Expert advice

Mar 07, 2014,17.16 IST

Women's day special: How to save money?

Lovaii Navlakhi
International Money Matters

Women and men pretty much want the same thing from life, that is to be happy…and there ends all similarity. What makes women happy is mostly different from what makes men happy and one thing which varies most between the two sexes is their attitude towards money. While money represents security and love for one, it represents control, self-worth and power for the other.

Women equate money with security and peace of mind but still don’t pay enough attention to it. Despite the fact the most women outlive their husbands, women still tend to leave financial matters to their husbands or male relatives and as a result often suffer due to the bad decisions taken on their behalf by their husband, father, brother, son or other male relatives.

Research shows that women actually are better at investing, budgeting and making the rupee stretch, but a mental block against anything to do with finance stops them from being financially literate, aware and in control.

On the eve of this Woman’s day, here are things that will help you in getting a better grip on your financial matters.

  • Learn about personal finance and money matters. It is not rocket science and there is enough here on the net to help you get educated on various aspects of personal finance. If you understand the working of a chit fund and various kitties that women are invested in, you can easily understand finance, compounding, shares etc.
  • Become goal oriented from a financial perspective. Let’s say, your goal is to have 20 more gms of gold by this Diwali. So you plan money for that by saving each month from different expense categories and /or your personal money. Most women also have a plan for what purpose that gold can be used for say 10 years later. Apply the same funda to long term goals like your child’s education and/or marriage, your own retirement.
  • Money doesn’t grow on trees and it’s only when what your earn is more then what you spend, that you can actually have savings and wealth thereafter. Spending within means is the basis for any growth in wealth.
  • Use cash for spending rather than the credit card. When you see money in the form of physical notes being doled out for your purchases, it pinches you more and makes it more difficult to spend.
  • Money is not a substitute for happiness and so don’t use it for making yourself feel good.
  • Provide for a rainy day. An emergency fund to be used in case of a medical contingency or a loss of job is a must.
  • Participate actively in the financial decision making in your family. You should atleast be aware of where all the money is invested in, where the relevant documents are, what are the safety measures in place like health and life insurance.

Take charge, take control and at the very least become financially more aware.

The author is a CFP & CEO of International Money Matters and The Financial Alphabet. 

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