March 8 is celebrated around the world as International Women’s Day. Women’s Day isn’t merely to commemorate the contribution of women in society or to send copious forwards on Whatsapp, but also to come together to think about ways in which we can uplift an entire gender that has been oppressed for centuries.
Among the ways that society has shut women out is by excluding them from conversations about money, and by relegating them to matters of the household. As a result, we have generations of educated, earning women who are unaware of how to handle their money.
So, this women’s day, empower yourself and the women around you by taking charge of your finances! Here are five easy steps to get closer to taking control of your money.
Have that money conversation
If you aren’t the one who makes the investment decisions in the household and it’s your partner or father who takes the call, take the time today to sit them down and ask them what’s going on with your family’s investment portfolio. How much are you all insured for? What are the investments that have been made so far? Are they enough?
Once you have an idea of what’s going on (and trust me, you should), you can think about consulting a Certified Financial Planner.
Set up an appointment with a financial planner
A Financial Planner is a type of finance professional who will be able to assist you in creating a financial road map for you (including taxes and investments) based on the money that you earn and your needs.
Consulting with financial planners was often considered to be something that ‘only rich people’ do, but not anymore. There are a number of financial planning websites that will provide personalised services for a small fee, and if you prefer face-to-face consultations, look up “Certified Financial Planners” in your city that you can meet.
Even if you think you don’t ‘need’ the help of a CFP, consulting with one will give you a real picture of your finances and will help you plan more efficiently for the future.
Time to get a Demat account
If you have been thinking about investing, stop thinking and seize the day! Almost every bank has the option for you to apply for and open a demat account without even having to leave the house. You cannot invest without a demat account and even if you currently don’t have the funds or aren’t sure about what to invest in, it does help to have an account fired up and ready to go so that there are no hindrances when you do have the money and are ready to pull the trigger.
(In case you aren’t sure what demat accounts are, do read my previous column on how they work)
Stop thinking about starting up...
…and start up! If you’ve got ideas in your head, what better motivation than Women’s Day do you need to make them happen?
Having a business of your own is immensely satisfying and the best time to get a start is now. Thanks to the Government’s MUDRA scheme, it’s as easy to get a loan as a woman entrepreneur as it is to set up a website.
There are also a number of banks that give women entrepreneurs loans at discounted rates. So take advantage of the offers around you and start up!
Although my column is like, the paragon of personal finance excellence (and I am the picture of modesty), in order for you to overcome apprehension of all things finance and money related, reading finance columns and finance blogs and books will help a great deal in demystifying seemingly difficult concepts and give you a wider perspective of all that you can achieve with your money.