More often than not, women are told to leave money matters to others – fathers, uncles, brothers and husbands. But in this power packed discussion, women dispel important myths and pitch for making money conversations, commonplace. Women are recognising it is crucial for them to have sufficient knowledge of finance and that investments can spur better returns. A combination of social awareness, investment talks, articles like these and governmental schemes have pushed women to broaden their investment canvas, and even get advise.
At the SheThePeople special show, “Wo Money Ki Baat” women from different professions spoke about the need to normalise the conversation on money matters. For Srushti Rao it was a wake up call when she became a mom. What was she doing about investments? “I have always earned a monthly salary but I also earn from other sources like selling my paintings, blogging assignments etc. I started to save a few years ago when my son was born as before that I was conscious of money but that is when I became more aware of the need to do it,” shares blogger and contemporary artist Rao.
How can one start? Before actually managing funds, it is important to normalize conversations on money matters. How often do women discuss money in closed quarters or when female friends just meet up to hang out together? Molly Tandon, Head of Marketing at Aditya Birla Sun Life Mutual Funds, said that she realized the need for this when she saw men do it all the time.
“Whenever I go out with my colleagues, I would say probably 95% of their conversations were around money for instance, how to make more money? How to manage the existing money? How to manage clients money? On the flip side, whenever I would go out with my female friends. the conversations were never about money. And I would wonder why were we not talking about money?”
But how is it that women, who manage all the financial decisions mostly of their homes, never tend to discuss it outside of it? “Women manage homes and financial budgets in a certain amount that they get and whether they have 10 parties in their house in a particular month, no men come to them to ask if they need more money? I think most of the time when we talk about money and any decision-making process, it is the fear of losing that restricts women from talking about money,” says Roopa Venkatkrishnan, who is an independent financial advisor.
Ansoo Gupta, who is an entrepreneur and a serial traveller, on the other hand, started to manage her funds at a very young age. “I remember for me it was part of adulthood and showing to everybody that I am also capable of it. I studied finance in my management course simply to understand the complexities of it. Even though I never wanted to take up a job in finance,” recounts Ansoo.
The fact that women are natural savers who will think twice before investing in a high-risk component is what makes women good with money. But that alone is not going to help us in taking charge of money today. We need to enhance our knowledge in different ways of investment and then take smart decision to save the maximum amount of money that we can.