The feminist in me cries hoarse “men and women are same”! However when it comes to finances there are glaring differences which should not be ignored. Many of these challenges are an outcome of our changing socio-economic fabric. Let’s talk about them
Out of my close group of 5 friends, only 2 are currently working rest 3 are on a break to take care of their young children! All of us boast of good education and until our children were born were quite focused on our careers. Given our society makeup, women are still considered as the primary or the only caregiver for children. Large sections of working women tend to quit or take a break to take care of their families. Hence for women to create wealth you need to start investing early on in your working lives. This will ensure that you will have financial security and freedom if you choose to not work or take a break. So ladies limit your investments in your depreciating assets like shoes, bags, and clothes and create real assets like Mutual Funds, deposits, bonds and stocks.
Believe it or not, singlehood is increasing. Look around your circle of friends and acquaintances and you will find women who have never married, those who have experienced divorce, and those who have outlived a spouse are much more than a say in your mother’s time. It is important to be prepared for these events in life. Fidelity Investments’® Single Women & Money Study finds that while the overwhelming majority of single women (97 percent) believe it is important to be engaged in managing their money, three factors may be holding them back from taking action: underestimating their knowledge and experience, neglecting to plan for their financial future and saving too heavily in cash.
Studies show that working women continue to perform the majority of housework and childcare duties. This means that they have less time to manage their finances or do long-term financial planning. This compounded by our deeply patriarchal society which assumes that finance is a man’s world and women cannot or should not delve in has kept women from being actively involved in family finances and being financially prepared.
Face it for the same position women get paid less. Even in the USA on average women earn 21% lower than men. Top this with women taking career breaks and then rejoining the workforce at much lower wages. They need to do a lot of catching up in financial terms. Some of this discrimination can be made up by at least managing your finances better.
Taking care of Parents
More and more women now want to be able to physically and financially take care of their parents. They consider it as their equal responsibility along with their brother.
Whatever is the reason understanding personal finance and taking charge of one’s financial lives is important to ensure a secure and comfortable future. Financially empowered women can not only positively impact their lives but it is my belief that such women can make a huge difference to their family fortunes and positively impact their children upbringing.
My mother despite being a housewife was equally aware and involved in the management of family income. Her savvy saving techniques ensured that she would magically bring in funds for all major household expenses.
So ladies get into your financial front seat: know what you own, what you owe and what your goals are for your money to ensure that your investments are working toward the future you envision.
Put financial safeguards into place, including a holistic plan that accounts for your individual situation and goals
Just remember most important thing is to take the driver’s seat, rather than assume someone else will chauffeur you. Well, there is always an option to just “Uber it”! Get a financial advisor but even there, you need to be in charge!