Everybody seems to be talking about women empowerment but nobody tells us what to do – exactly! So how do women empower themselves? Karate classes? Self-defense techniques? Badass attitude? Don’t think so!
Not just physically, emotionally and mentally but financially too there’s a need for empowerment. Women comprise 37% of India’s work force and they are earning at par with men across all working sectors. Finally, the wage gap is shrinking and in the next ten years, it is estimated that women will equal men in wages as well as positions in multinational companies. This is good news for all women! But what we all need to understand is that earning money is not just enough. Financial literacy plays a key role in your life and that can either break you or make you. Ironically, women were always associated with cooking, health, wellness of the family and emotional security. Knowing about finances, banks, types of savings, how to save, when to save, how to trade in stock markets, what’s happening in the country’s budget too are important for a woman. It is definitely not rocket science. A little math and knowledge about how money works will make you a financial literate.
Save and spend wisely – Women are great shoppers. You need it or don’t need it, you will definitely buy it. That’s one way to waste money. Put an end to shopping sprees. Once in a while you can indulge in self pampering sessions but otherwise, put a check to shopping and see how much you will save for the month. You never know when an emergency strikes, preparing for it seems to be a good idea. If you are having a bad day at work or are feeling low, shopping is not the solution to it. May be a cup of coffee and a short nap can be of great help.
Know about long-term saving plans – Your husband is not a finance manager. Since you seem to be too busy with family, cooking and kids, that poor chap is just look after the money aspect. Though there’s nothing wrong with it, it is advisable that you get a hang about long term investments in the form of fixed deposits, mutual funds, insurance or any other savings plan. Discuss with your partner and know the intricacies of savings.
Understand your insurance policy – Insurance is something that you will not understand unless you use it. Talk to an insurance agent and see what the plan has in store for you. Is it good enough to cover your medical expenses, is it worth all your money or is the company taking you for a ride? Ask questions and seek answers.
Maintain a good credit score – Credit reports and scores are the results of good financial planning. If the scores are screwed, your future finances too are ruined. Learn about the importance of these scores and how they can determine your future. Never play around with credit cards. Use them only when it is totally necessary. If you have outstanding personal or home loans, try clearing them off as soon as possible. Interest rates levied on loans is way too much and they indirectly rob you off. Loans are not an answer to financial problems but saving is. Save as much as possible.
Talk to a financial expert and understand finances better. Make clear saving plans with your partner and choose the one that fits your family. This International Women’s Day, pave way to financial literacy! That is the first step towards empowerment.