The other day, at my school reunion, we got talking on managing money. A friend told me that she did not feel the need to know about money management as her husband took care of everything including her salary income!! At that moment we all laughed it off but I was quite surprised!
Why do we assume that Women cannot make financial decisions; Women do not understand finance?!! It is all a myth which unfortunately too many of us Women believe! As a result, we have very little say in our own finances beyond the day to day running of households.
If you are contributing to the family income, it is your money, your blood and sweat, 10-18 hours of work everyday translating to an income – translating to some savings. You should show some concern on how the family finances are being run!
Even if you are not an earning member, isn’t it in your interest to know how your family is faring money wise and how you could improve on it!…or do you believe that your responsibility is only to cut down on expenses?
The seeming complexity of the finance world filled with jargons, acronyms and ratios has dissuaded most women from making an attempt to enter it, when all that is needed is confidence and some basic knowledge. Believe it or not -It is No rocket science nor Math that you were afraid of in school.
Know your money!! Ask Questions- Be aware – and you’ll be taking the first step to Knowing your money!!
Some Basic Guidelines:
Spending: We women love to spend. But remember -You have dreams for your family as well as for yourself! Your savings should be directed towards these dreams. Savings will happen only when you spend your money prudently. Save small and regularly – towards the small and big goals and enjoy spending your wealth. You will never feel guilty on spending then!
Credit Cards– If you own a credit card- know the limit; the payment cycle and the interest charged in case you don't pay the full amount by the due date. In case you dont pay the full amount the unpaid balance accumulates charges to the tune of more than 30 percent on an annual basis. So make sure you have enough money in your bank account to pay for your full credits bill on time.
Bank Account: Know the amount in your bank savings account. Does the surplus amount get invested in a fixed deposit? Money put in a fixed deposit earns better returns than a savings account(you get about 3 to 4 percent return on savings while you can get atleast get 6 percent in a Fixed Deposit). Dont let your money sit ideal. Let ypur money work for you.
Investments:- Save towards your Goals.First Step- list down your dreams/ your aspirations for the future and qauntify them. Then plan the investments required to make sure you have enough when the time comes to meet these dreams and aspirations. Do remember that the purchasing power of money gets corroded due to inflation over time and you end up paying more money in future for the same thing. So when you are considering options for investment, you need to see the return of the investment that takes into account the effect of inflation. Which is why, there is nothing more criminal in personal finance than leaving money in bank accounts.
Taxation:- If you file your taxes yourself then great but if someone else helps you out- sit with them and understand your own finances. Nowadays, filling income tax is online and very simple. It might look like a task first time but gets simpler the next time around for sure.
There is no one better at stretching that rupee than the lady of the house. So friends, believe in yourself and get started. Know your money!
Image Courtesy: http://newlatina.net/