How many of us long to live on our own terms? By own terms, we mean distance from the watchful eyes of our parents, freedom to cook the food we like, watch the shows we want, sleep when we please, and do the dishes when we have no more clean plates to eat off of. Yes, living the dream comes with a reality check—freedom like this comes with quite the price tag, especially if we want to live comfortably. And for those living away from the comfort (read: rent-free) of their childhood homes, comfort is attainable with a little planning and money management.
Which is why, it’s important that every woman know how to save and manage her finances. Here’s how you can be the strong, independent woman you desire to be:
Think InsuranceFirst things first, you have got to protect yourself. After all, an independent existence means your life and your health are your responsibility. This means, buying a health insurance policy is crucial to your financial stability. Of course, the best option for you is to opt for women-specific plans that give you a broader coverage like critical illness cover, cashless hospitalisation benefits, and even post-hospitalisation check-up and treatments (if needed). However, it’s an added bonus for financial benefit if the insurance plan you choose offers you tax benefits as well.
Build An Emergency FundWhile health insurance and a medi-claim policy are vital for financial stability, having an emergency fund kept (like the on-going pandemic and subsequent pay cuts of job loss) is the next most important aspect to your independence and financial stability. Ideally, an emergency fund should be an accumulated amount that will help take care of all your living expenses for six to nine months. For a better understanding, and emergency fun should ideally amount to three to six months of your annual income. So if you earn Rs 12 lakhs per annum, a safe emergency fund amount should be Rs 3 to Rs 6 lakhs. And this money should be used only in case of an emergency.
Plan For Your Retirement Early OnIt’s never too early to save for your sunset days. In fact, the sooner you start, the more at easy you’ll be later in life. That said, look for retirement plans that offer you a tax break, and work as systematic investment plans or SIPs. And the best part about a retirement plan is, you can increase the amount of your investment as your salary starts to grow.
Investing In Real Estate Can Be A Smart IdeaNothing is set in stone, but from a safety and stability standpoint, a roof over your head is vital. Of course, investing in property while you also pay rent might seem counterproductive. However, if you have the means, it makes for a wise investment. Besides, unless you’re assured a rather large inheritance, having a place to call your own is a rewarding experience. Moreover, if you’re looking to invest in property, as a woman in India, it entitles you to added benefits from the government in the form of interest subsidies.
Thus, with a little planning and a thorough assessment of your financial needs (and expenses) there’s really no reason why you can’t experience an independent, and secure livelihood, even if you do live away from home.