Over the centuries finance management of the home or of the countries were in the hands of men. In India, the first woman finance minister was the late Prime Minister, Mrs. Indira Gandhi who also presented the Union Budget in 1970-71. The second woman finance minister of India is Nirmala Sitaraman, who has presented two budgets 2019-20, 2020-21.
Women’s household experience in managing the house with the available resources, be in terms of money, groceries, vegetables and so on, make them experts in financial management at their workplace too. Most women inherently have an eye for financial planning and a saving nature makes them excellent financial managers. They have a mixture of short-term goals such as education, vacation planning and long- term goals that mainly consist of foreign education, marriage of children and retirement planning.
Women can manage their finances better if they keep in mind the following tips:
- Be educated and continue your education whenever necessary.
- Neither rely on someone else nor take other’s debts
- To achieve your goals, spend less than what you earn and save for your future.
- Plan your budget, keep track of your day-to-day expenditure and learn from your money mistakes.
- Don’t spend emotionally, spend only essentially and save for your emergencies and future.
How should women deal with finance?
Imagine these scenarios, Shalini, a happy housewife lived with her husband and in-laws in their owned flat. They had two acres of agricultural land and a substantial bank balance all in her husband’s name. Things took a sudden turn, when her husband died in an accident and she was thrown into the street by her in-laws along with her children.
Sushma, a schoolteacher, was living with her husband and two children, completely involved in her work and household. Her businessman husband gave the family a fairly high living standard for 15 years, when one fine day she came to know that he was in deep debt beyond repair. You may have come across many incidents like these in real life too! (Inspired by true events, these have been used purely as an example)
The moral of these stories is that women should have a thorough knowledge of their partner’s/ husband’s financial position and also take care that properties are jointly registered. With today’s standard of living, women need to generate additional income to support the family, start safe investments in the form of gold, money or property at an early age in order to lead a happy retirement life.
As the famous proverb in Kannada goes, “Chaapaeiroshtu kaal chaachko baeku”, which means ‘Sleep with legs folded only within your mat’, implying that we should set our living standards according to our income. A famous Tamil proverb “Kundhi thindral kundrum maallum”, meaning that ‘If you simply sit and eat, even a mountain will become a barren land’.
Women being the torch bearer of the family should avoid unaffordable lifestyles and need to take care that the finance of the family should continuously get replenished, else the resources will get exhausted resulting in debts and finally the downfall.
Loans/Debts need to be taken only when absolutely necessary and should ideally be within our paying limits. This applies to any organisation too; in fact, entrepreneurs who have failed in their ventures owe it to improper financial planning, uncalculated risks and debts.
Savings required to be financially independent
Older generation women have set themselves as an example to the younger generation in being better financial planners and leading a simple life with savings. Hence most of them have become well-settled and financially independent during their retirement days. Savings not only help
s the family to manage major functions like marriages and improve their resources for buying property, constructing a house, but also to tide over unexpected expenses like legal issues, hospitalization for illness or accidents, and death.
“Only if you breathe in you can breathe out”, says Gaur Gopal Das, a renowned motivational speaker. As women, we need to get ourself rooted, grow and then give, thereby making our life more meaningful.
Contributor: Praba N (PhD)
About our Writing Program Student
Dr Praba N is an Associate Professor teaching Electronics & Communication Engineering at the Ghousia College of Engineering, Ramanagara, Karnataka. She is interested in content writing, as it is her long harboured dream to continue her passion of ’Essay writing ‘ which got left in school.