Women have been known to move mountains when need be, but strangely enough, when it comes to finance, a lot of women still tend to shy away, leaving the male members in their families to take care of the moolah. Although a lot of that has changed today, with a lot of women opting for jobs in the financial domain, it is time homemakers too discussed investing options as easily as they discuss children, soaps and maid problems with their peers!
A woman can do many wonderful things if she wishes to, and one of them is to grow her money.
Here are some money tips that every woman should bear in mind always:
1. Stop avoiding money matters
If you haven't managed your money yourself, now is the time to begin. Don't let financial jargon scare you. Find a financial planner who can empathise with your needs and give you the right advice to make our money grow.
2. Don't depend on 'the man'
No, we are not advocating feminism here! Love and spoil your man by all means, but do not think of him as your financial safe haven! You are strong and capable enough to save by yourself. There is no shame in being vulnerable and asking for advice, so ask for it and get going by yourself.
3. Avoid unsolicited advice
If you earned or inherited money, you should be able to take the best decisions about what to do with it yourself. Do not depend upon the advice of self proclaimed financial pundits who will seem only too eager to give you advice about how you should invest it.
4. Devise your own methods of money management
You will need money for different things at different stages in your life, so learn how to budget accordingly. A financial plan and foresight are important tools in money management and chances are you already have a natural affinity towards it.
So make use of your acumen, and chalk out a financial plan for yourself.
5. Ask for more money when you deserve it
Working women continue to work hard year after year, but when it comes to asking for a raise they usually shy away from doing so, more often than not they are scared. If you are a diligent worker and truly believe you deserve a raise, do not shy away from asking for one!
6. Invest in yourself
A woman usually gets so caught up balancing work and home, she often forgets that she needs to invest time and effort in herself. So allow yourself some pampering once in a while. Take that long pending beautician's appointment or go to the spa that has been so tempting. Do not feel guilty about spending money on yourself!
7. Don't get overwhelmed if you make mistakes
When you first start managing your money, you may have some pitfalls and make financial mistakes. Do not get overwhelmed and give up. Ask for advice and see what you can do to tide over the issues you may be facing.
8. Do not apologise for having debt
If you have ended up building a credit card debt or any other debt pile that might impact your CIBIL report negatively, do not panic. Expensive debt needs to be cleared off and all you need is a good financial plan to clear your dues. Do some research yourself, ask for advice from the people you trust and clear off your debt as soon as you can. You may have to put in a little more effort or cut corners to do so, but keep the faith!
9. Let the girl gang come through for you
A woman always has a close group of girlfriends she can depend upon for just about everything. Discuss your money management successes and challenges with them and rest assured they will be as supportive of you as always!
10. Believe in yourself
This is perhaps the most important thing you need to bear in mind. If you meet faliures along the path, treat them as stepping stones and tell yourself that you are a financially wise woman and you can do this as proficiently as you take care of the rest of your responsibilities.
So all you ladies out there, time has come to believe that the world of finance is as easily decipherable as you can decipher the latest in the fashion industry!
Photograph: Arko Datta/Reuters
The author is a credit expert with 10 years of experience in personal finance and consumer banking industry and another 7 years in credit bureau sector. Rajiv was instrumental in setting up India's first credit bureau, Credit Information Bureau (India) Limited (CIBIL). He has also worked with Citibank, Canara Bank, HDFC Bank, IDBI Bank and Experian in various capacities.