue to do so and live her life on her own terms tomorrow. After all, if women do not stand for themselves, then no one will.
Article in partnership with AMFI, Mutual Funds Sahi Hai. Mutual Fund investments are subject to market risk. Read all scheme related documents carefully.