Before you start reading, let me guess what’s on your mind right now
Relationships…family….kids…career…health…holiday.. Covid-19 !?
I am sure that these things occupy your mind most of the times, though not necessarily in the same order.
Let me now ask, “How often do you think of your finances during the day?
As a woman you wear many hats and have a lot on your plate already.
I know you do, because as a son of a working mother, I have seen my mother juggle different responsibilities and she made it look easy…well most of the time at least.
But have you thought how you will fulfil your responsibilities if you are not financially secure? If you do not have enough funds to meet your goals or cover your expenses in emergencies, how would you care for your loved ones or yourself?
2021 has been really tough, and more so on women. So many have had to drop out of the workforce or opt for lesser-paying roles to care for the family during the pandemic. Trends from unemployment surveys in India and the United States reveal that female job loss rates owing to COVID-19 was 5.7% globally versus male job-loss rate of 3.1%.
Well, it’s time we put the past behind us, but not the lessons. This Women’s Day, pamper yourselves and take a moment to pat your back. But most importantly, it is time to set the foundation for your future. “Be financially secure. “
Here are seven unique ways in which you can make your lives financially secure:
1-Be financially independent:
I cannot emphasise more on this. Today, financial independence translates to true empowerment. You do not need to work 9 to 5 to be financially independent. You can choose to be a homemaker, and pursue a flexible part-time vocation. You can also leverage your hobby or a passion to earn an income. How you do it is completely your choice. In today’s digital age, you have a vast number of options. So, explore your horizons and fly on your own.
2-Take control of your finances:
Your finances belong to you so you must be in control of them. While it’s absolutely okay to seek guidance and advice, make sure you are the final decision-maker. To me, taking charge of finances is like taking charge of life. Hence, try learning to handle your finances on your own with minimal dependence on others. Try to negotiate a better deal for yourself at each situation. You will be amazed at the strength you derive, and the respect you command.
3-Ask pertinent questions:
As I said, take complete control of your finances. However, you cannot do so if you do not ask enough questions to clarify your doubts. Who said finance is just for men? You too can be an expert when you seek all the answers. So reach out to your financial advisor, read books & blogs, watch videos, attend events. There is so much you can do to quench your inquisitive mind.
4-Don’t just save, invest too:
We know that you have a thing for saving money. You are always looking out for the best deals in shopping, kids’ tuitions, grocery, home improvement, etc. While, saving money is great, just accumulating it won’t do any good. So, start investing and make your money grow. Start small and invest a small portion every month in mutual funds or recurring deposits. Don’t forget to park the necessary amount towards the right life insurance policy. Slowly, you can educate yourself and explore other investment avenues too.
5-Say yes to equities:
You are a born risk-taker, though you may not admit it. So, while making investments, do not miss out on equities just because of the associated risks. It’s true that stock markets go through a lot of ups and downs. However, if you focus on the long-term, and a diversified portfolio, these short term swings do not matter. You can miss out on a lot of growth potential or fail to achieve your goals if you don’t invest in stocks. So, say yes to equities. It is a risk worth taking.
6-Build an emergency fund:
Women, typically, go through a lot more transitions in life than men. Marriage, divorce, motherhood, layoffs, pay cuts, etc. can change the course of your life immensely. Thus, to handle these transitions smoothly, it’s great to have enough emergency fund to support yourself and your dependants. Typically, I advise you to have six months of your expenses covered in that fund. This includes all the bills, mortgage payments, loan instalments, school fees, medical expenses, etc.
Each of you might take a different timeframe to adapt to the changes. However, that emergency fund can bring that much-needed peace of mind and a feeling of strength. It will also ensures that your life is back on track with minimal financial challenges.
7-Set financial goals:
You have many goals in life-professional and personal. You are also working tirelessly to fulfil these goals. But what about financial goals? These aren’t goals restricted to just purchasing things. Financial goals are the milestones that you want your finances to reach in a particular pre-set time period. It can be building an emergency fund, going completely debt-free, buying a house, planning a vacation or insuring yourself. It can also be as simple as living a minimalist life. One you set your goals or decide what you want, you are sorted to build a plan.
Take some time off and evaluate your life. It really helps me when I spend some time by myself reflecting on things. Once you introspect you will be able to list your goals and discover what matters to you most in life. While money can’t buy everything, it is a major factor in a lot of life choices. So, this women’s day, celebrate by making the right choices for yourself.