Ladies, it’s never too late to take charge of finances

Ladies, it’s never too late to take charge of finances

Mrin AgarwalFinancial Educator

A woman’s life is a full circle – within her is the power to create, nurture and transform”. Rightly said. If they desire, women have the ability to achieve what they want. While women are focused on their careers and family, there is one aspect of their life, which they do not spend time on and that is money management. Unfortunately, financial independence is not on the bucket list for most women and money management is often left to the spouse.

But a majority of women will have to take charge of their finances due to various life events like the death of spouse, divorce or because the spouse may have a medical condition, which may prevent him from taking care of finances. 

However, women do not need to wait for a major life event to take charge of their finances.  One such woman is Mrs. Vidya, who had connected to me through a friend, to have her queries clarified.

Mrs. Vidya is a 75-year-old homemaker and over the last one year has been trying to understand and learn about her family finances.

She has been married for 50 years and started looking at the family investments, when her husband turned 80. Her husband is in good health other than age-related issues. 

It is nice to see a woman of the older generation get into something that she has never done before which was a taboo in her generation. Moreover, she did not wait for a contingency to take up this important step, which significantly, impacts her life. Neither did she ask her children to help her, even though one of them lives in the same city as her. 

Mrs. Vidya started by having a talk with her husband on why she needs to be fully aware of the family finances.  The next step was to go through financial documents with her husband and create a list of all the investments (they do not have any liabilities). Mrs. Vidya’s husband had a list and they updated the same with information like online access passwords. They also checked if all dividends were coming to their individual bank accounts and if there were investments/accounts to be closed due to inactivity. 

Once all financial documents had been taken care of, she started keeping track of their investments like mutual funds and shares. She would spend one day a week to read up and understand what is happening in the markets. Mrs. Vidya was not shy to ask questions on things that she did not understand. She asked their financial advisor, joined groups on social media and spoke to others. All advice was taken with a pinch of salt!

Ladies, it is never too late to take charge of your finances. 

One feels overwhelmed at the beginning. If you believe in yourself, you can do it.

Figure out what you need to work on first- is it money know-how, financial information? 

Ask yourself about your money vision. Is it to have enough for comfort and financial security?

Start! Unless you start investing and losing money, you will never learn. Keep reading and update yourself. Many newspapers carry personal finance pages, which have good accurate information.  There are also eLearning courses on personal finance available. Be mindful of what you read on social media though!

Make a list of all your investments, loans, accounts and check if all nominees and financial documents are filed.

Engage with a financial planner who can guide you on structured financial planning.

Taking control of your finances isn’t a choice today, it is a necessity.  

Happy Women’s Day!

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