According to data gathered last year by a wealth management platform, out of every 5 investors, only 1 is a woman. Traditionally in India, finances and investments were managed by the man of the house and the household expenses by woman. She managed the money very prudently and efficiently with whatever amount was given to her. Despite this, she was on the periphery of the decision making and her opinion or view not necessarily sought. This continues even today in many households in India, probably all over the world. Women today are working, financially independent, definitely more exposed to the workings of the world than their mothers. Yet their behavior towards finance and investments has remained the same. They still depend on their father, brother, husband to take care of their investments.
One of the biggest reasons for the low confidence in being part of the financial conversation is lack of knowledge and access to such services. Now this can no longer be an excuse to be ignorant and indifferent towards finance and investments. Digitalisation and smart phone usage has make it easy and accessible for not just understanding but participating in the financial decisions.
India has been at the forefront of digital innovations in financial services, helping millions participate in the financial economy through their mobile phones. Also use of tech by Indian women has risen : 2 in 3 households where women weren’t using a smartphone/gadget 10 years ago are now doing so. Women who started using smartphones or gadgets in the last 10 years are using them to stay in touch with family/friends, find information, online shop online shopping, make payments, create content and even run a business. It is estimated that there has been 5 fold increase in the last 10 years in the number of households where women are using smartphones/gadgets from 40 million to 200 million.
Now is the time to take charge of your learning and understanding of finances. Online there are a plethora of websites which explain about personal finance in a language that even kids can understand. If that’s not enough there are scores of videos in multiple languages that explain every aspect of finance.
Finally there are apps that answers every silly question about finance, tracks your saving and spending, keeps you updated about your bank balance, helps in your utility bills and other expense. Not just that, investing has become so easy, just a click of a button. All easily accessible, on your fingertips.
Start taking baby steps towards empowering yourself. If you are still not confident, seek out friend who can join you in this journey. Don’t wait for a calamity or an unfortunate incident to happen to you to start the learning process.
Financial independence does not mean just earning money. It means being able to understand and take financial decisions for yourself. After learning all about finances and investments, you may still choose to seek the help of your husband, father, brother etc. This is fine, as long as you know what is going on with your money and how to access it.
Use the digitalisation to your benefit. Financially empower yourself using Technology as I am doing it.
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