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Are you managing your money well or do you still hold to these myths about money? Read on about the 7 myths about money that we have.
To become financially stable and savvy is still a work in progress for many. In this annual tax calculation season, many women are clueless about the regulations, formalities and requirements of the tax return forms. Married ones are worse than the unmarried counterparts. Newly married women are happy to announce that they would delegate all the work to their husbands. Indian women who love doing their finances and take an interest in modern investment strategies like mutual funds and shares are rare finds.
Here I bust some myths between money management and Indian women.
Often, women are happy with the way their men are handling money and don’t want to think of alternatives. Managing one’s own money is a life skill, just like cooking or driving. Learn and enjoy this skill because that is in financial independence in a true sense.
Women outlive their male counterparts (more so, as same age marriages are now more common) and a sense of money will keep you going in your empty nest years. In most families, the fact that men are managing money does not mean they are doing it well; they also make mistakes and women can fall into depression because of that. Test your ability to see if you can do it better.
Just like learning any other skill once you initiate yourself into managing money, you will find it fun. Start on a small scale and enjoy making informed choices in life – it feels really good! A person who is good with money is well sought out by the family and the community. Put a little effort into managing your money, you will be happier.
As little girls, we have observed our mothers mostly focused on not wasting food, not buying luxury brands, not going out to a restaurant (not that many were available at that time), not shelling out extra to the vegetable vendor or the maid, not buying right sized clothes for us in the pursuit of saving extra bucks. We did not like it most of the time. When we started earning, we abandoned that frugal way of saving. We wanted better clothes and more of them, and overall higher standards of living. Saving took a back seat for many years in our twenties. After marriage, we depend on the husbands to do that bit, thus falling into the model of our childhood.
Not necessarily; just like we wanted a better life as we joined work, men with similar upbringing too want the same. Today’s men also have refined choices on gadgets, cars, clothes, and food so they may also not care as much about saving. Often, you find them living from one credit card to another, paying bills for the lifestyle that you are both rooting for. Men are often not able to say no to a child’s demand for a video game or a Barbie house; they also fall for our weekly demands to eat out. We end up being left with lesser money in spite of earning pretty well.
This is a gray area and needs care; discussing money does not mean opening the boxes of a blame game with each other. As a couple it is necessary to find common and individual goals in terms of expenses; for e.g. a child’s expenses, buying an apartment, vacations, eating out, paying taxes are common goals while buying a mobile phone or a laptop, running shoes, spa etc fall into the individual goals category. While starting to blame your spouse on his/her expenses, do put some thoughts on the money being spent on common goals or on you and is there something you can do about it.
It is important to be practical and non-judgmental while talking about money with your spouse; it took me a long time to understand that my husband was spending money on products and getting blamed, but a back of the envelope calculation showed that I have got a very soft corner for expensive services. This realization helped me to stop being judgmental on my husband’s expenses.
As a working woman, we find it a taboo to discuss investment methods with our peers at work. Open up to younger colleagues in the office, they are the best one to know about ongoing discounts and sale on clothes and shoes both online and offline. They will also give you information on using coupons and vouchers from different sites – a new way of saving money. Senior colleagues are the best to discuss with regarding tax saving tools and long-term investment methods. Make friends with colleagues from finance team and you will learn a lot on expense tracking and budgeting.
When big purchases are made it is but obvious that your dinner table or tea time talks will be focused on the expenses related to those purchases. Often, parents don’t like to do that in front of their kids. It is okay to talk money in front of kids; kids aged 5 and above will ask questions. Often, they show concern if there is enough money and whether there is anything else which needs to be stopped because of the purchase.
It is okay to tell them that while accommodating for a big purchase they may need to wait a little longer for a toy they wanted to buy or that their birthday celebrations will be on a smaller scale that year. We as parents can do our best to prepare them for managing money by helping them prioritizing the choices regarding expenses. Childhood is the best time to instill money management skills for life.
Money is an unavoidable parameter in our lives; money is also the fact that has kept women under limitations for the longest of times. There are ample opportunities to learn about money and utilize it for our benefits. It is on us to open up and take it up.
Indian woman with money image via Shutterstock
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