In today’s dynamic and ever-changing world, women play an increasingly vital role in shaping not just their families but also the global economy. Despite progress, many women still face unique financial challenges. Empowering women to take control of their finances is not just about independence; it’s a pathway to security, freedom, and the realization of personal and professional goals. We need to enhance our knowledge of how to work in finance.
Let me share the story of our family friend, Deepa, a 45-year-old woman living in a big city. She was a happy housewife with two wonderful daughters. Unfortunately, her husband was diagnosed with heart conditions. He received timely treatment and was about to return to work, but due to complications, the surgery failed, and he passed away at the age of 47, leaving his elderly parents at home. The elder daughter joined IIT Hyderabad for her 1st year, and the younger daughter was studying in her 10th.
Now, as a single mother, Deepa had to manage all income and expenditures. Despite being financially secure, in our Indian culture, the man typically handles financial matters, while the woman provides emotional support. However, in this scenario, a well-planned and secure family was not lost. The woman had to return to work, and the children had to adjust to their new life. Therefore, financial management should be a family affair rather than solely the responsibility of the man. This is why every woman should take care of her finances.
Financial literacy is the foundation of smart money management. Take the time to educate yourself about budgeting, investing, and understanding financial statements. Numerous online resources, workshops, and courses cater specifically to women looking to enhance their financial knowledge. Creating a budget is a fundamental step in financial management. Outline your monthly income and categorize expenses. Be mindful of discretionary spending and find areas where you can cut back.
A well-structured budget provides a clear picture of your financial health and helps you set achievable financial goals. Life is unpredictable, and having an emergency fund is crucial. Aim to set aside three to six months’ worth of living expenses. This financial cushion provides peace of mind during unforeseen circumstances, allowing you to navigate challenges without compromising your financial stability.
Investing is a powerful tool for wealth creation. Whether for retirement, education, or other long-term goals, understand your risk tolerance and create a diversified investment portfolio. Seek advice from financial professionals if needed and consider women-focused investment platforms that cater to your specific needs.
Women often hesitate to negotiate, but it’s a crucial skill for financial empowerment. Negotiate your salary, fees, and contracts confidently. Advocate for equal pay and benefits in the workplace. Financial empowerment starts with recognizing your worth and ensuring it’s reflected in your financial dealings.
“Wise Women Managing Money” by Miriam Neff and Valerie Neff Hogan points out a few habits of wise women managing money:
1. They take responsibility for knowing their finances.
2. They create a spending plan based on their income and values.
3. They are generous for kingdom purposes.
Empowering women in the realm of finance is not just a personal victory; it contributes to broader economic growth and stability. By taking control of their financial futures, women can create a legacy of strength, resilience, and prosperity for generations to come. It’s time to embrace financial empowerment and make money a tool for achieving your dreams.
-Aishwarya Magesh is a homemaker, part-time consultant, passionate writer, and blogger, inspiring others as a parent coach, career counselor, and financial advisor.