With women hardly having any financial autonomy, they do not have really have the space to keep their savings. Not spending all the money in the household or give in full to inlaws or put all of their earnings in a joint account is a reality. There are also women who don’t earn and rely on partners, and their savings and investments is a matter of concern too. This requires systemic redressal. Women can also be the boss of their budget if they are trained to actively participate in all financial decisions of their household and are allowed access to those resources.
It is rightly said, that we won’t be able to solve the feminisation of power until we solve the masculinity of wealth. But sadly, women with money and women in power are still two uncomfortable ideas in our society. Only when women become knowledgeable on topics such as investing, saving, paying debts, taxes, building wealth, and managing finances can we advocate for necessary change to close the economic inequality gap.
Let us look at some important statistics regarding women and finance currently available to us:
Real women empowerment lies in having the freedom to handle your own money because there is no freedom without financial freedom. The most important steps to get started on the road to financial freedom are as follows:
1. Identify your financial goals and a time limit within which you want to reach them.
The amount of money you want to invest each month depends on the financial goal you are working towards. For example, this goal could be buying a new house, new car, planning for a vacation abroad or even something as crucial as retirement. You need to determine how much you want to save and how many years you have to save this amount.
2. Open an investment account.
You can look for a good taxable brokerage account. Many brokers in India require no minimum investment to open an account. The amount invested can be withdrawn at any point of time.
3. Know your investment options.
Before investing, one must know their risk appetite and how much risk a particular type of investment carries. One can invest in stocks, gold bonds, mutual funds, index funds etc. Investment with higher risk tends to give higher rewards in the future.
4. Maintain a balance between spending and saving.
Prioritise your spending by making sure your financial decisions are aligned with your financial goals. Many Indian women are never taught the fundamentals of personal finance and financial wellness, many of them feel immense shame and guilt in making conversations about money with the opposite sex. Many women are judged for it too. There is a debilitating impact of toxic gender roles present in indian culture regarding women and money.
The sooner you start investing, the sooner your investment can start working in your favour. Another perk to investing young is that you have more time to understand and recover from market cycles and fluctuations.
It’s high time women stop being victimised by our market or culture that does not value their financial independence. The statistics regarding financial feminism might be scary right now, but hopefully, the paradigm will change and many women will have a better understanding of their finances growing up.