Be a Pocket-smart Woman

Budget 2018: The Bright, the Dark and the Unsettling

Breaking the persistent shackles of patriarchy, the women of India have established their strong presence in almost all walks of life, thus emerging as an empowered lot. But how empowered are women in handling their money? Patriarchy is still extant when it comes to managing finances, and the average Indian woman has been somewhat diffident in taking independent financial decisions.

Financial management strategies must be customized to suit one’s requirements; there isn’t any handbook! Whether you are a young girl or an elderly lady, a risk-taker or risk-averse, single or married – all of these and several other factors will influence your style and technique of money management.

Let’s get you started on the basics of ‘intelligent financing.’

Set Your Financial Goals
You toil hard to earn money. You earn money to realize your dreams. But you can only realize those dreams when you appropriately channelize your earnings towards certain goals. Thus, the first step to dexterous money management is setting your short-term and some long-term financial goals. Analyze your current financial status, understand your financial obligations, parley with your spouse and figure out your priorities; then find a pragmatic way of venturing towards them.

Plan Your Budget
Once you have defined your financial goals, understood your financial standing and identified what you wish to accomplish, it’s time to set a budget plan that is in sync with your goals. Whether you customize a budget for yourself or adopt an existing budgeting model, school yourself to stick to it with the strongest determination.
Attend to the Emergencies
Crisis always lurks around the corner; you never know when you might meet one – an accident, an unplanned job switch, a medical emergency, and the list goes on. Protect yourself with an emergency fund. Save enough to be able to sustain for at least six months without a steady income. Get a health insurance; a life insurance policy as well, in case you have dependents. Make steady contributions to your retirement fund every month. Safeguard your future.
Be Financially Educated
Well, this is the pinnacle of all challenges. Financial education is the stepping stone to financial independence. Understand your salary structure, know all about income tax, acquaint yourself with the money market and learn about investment opportunities. You could talk to a professional advisor or a financially-knowledgeable acquaintance. Or you could just let Mr. Google enlighten you.
Park Your Money Safely
Learn the techniques of saving money. Stocks, bonds, shares, equities, mutual funds, term deposits, property, savings – myriad investment options are available. Understand their nuances and invest wisely. Spread your portfolio across multiple modes of investment.

Diving into the cryptic world of money management can be quite overwhelming. However, Indian women have proved their mettle – proficiently juggling their household and professional responsibilities. Money management will be a breeze once these ambidextrous ladies overcome their spurious apprehensions and assume an assertive role in their financial lives.
Dear awesome ladies, don’t depend on the menfolk anymore. You, alone, can do it!