This is Ankita Kamat, the founder at Frugal Beat. I’m someone who is in the early 20s. After quitting my job, I’m living my dream now. I’m chasing my passion and dream career. In my journey, I’ve learnt to be frugal in my life. And frugal living is helping me to build my career without spending a big buck.
For me, frugal living is the first step towards financial freedom. Being frugal means living well without spending more money; it’s about saving money without compromising on anything. Well, personally, I feel there are three steps to reach financial freedom. The first one is frugal living. The next step is financial independence. And the last step is financial freedom. So everyone should take the first step as soon as possible.
Now you may think what the difference between financial freedom and financial independence is. Well, if you are doing a job and paying all your bills, then it’s financial independence. And today, if you leave your job and still you can pay all the bills with your own money for life long, then it’s financial freedom!
Not at all! A few months ago, this question popped in my mind. Then I realised that everyone needs money for survival, be it a boy or a girl. I’ve observed that in India, girls don’t think much about financial independence or financial freedom. Even if young women join any job, they are forced to quit their job after marriage.
I feel that every young girl should take charge. Each woman should be independent in all the terms. Financial independence is like a key for a girl to open the door of a cage and fly high. Everyone needs money, then why should we girls stay away from financial independence and money management, right?
As a young woman, I’ve realised that it’s imperative to save money and be independent. I’ve seen some women in my life whose lives have become hell because they don’t have financial independence. So, women need to understand the importance of earning and saving money.
1. Earning and saving money will secure your future:
A few years back, my parents were thinking about my marriage. But at that time, my thoughts were, “That guy is earning well, but what about my financial independence? Okay, today I’m not earning money, I’m not independent, but as he is earning, well, I can ask him money whenever I want. Oh no! What if he says ‘No’ to fulfil my demands?!” I’m sure many of you may also get these type of thoughts when your parents talk about your marriage. And finally, I decided not to get into any relationship with this insecurity.
When you are financially independent and saving money, you feel your future is fully secured. You get confidence to live your life fully. So young women must figure out ways to be financially independent.
2. Live your life on your own terms and conditions:
I feel, after graduation, if we girls start to earn money then we can live life on our own terms. I used to save 70–80% of my monthly income from my job. And I started to invest my money in mutual funds. Usually, in India, women don’t show interest in investment and personal finance. I feel the main reason is that they are not financially independent and lack confidence.
Since my college days, I’m interested in investments, shares and stocks. But as I was not financially independent at that time, I could not take any financial risks. So with my experience, I can say that financial independence gives you the courage to take risks in life—you can live your life without being accountable to anyone.
3. You will be proud of yourself:
When I earned my first income, I was on cloud nine! I was feeling proud and confident about myself. With my first salary, I bought a wristwatch for me. I can say that I gifted a wristwatch to myself 🙂
I was proud to tie that watch. Do you know why? The real reason was that once in my childhood; I demanded a new wristwatch from my father. But he refused. And today, I can say that was the best day of my life, as I’ve learnt the importance of financial independence.
So, after so many years, I tied the wristwatch that I bought with my own earned money. That moment was great for me. Trust me, it does not matter how much money you make, but when you get your first income, you will feel proud of yourself. It boosts confidence in girls. Why should young girls miss this opportunity to be proud of themselves, right?
I really feel that every girl should experience this proud moment by taking charge and stepping towards financial independence in her life.
4. You will not compromise on anything in your life:
Financially independent women and girls don’t need to compromise on anything in their life. I’ve seen many girls who are compromising on many things just because they have not earned and saved money for themselves. When you have your own money, you can do the things you really like—for example, investing money, starting your own business, travelling, learning new skills, etc.
Usually, all the boys start earning money in their 20s and become independent. But when it comes to girls, there are a lot of barriers to becoming financially independent. As per my experience and knowledge, I’m listing some barriers here:
No matter how many barriers women face in life, I feel they are strong enough to overcome all the barriers and get financial independence in their life. You have the power to take charge and change your destiny. Some of us never think about saving and personal finance. We think the finance department is meant only for boys or men. But let me tell you, girls can also be better at handling finance.
I faced and am facing a lot of issues to be independent. But I’m learning to be a strong, independent girl. Financial freedom is my dream. As a common girl, when I can take charge of my life, then surely each girl has this potential. So don’t follow any myth regarding savings and personal finance and financial independence. Take charge.
Gather your confidence right now and take the right decision for yourself. As a girl, I’m saying this— don’t get trapped into a ‘dependent life’. Every girl has the potential to be financially independent. Be that kickass girl who inspires and empower other girls.