Asha Sharma works as a Sales Manager in a large MNC. Juggling a corporate job, home and a school-going child is by no means easy. Years of doing this makes Asha a pro!If there is one area, however, where this woman-of-the-world is cripplingly dependent on her husband, it is when it comes to the M word. All her money matters, be it fixed deposits, mutual funds or insurance policies are the sole domain of her husband.
Sounds like a familiar story? Probably now is the time to ponder over this:
- Multitasking fits us like second skin.
- We are great at setting goals (and sticking to them!). Remember the weight loss regime you stuck to despite odds, just last year. Or, how you planned that surprise vacation for him down to the last detail, months in advance!
And just as we get ready to pat our backs, comes this incriminating piece of data:
- When it comes to financial planning, our mind simply draws a blank!
In Nice Girls Don’t Get Rich: 75 Avoidable Mistakes Women Make with Money, Dr Lois Frankel believes that the reason girls don’t get rich is because of the social messages they receive when they’re growing up. “Money is power, and most little girls are not taught to be powerful — they are taught to be nice.”
Well, irrespective of whether you want to be nice or powerful, here are the top 5 financial mistakes to avoid:
- CHOOSING TO REMAIN FINANCIALLY ILLITERATE
If you are earning a decent salary, paying a sizeable portion of the joint home loan that you and your spouse have picked up and yet fully switch off whenever somebody mentions Mutual Funds, Bonds, Pension Scheme etc, you are not alone. Except, that there is no strength in these numbers!
A recently study conducted showed that only 18% of single working women take their own financial decisions while in case of married women, the figure drops to an appalling 13%. This is perhaps on account of the societal mindset where women are told through their growing years that to marry is to have someone to take care of them. And sure enough, the “taking care” of finances is blissfully left to their better halves, hoping that they will do a “better” job out of it.
Well, knowledge, as they say, is power. All you need to do is get over this mental block on financial matters and take the road to your own financial well-being.
- NOT HAVING A FINANCIAL ROADMAP
So, you have been a corporate warrior for as long as you can remember and churning out business plans is something that comes naturally to you? How about answering this planning question?
Where do you see yourself financially in 5, 10, 15 years? If your answer is “I don’t know”, it is time to set up a financial roadmap for yourself! Set concrete financial goals and then work towards achieving them – just as you work hard to achieve that sales target or meet that weight-loss target with aplomb.
- NOT ACCOUNTING FOR CONTINGENCIES
Most of us go through life as though it will always be what it is like today. Unfortunately, relationships, health or a job do not come with a lifetime guarantee. So go ahead and plan for contingencies – be it keeping aside a contingency fund or not living on credit alone.
- NOT LOOKING BEYOND TRADITIONAL INVESTMENT OPTIONS
Considering the fact that women typically live longer than their partners, not taking enough risk in planning your finances results in a not-so-healthy corpus to spend your twilight years with. Exercise prudence by all means, but do not err so much on the side of caution that you do not look beyond traditional investment products. Sure, a Savings Account or Fixed Deposits are the safest bets but have you also thought of ways of beating inflation and investing in financial products that offer higher returns? If all your life’s earnings are earning a measly interest in your savings account, it is time to take stock.
- PROCRASTINATING FINANCIAL DECISIONS
Finally, whether you find financial decision-making boring or are plagued by the fear of making mistakes, do not be put off these decisions. Learn the ropes yourself, seek advice or hire a financial planner. Either way, take stock financially!
So ladies, it is about time to say goodbye to being “foggy about fiscal”. Instead, get money-wise!