WOMEN and MONEY: Five financial tips for women to plan finances

Now a days, women are venturing into every field which was earlier considered to be a male domain and showing their mettle. Be it engineer, doctor, lawyer, leadership position in companies, defense services, entrepreneur etc., women are achieving greater heights everywhere but when it comes to money management, she still prefers to let the man in her life manage it for her. 

A woman can either be a single working women, a working woman who is married, a homemaker or a single mother. Whatever be the case, it is absolutely critical that women understand money management and participate actively in financial decisions. 

So here are some essentials that women should start understanding to become financially aware and independent –

Awareness of financial matters – Women consider finance to be a complex subject and this is one reason they prefer to stay away from it. So first and the foremost step is to not run away from this subject rather participate in conversations related to financial matters at office or at household.

One can start learning basics of money management, which not only means awareness about spending on daily needs but also involves saving for future financial goals and needs. Working women with regular income can take help of financial adviser to understand about goal planning & investments. A homemaker should take interest in family finances and understand the basics from her spouse or internet or other sources. This awareness can go a long way in improving family finances and hence leading a more comfortable life.

Create an Emergency fund – It is very important for every family to have an emergency fund which can help them as a safety net to meet emergencies. Typically it is recommended that one should keep around 6 months of living expenses handy towards emergency fund. Working women can save money into liquid funds by investing monthly or one time. Liquid fund helps her generate higher returns than regular savings bank account and is readily available whenever needed. Homemaker should also ensure that a similar fund is created for the benefit of the family. She can start saving a monthly amount from the money she gets for household expenses.

Protecting Financial Future of Families – There are various types of insurance policies that are available in the market but the most important are health insurance and life insurance. Taking a life insurance policy is very crucial for every working women who has dependents. A single mother should priorities this and buy a pure term plan in her name with child as nominee for the financial safety of the child. A homemaker must ensure that her husband has a term plan with her being the nominee. In addition to taking an insurance policy for financial safety of the family, every women should be aware of the details of policies taken by the spouse.

In today’s world of rising medical expenses, it becomes very important to have a good medical cover for yourself and family, to keep your savings intact. Married women, whether working or home maker, are generally covered either from their company or as a part of their husband’s health cover but it is very important for them to be aware about the details of the policy. As a single women or single parent, one must take a health policy in her name to protect herself & her family.

Goal Planning – It has been observed that women typically leave it on to the male member of the family to plan for the goals. This is not financially good for the family. Women are good planners and futuristic thinkers, so her smart inputs can actually benefit the family’s financial position. Women should actively participate while planning for financial goals like kid’s education, wedding or a holiday etc. Knowledge about goal planning becomes even more critical for single mothers as they have a dependent for whom they have to plan as well.

Bother married women and single parent can seek professional help in planning their financial goals to ensure a healthy financial life. Along with that, they can also start learning about goal planning and make themselves aware about key aspects of it.

Retirement PlanningWomen tend to live longer than men and their spouse is usually older than them. So this means that women should plan their retirement assuming that spouse will not be around. It becomes very crucial for women to understand retirement planning and be aware of various sources of retirement income. Women typically tend to ignore the importance of retirement planning thinking that husbands will take care of it or they will start thinking about retirement in their 40s or 50s but it’s very important for every women to actively participate in retirement planning and start it early. This way they will have sufficient time in hand to save & invest for retirement to lead a happy second innings.

Working women can take help of a financial adviser to prepare a detailed retirement plan for them and (or) family. Home makers can either

participate in retirement planning with their spouses or actually they can take up the responsibility of retirement planning when husbands are busy with their office routine.

Financial independence isn’t just about how much money you have. It’s also about having the confidence to make decisions and standing up for yourself. The truth is that female or male, single or married, all of us need to be in control of our financial lives. But women especially need be encouraged to take greater charge. The more women embrace the power of their financial decisions, and direct it strategically, that comes from proactive planning, the greater the impact and bigger the benefit. Taking responsibility and control of one’s money is one big step to being empowered.

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