Women are taking the world by their strides. The achievements of the fairer sex in the work arena are no longer insignificant. Women have gone from supplementing household incomes to contributing equally to it. And yet it is so difficult to find women who handle their own finances. They may earn as much as their brothers or husbands and yet most of them will not take an initiative when it comes to managing their finances. Why is it that in an era where the CEOs of leading banks like ICICI, Axis and SBI are women, the average working woman still does not come forward to take her own financial decisions?
It is actually quite disturbing to see intelligent and articulate women, look on without any seeming interest or understanding when the topic of conversation centers on investments and finances. It is essential that we try to understand this lack of interest and initiative on part of women simply because women need to understand how money works and how it needs to be handled to their advantage.
Let’s go back to our roots to understand this inbuilt reluctance. Traditionally women have been homemakers who were expected to nothing besides cook, clean and take care of their homes, children and men. Our patriarchal society never accorded them the respect of taking part in major financial or even family matter decisions. They were expected to hear and follow what was told to them. The younger women never spoke out and were completely under the thumb of the matriarch of the family.
As times changed more and more women started stepping out of their homes and gained education and opted to work outside homes too. Even today the Indian woman is expected to take care of all the house hold duties even if she is working long hours. Salaries earned are handed over to husbands and then taken care of by them. Women traditionally have the propensity to save but show no initiative towards investments.
For women to be truly independent in every sense of the world it is important that they become money savvy. Just earning money does not make you independent, to be able to effectively use, save and manage your earnings is what makes you an independent women of the modern world.
I hear some women say, I have never done it. Dad/brother/husband takes care of it. And there are others who say why should we bother? Our men take care of it. There are others who feign lack of understanding and are heard saying all this goes way above my head. These excuses have been in built into our women and they need to break these mental shackles to move forward in financial matters. There are quite a few reasons why women need to come forward to take the financial reins of their lives in their own hands.
Managing your money gives you a self boost and makes you more confidence in yourself. Even if the amounts are small it will give you a sense of independence. Most women have cash stashed away for emergencies especially the homemakers who know how to truly save money. These small or large amounts can easily prove to be good investment opportunities. Understanding money ensures that you can participate in major financial decisions at home.
When young adults see their mothers or older sisters taking care of their money it sends out a positive message of financial awareness. It encourages them to learn and take initiative at a young age and that ensures solid building blocks towards better financial management throughout their lives.
Women have longer life expectancies, thus it is important that they be able to take care of their retirements and old age needs even when their partner is no longer around to take care of it. Also in case of undue incidents in life, most women are left high and dry as they have no idea about the financial dealings of their husbands. It comes as a dual catastrophe where they are all alone emotionally and financially.
We are all striving to make our daughters independent and strong individuals, let us also make them and the other women around us financially aware and independent.