Women, Unleash your Financial Confidence
This article discusses the importance of having good financial knowledge for the women of today so that they can be more involved in taking financial decisions for their families. It further elaborates how being financially savvy ,gaining the necessary skills and expertise in finance can help families in making wiser financial choices and in help in building an optimum investment portfolio.
Why is it that women who are the breadwinners in most of the families, still not ready to take control of money?
It is all the more important for females to have financial knowledge as they a have a longer life span, stronger immune system and tends to outlive men. According to National Centre for Women and Retirement Research, 9 out of 10 women will be solely responsible for handling her finances at some time in life. Often, due to some illness or death of a spouse, women have to suddenly deal with money and find themselves in a perplexing situation. Money cannot buy happiness but it surely boosts your happiness, as it helps in providing financial security and building a safety net. This article discusses the various ways in which women can get financially savvy and build up her confidence level in handling money.
1.Building Money Confidence- Women have been great at money rationing and know how to stretch a dollar. They have always managed to prepare fancy meals, provide for family essentials and get the best deals in the market within a limited budget. It's time they start focusing on long-term financial planning as well. If you are new to handling money, start with checking your bank statements regularly and download your bank’s app so that you can understand financial transactions. This would give you an insight into your spending habits and also keep a check if you are running into debts.
“An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.”– Benjamin Franklin. Gaining knowledge has become easier these days, as everything is available at the click of a button. Online tools and resources are a great way to learn more about finance and are quite informational. Various websites like economist.com, moneycontrol.com, smartaboutmoney.org , outlook money offer education, articles and advice on investments, stocks, mutual funds and retirement planning.
2. Budgeting- Budgeting helps in identifying short-term money needs as well as making long- term financial forecasts. It gives a structure to your money so that you know exactly where you are spending and helps you in releasing funds, which can be used for long-term investments and creating an emergency fund. It is one of the easiest tools for monitoring money and assures that “you never run out of money”. A lot of free and paid budgeting apps like budget tracker and Budget builder (free) are available online which can be used to record your money transactions. If you have a preference for storing data on your computer you can use a spreadsheet or try personal finance application such as Quicken for keeping your finances on track.
3.Discussing with your Partner/Husband- Seventy-seven percent of women want to be involved in day-to-day investment decisions, a Merrill Lynch studyfound last fall, yet 72% say they ‘know less than the average investor’ about investing in general. Single women take hold of their finances and manage them in a much better way than married ones. Married ones, it seems rely on their man for fulfilling long-term financial goals. Sit down with your partner/husband and discuss your investments, making them as detailed as possible. Set your long term goals together such as buying a new house, travel plans, kids education and then have conversations regarding various investment options available. Finances can often cause discord between many couples, so be extra careful about your tone and language. Try not to use judgmental language, instead keep to the facts.
4.Seeking Help from Financial Advisor - A survey of 6,000 people in the United States, Britain China, India, Singapore and Hong Kong, suggests that women don’t necessarily lack financial skill or interest in money, but they’re often turned off by how money is handled in a mostly male world of finance. Various companies offer financial advice and you can always discuss your investment philosophy with financial advisors. Feel free to ask as many questions as you want about the pros and cons of various investments like the risk involved, the rate of return, fees, and tax efficiency. Evaluate various investment opportunities like real estate, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, foreign diversification, then choose a well-diversified portfolio that can provide optimum return on your investments with a right balance between risk and reward.
Money is not biased and has no gender: the only thing that is required for making good investments is keen interest and knowledge in the field of finance, which anyone can attain by regularly training themselves. There is no magic formula for creating wealth, but money is a great tool that can help you in building a well designed and personalized wealth plan for attaining your financial goals.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Swati is an academician with Pre-Ph.D(Research Methodology) and M.B.A (Finance) .She has taught various courses in Accounting and Finance at undergraduate and postgraduate level for over 10 years in India and New Zealand. Swati's research interest areas include corporate finance,investment management and corporate governance.