Financial Independence for Women Simplified

Priya Kumar, SBI General Insurance

Women have been making strides across fields and there has been a shift in the way they want to be perceived. They want to be independent and been seen as role models among their families and peers. Further, they are also asserting on the need for being financially independent. Women today are emerging as trail blazers across different fields and are driven, confident and inspirational as they are breaking age-old stereotypes. There is a shift in how women today manage finances, and proactively seek to understand investment instruments and insurance. Financial independence for women has will continue to become a part of mainstream discourse thereby, impacting the ways and means to boost the same.

Financial independence for women can be viewed from two vantage points, a homemaker and a woman with a professional career. While the homemaker manages the monthly budget for household management, on the other hand the working women manages their investments and tax filing. This certainly gives a sense that women understand the concept of expense, saving, money for security at a smaller scale and have a good ability to manage monies.

The key inference is that women tend to know more about managing their finances than they think, but the gap may be due to the lack of confidence to make independent decisions.

The journey to being financially independent 

Women should begin their journey to becoming financially independent by first listing their goals. They can start by making a list of their long-term and short-term goals, immediate needs, requirements, and aspirations. Depending on their goals and priorities, they can draw a financial plan and make informed investing decisions. It would be adequate to keep backup options ready to cover any emergency in case things go awry. Conducting research, consulting a financial planner, or having a conversation with people will help them understand different options and learn from insights.

Provision for an emergency fund 

Women should always work towards having an Emergency Fund. It doesn’t have to be a considerable amount. It can be small savings in traditional investment plans like Fixed Deposits, Recurring Deposits, which are tried and tested options for investors with a very low-risk appetite.

Also Read: Bringing financial inclusion to rural India

Need for health insurance

Apart from having a contingency buffer, women should also know how much health insurance the family has. Women need to invest in a good health Insurance policy. A good health insurance plan covers the cost of treating certain illnesses specific to women like breast cancer, cancer of the reproductive system etc. They can also claim a tax benefit on the premiums paid under section 80D of the Income Tax Act.

However, before investing or purchasing an insurance plan, whether it is health, home, car, cyber or accident cover, it is important to do understand the cover and purchase comprehensive and adequate insurance.

Some companies also have special offers for women investors with added lucrative features. They should increase their knowledge of these options and take advantage of such offers. Being prudent and having a foresighted approach will go a long way in ensuring financial independence for women.

Views expressed in this article are the personal opinion of Priya Kumar, Head – Emerging Business, Rural & Agriculture, SBI General Insurance.

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