International Women’s Day Special: Managing Money for women

Most women often take a backseat when it comes to handling finances fearing they cannot make the right decisions in financial planning. Experts note that women should get more and more responsible with handling finances, through self-education or by approaching a trusted expert to learn about basic financial concepts.

Mar 06, 2016 02:03 IST India Infoline News Service Mahalakshmi Hariharan |

Women are excellent multi-taskers. They can efficiently striking the right balance between work and household tasks, with ease. However, most women often take a backseat when it comes to handling finances fearing they cannot make the right decisions in financial decisions. They often feel that they do not have enough knowledge about the various financial instruments available and so cannot make the right decisions. Sadly there have been cases when women have been left baffled over unforeseen events in the family and got clueless on handling finances from there on. Therefore, experts advice that women should get more and more responsible with handling finances, through self-education or by approaching a trusted expert to learn about basic financial concepts.

Says Rishabh Parakh, Chief Gardener, Money Plant Consultancy, a leading Tax & Investment Advisory Services, “It is important for women to start planning her finances early on and focus on making decisions logically and not emotionally, especially when it comes to matters of financial planning.”

Financial education is a must

Experts say doesn’t matter if you are a working woman or a homemaker. Today, with the help of various tools, calculators, blogs and vast information available online, on various investment products, you can gather as much as information possible and discuss with your family or your financial expert to enhance your understanding about the product.

Advises Parakh, “Since the financial world is full of technical jargons and complexities, thorough research before buying a financial product, by considering factors like inflation, return on investments, market sentiments, and taxes while planning your finances and seeking advice from an expert, if needed, will help you make a decision on the basis of your judgement and thorough research. Plan, calculate and research before investing.”

Team work
We’ve all known that women can meticulously manage household budgets and keep tab on spending. Instead of letting her husband take financial decisions, she could also help him in managing money better, drawing budgets, coming up with financial goals, actively participate in discussions with the financial adviser, which would in turn, only help her get more efficient at it, say experts. By setting a target, and taking one step at a time, she can get her personal finances in place.

Risk taking ability and financial instruments
Experts note that depending on the risk taking ability, goals and objectives, which are different for different women, who are married, unmarried, single mother and so on, the financial objectives should be set. They say health insurance and a term insurance is a must for women. Also women who plan to invest in physical gold or buy gold ornaments should instead look at investing in gold based funds. It is true that married women may be in a better position to invest in products that are not entirely risk-free, as they have a second income from their spouse, but that may not be the case with a single parent who may also need to factor in the future security for herself and her dependents and hence may look to invest in extremely safe products. Women, by and large, have always prefer saving instruments that yield fixed returns. They are more patient with their investments and are willing to stay invested for a longer period of time. Most of them are also comfortable with saving instruments that offer them future security and corpus for personal goals like child education. Today more and more banks are also wanting women to come under the banking ambit and avail of loans. For this purpose, they are coming up with various credit products at better rates.

As we approach International Women’s Day, next week, it is important that financial education and little steps towards financial planning should be on top of every woman’s agenda. Women, if you still haven’t taken enough control of your own financial health, start now…sooner the better. 

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