By Maitry Shah, Founder LakshMe and Wealth Manager, Prudent
Women today are breaking all stereotypes and have been on a roll to break the glass ceilings in their respective fields. From earning at par with their male counterparts or even more in many cases, women of today are ambitious and aim fully. Interestingly, women have always been the magic makers. Whether it is managing their professional life or household chores or anything, women are considered to be the best managers. They have the ability to nurture anything and everything.
However, looking at the way a country like India has progressed over the years, ‘financial planning’ for women is no longer a subject of restriction. Instead, it is considered to be of utmost importance. Well, if we go back to our childhood, we have seen our mothers and grandmothers secretly saving money until now when women are standing financially independent – in both cases, saving is still at the helm of women in our country. But, unfortunately, ‘money management’ or ‘financial planning’ is still at risk.
Two major global incidents can back the need and importance of the same:
- Firstly, during monetisation, jokes about how the secretly saved money of women now will be all up, somewhere raised a lot of questions. But, it did highlight the fact that those savings could add a major part of revenue to a household in crisis. In ‘Jan Dhan’ accounts it is seen that the average balance maintained by women is 30% more compared to accounts owned by men.
- Secondly, Pandemic. While a lot of people lost their jobs and many witnessed a major downfall in their businesses, many women came on the roll to start their own business to run the family. Many such house-wives had broken their secret savings to help support their family. In many cases they succeeded to combat the financial crisis during the severe lockdown phases.
Don’t you think if those savings would have been managed in a better way, they would have given much more fruitful outcomes? Yes, surely!
Interestingly, 24% of women – meet the minimum level of financial literacy as defined by the Reserve Bank of India. And, there is a dire need for more women to know their financial rights. She must save, invest and roll her money. Sadly, only 33 percent of Indian women take independent financial decisions compared to 64 percent of men. And, I strongly believe that this mark of 33 percent must be doubled. This is one of the core life skills that need to be inculcated early on in life. Financial literacy is essential as:
- It provides knowledge and awareness about core money management, which helps you manage your day-to-day life in a financially efficient manner.
- Provides you with the lifelong gauge to invest in a smart manner and achieve optimal returns at acceptable levels of risk.
- Enables you to achieve financial stability for life.
- Ensures that you avoid financial pitfalls such as debt trap, overspending, poor savings, etc.
- Managing your finances is a transformative skill which can bring a wave of change over the next generations
But How to start with it?
With the advent of digitization the process of getting your hands on being financially literate is much easier and faster. Here are top 5 pillars to know:
Hedging your life and health risk is an important aspect of a stress-free life. The pandemic has reiterated the importance of having sufficient life and health insurance. Insurance is the weapon to combat unfavourable events in your life. It is an effective means to avoid financially stressful circumstances.
Financial literacy starts with budgeting and saving, which eventually brings us to effectively invest the amount saved to achieve optimal returns. It is increasingly important to invest appropriately to ensure that you are able to realise your financial dreams without any stress. Financial literacy will help you invest prudently regardless of your financial status and age.
Estate planning and succession planning in India is still a factor that is known and discussed among the elite in India. Registering a will may not be a mandate and hence is not considered important. However, it is an added layer of security for your family. In the event of an unforeseen event, this would come very handy.
Just like small drops make the ocean. Tax planning may seem trivial. However, it can add to our long-term wealth creation agenda. You can save up to Rs. 45,000 with section 80C alone, a maximum of Rs. 1.5 lakh can be invested in tax-saving investments if you are in the highest tax bracket.
Retirement planning is an extensive task of determining the quantum of funds required post-retirement to manage your household requirement and lifestyle. There is no one plan that fits all. You need to customise your retirement plan to suit your needs. It is imperative to note that the earlier you start, the higher will be the corpus you build. The magic of compounding tends to unfold over the long haul.
Studies show that women who are financially independent are ready to face challenges. Being a financially independent woman, myself I strongly stand by the fact that ‘financial independence is empowerment’. By default women have the ability to nurture anything and everything and hence, budgeting and saving comes naturally to them without excel sheets and formulas, they indeed are good at it. Therefore, I think hypothetically wouldn’t it be a game-changer if women across stratus and geographies get to learn it in a more significant way, inculcating these tips to make ‘money management’ a skill for life.
Women have always been the magic makers. Whether it is managing her professional life or household chores or anything, women are considered to be the best managers. They have the ability to nurture anything and everything.
About the author:
Maitry has completed her MBA in Finance from New York and started working in the sales team of Prudent Group. It was during her sales meet that she noticed women feeling uncomfortable when it came to money matters. They often took the back seat in the financial planning process and allowed their fathers and/or husbands to take important financial decisions without their involvement.
Being a financially independent woman herself, she believes that women should start integrating themselves in their family’s financial matters. Women should understand that financial literacy and acumen would make them more sensitive to the importance of money and how to make their money work for them. With over 4 years of experience in her kitty as a wealth manager, she started LakshMe – a platform to educate women and guide them to become ‘atmanirbhar’ in all aspects of their lives, especially financial.
Maitry Shah strongly believes that ‘Either make your money work for you or you will always have to work for your money’ and ‘Trust the timing of your life’ and has always tried to inculcate the same in her clients as well as team members. Being at the helm of the diversity of the industry, she loves to read and get updated about: Finance, Women in Finance, Empowerment, Law (women).
Under her leadership, LakshMe has successfully reached out to 10,000 + women and empowered 50% of them across geographies. She has also been pro-actively enabling the BFF (Buddy for Finance) programme amongst the women of our country across Indian territories and across economic stratas. This initiative enables women to get on a 30-min free consultation call with her, wherein she can address all the small and big queries towards financial stability. Interestingly, this initiative has been witnessing 10-15 calls per month. Maitry strongly believes in ‘impacting’ rather than converting. Therefore, her objective is to inculcate the habit of financial security amongst women at an early age.
Being an active speaker, she has been speaking about the same at various platforms via blogs and articles:
Her articles include:
and many more…
A highly motivated and passionate person with good communication skills, strong management acumen with ability to develop new business and enhance relationships, she strongly believes in giving back to society and doing her bit. Her venture LakshMe is a testament of her efforts towards the same. The non-profit organisation simply works with an objective of spreading financial literacy amongst women. When not working, she loves to dance and has a professional degree in Ballet, Contemporary, Jazz, and Improvisation.