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Women think understanding financial matters is difficult. Financial literacy is simply the knowledge required to make imp financial decisions!
In most households, finances are seen primarily as a male function. Regardless of whether a woman is working in an office or a business or stays at home, it is usually the men in the family who make financial decisions. Many women have no idea of their financial situation. They tend to think that managing finances is a very difficult task. Ladies, it is a piece of cake compared to handling your parents, in-laws and kids at the same time!
People talk of financial independence but I would say financial literacy comes before that. In simple words, it is the knowledge required to make important financial decisions. Financial literacy is the ability to understand and effectively use various financial skills.
Covid has impacted many families and it has also made all of us realize the importance of understanding finances. Many families lost their primary bread winner and struggle to cope with their financial needs. They are not able to access money simply because they are unaware of basic financial information.
So what do you need to know to be financially literate? You need to know about your earnings, your expenses and your investments.
Let’s break this down into simple points.
Everyone should have a bank account in their own name. If you don’t have one then you can easily open it at your nearest bank. All you need is proof of identity, residence and a PAN card. Make sure that both you and your spouse/ other members of your family know details about each other’s bank accounts such like which bank and which branch. Make sure that all your accounts have nominees. It’s a great idea for a husband and wife to have a joint account to manage household expenses but individual accounts should not be forgone.
Be aware of what all is covered in the health insurance policy and what are the steps you need to take to avail this policy if the need arises. These days all large companies offer group insurance policies to their employees where the premium is quite reasonable. If you or your family member’s company does not offer any policy, buy a private health insurance policy for your family.
Car loans and home loans are the most common. These require regular payments over a sustained time period and any default can affect your credit profile. Over here I would include credit cards since you can rack up quite a bill on them. Credit cards are a great back up provided you do not let yourself get seduced by easy credit because the interest rates are very high.
This is something quite unique to the Indian subcontinent where women are completely unaware of property brought in their name or investments made in their name. Investments can include insurance policies, mutual fund investments even personal loans given to people you know.
This is essential if you are working in an office of if your husband has a pf. Make sure that all details are filled correctly and nomination has been done.
These are some basic steps you can take to make sure that you are aware of your financial standing. This will ensure that you are not caught unawares in any situation.
It’s not enough to just earn or have money. The most important thing is that you should be able to access the money as and when you need it & with ease.
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Asfiya Rahman, a management graduate, is a teacher by occupation and a writer by inclination. She has published many short stories in different publications and is the author of the sports drama trilogy Wild, Wild read more...
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Paromita advises all women to become financially independent, keep levelling up and have realistic expectations from life and relationships.
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I watched a Tamil movie Kadaisi Vivasayi (The Last Farmer), recommended by my dad, on SonlyLiv, and many times over again since my first watch. If not for him, I’d have had no idea what I would have missed. What a piece of relevant and much needed art this movie is!
It is about an old farmer in a village (the only indigenous farmer left), who walks the path of trouble, quite unexpectedly, and tries to come out of it. I have tried my best to refrain from leaving spoilers, for I want the readers to certainly catch up on this masterpiece of director Manikandan (of Kakka Muttai fame).
The movie revolves around the farmer who goes about doing his everyday chores, sweeping his mud-house first thing in the morning, grazing the cows, etc and living a simple but contented life. He is happy doing his thing, until he invites trouble for himself out of the blue, primarily because he is illiterate and ignorant.