I am back, as promised, with some stuff on personal finance for women!! In my previous post, we looked at how women were being impacted by the current demonetization drive and how little control the average Indian woman had over her finances. But we’re not going to just sit there and let this continue, are we? We’re going to get educated!
If you’re already a personal finance whiz, then congratulations!! I sure am jealous of you!! However the fact is, most Indian women, even urban, educated ones, are clueless about managing their finances and many women don’t have the freedom to do so. Here are some numbers that prove this important point.
- Less than 50% of working Indian women make their own financial decisions
- 80% of Indian women don’t have their own bank account
- The financial literacy of Indian women is a measly 4%
- By and large, women outlive men, due to which women constitute 87% of impoverished senior citizens
1. The Money Talks with Hansi video series on YouTube is an absolute must watch for anyone who’s serious about personal finance. Hansi and Mr. Sikka tackle a different finance topic in each video and you have to admit – they make a hilarious pair! Check out this video about how smart women manage their money.
2. Manisha Thakor is a personal finance expert who is pretty popular around the globe. Her video on Women & Money drives home some important points on why financial literacy is so important for women.
3. DSP Black Rock is a mutual fund company, but the website also has a bunch of information to help you understand investing. Their videos are simple to understand and are perfect for newbies to investing.
4. Monika Halan is the editor of Mint Money and she addresses all kinds of financial queries on the Smart Money show on Bloomberg TV. Monika is friendly and speaks in a simple manner. Getting to see how different people manage their money based on their particular financial goals can be quite interesting!
Articles on Personal Finance
1. This article from Women’s Web focuses on personal finance for single Indian women – women who absolutely need to handle their finances on their own.
2. Jago Investor is probably the most popular personal finance website in India right now, and for good reason! The site contains a wealth of information on pretty much every financial topic. However, it may seem a little overwhelming for an absolute newbie.
3. The Big Decisions website has all kinds of articles about various aspects of personal finance, from simple ones like how a joint account can be risky to more large scale ones like how demonetization affects real estate.
4. Money View is a financial app, but their blog has quite a bit of useful information on all matters pertaining to personal finance. Their articles are quite applicable to the average Indian who’d like money tips when getting married, going on a holiday or planning for retirement.
5. The Balance is not a site specifically for the Indian market, but it has a lot of simple, informational articles that apply to general personal finance for everyone. Check out their top ten tips on money management for women for lots of links to related topics.
6. Tired of financial jargon? Simplify matters with this dictionary of sorts, aptly titled “The Glossary of Incomprehensible Banking Jargon”. So if you’ve always wondered what Risk Management or Financial Restructuring mean, this is where you should go!
Books on Personal Finance
This is probably the first book to have such a specific target audience – Indian women who want to take charge of their finances! Written by Ankush Thakur and Priya Florence Shah, the book covers all basic financial topics like saving and investing and how to go about it.
This book is written with me in mind – yes, someone who’s scared of financial jargon but still wants to know what it means! Reenita Malhotra Hora & Divya Vij have written a book that tackles everything – opening an account, buying a home, investing and saving taxes. Perfect!
If you want to take control of your finances, you need to be your own financial planner! This book by Manish Chauhan focuses on most people’s main financial goals like insurance and debt repayment and outlines some important tips for each.
Remember Monika Halan who we mentioned earlier? This is her book and is a simple guide for anyone who’d like to secure their family’s finances. Besides tips and helpful hints, the book also has worksheets to list your goals and create a plan for them.
This book is part of the RBI’s campaign to improve financial literacy among the general public. Swapna Mirashi has written it with finance newbies in mind, people who are staring at the finance world at a distance, wondering how to dive in!
Lucky Bitch by Denise Duffield isn’t exactly a book on personal finance. It’s more about how women can create a healthy relationship with money, and actually get what they want and deserve. Many women have ‘money blocks’, possibly due to familial and societal constraints on women dealing with money. This book helps to get rid of those blocks and open yourself up for abundance.
Now you have quite a bit of information on your hands, don’t you? But remember, all the information in the world can’t help if you don’t take action! Follow these tips to get started on your journey of 100% financial independence.
5 Tips for Financial Planning for Women
1. Track your spending – Jot down where every rupee is going, even if it’s just for an autorikshaw ride! So when you look at it at the end of the month, you’ll have the answer to ‘Where’s all my money going?’.
2. Set financial goals – Sit and think about what you want in life, for yourself and your family. For most people financial goals include an emergency fund, a home, health and life insurance, children’s education and retirement.
3. Budget, budget, budget! Decide on fixed percentages of your income to be spent on utilities,
extras, savings, debt repayment and charity. Fix an amount for each category and stick to it!
4. Invest smartly – This is where most women start hemming and hawing. Women are good savers but not good investors. Building your wealth is very important – not just to land up on the Forbes list, but to beat inflation and maintain your standard of living.
5. Grow your income – If you have a job, learn new skills so you can work your way up. If you’re an entrepreneur, think of new ways to expand your business. If you’re a homemaker, think of how you can generate an income in your spare time.
For proper financial management, you’ll need to regularly review everything – your goals, your budgets and your investments. Many banks have special schemes for women when it comes to insurance and loans, so make the most of them.
Take the time to educate yourself – maybe spend 15 minutes a day reading an article or watching a video. Educating yourself not just improves your financial prospects, it helps others too. You’ll be in a better position to educate your house help, for example, and she’ll be able to pass on this information to the women around her. So go ahead and take control of your money – you’ll be glad you did!!