Why do so many women delegate their financial security to a spouse or significant other and allow divorce or death to plunge them into financial difficulty? Why do so many women spend more than they earn and become mired in debt? Why should boys always manage all the money? Nobody wants to live a life where they have to spend their time, which is limited, in exchange for somebody else’s money which is available in abundance.
People spend their time earning money which they don’t value, take loans which they can’t repay, to buy goods which they don’t require, to impress people who don’t matter. It’s the birthright of each individual to achieve financial freedom. And it’s more so for a woman who, even today in a liberalised Indian society, might be educated and working but is primarily expected to take care of the family and home. When we ask a housewife ‘what you are doing with your money’, the typical answer is: ‘I don’t know; my husband or father is doing that’. A woman, whether working or not, is always made to depend on the male for her financial needs. A woman takes care of her work as well her home; a woman attends to her husband, children as well as the adults; a woman keeps the house as well as the image clean; a woman perfectly blends and unites the family with her love, dedication and sacrifice. But can’t the same woman manage money? Here are 8 secrets for women to achieve financial nirvana:
1. You, surely, take care of your home and family but, along with it, also try to earn some money. It need not necessarily be a full-time job or employment; it can be something which you can do from home or with minimum time. Develop your hobbies and turn them into profitable ventures. Start small, make a beginning—earning some money will not give you financial independence but will give a great boost to your self-esteem.
2. Control your indulgent mind when you see the next ‘sale’ or ‘discount offer’ on your favourite clothes, garments, jewellery, etc. Remember that a 40% sale still means that you have to pay the remaining 60% and, if you
keep buying the things which you don’t require, very soon, you will have to sell the things which you require.
3. Learn to budget and save for yourself. Develop a separate kitty for your own self.
4. Don’t use money to make yourself feel good. That type of a high is fleeting. Instead, do things that promote self-respect and creativity so you don’t have to seek those feelings through just mindless spending.
5. Get some financial education. Learn about protecting, budgeting, leveraging and investing. Believe me, in most cases, it is simpler than learning to cook and more exciting than going on senseless shopping.
6. Get involved in the long-term financial decisions of your family. Be a part of it and give your valuable contribution—it will improve your family’s finances as well as boost your personal morale.
7. Always ensure that the earning member has a proper insurance policy as well as a succession plan. After loving him for his entire life, you would not want to curse your husband after his death because of money.
8. Don’t marry a man because of money; nor divorce a man because of lack of money. Never force your husband into a job or profession because you think that he will earn more money in that job and give you a safe secured life.
Learn before you earn; protect before it’s taken away; budget before you spend; save before you invest; create cash flows as you invest; leverage before it grows; insure before you risk; live before you die. Your financial security is dependent on your attitudes and beliefs about money and your willingness to take your financial future into your own hands. Being financially secure and independent will help you love yourself and your loved ones more.
(Mehrab Irani is the author of acclaimed 10 Commandments for Financial Freedom and best-seller Mad Money Journey, India’s first finance thriller)