Unmarried and financially independent, 40-year-old Mahima always spent all her income, saving nothing for a rainy day. She dismissed the need for planning her finances, since she had no liabilities or dependents to look after. But after she was burdened by a massive debt due to a medical emergency, she realized the need to be financially prudent.
Today, more Indian women are increasingly finding the will and means to stay single. A survey by dating app Bumble revealed that 81% of all women they polled highlighted their desire to live alone and unmarried. There are many like Mahima, who are financially independent and have limited or no familial obligations.
Financial planner Nema Chhaya Buch says that for single women to be able to live their life respectfully and on their own terms, it is important not just to be financially independent, but also financially systematic and disciplined
If you’re a single woman, don’t abandon your money like Mahima did. Here are some thumb rules you can follow to make your money the wind beneath your wings.
First, have an emergency corpus, because emergencies do not wait for you to have an adequate financial cushion before they come. So, always set aside a certain amount every month towards your emergency fund. This can be helpful if your aging parents need an unexpected surgery or you lose your job.
Have at least 1 year worth of all your major expenses in this fund. You can further invest it in a liquid mutual fund, or keep it in a separate account to distinguish it from your regular expenses.
No liabilities to pay, no budget to follow? Think again! The need for budgeting and saving is far more necessary in your case, since you are on your own. Financial planner Shifali Satsangee advises to treat savings like any other monthly bill that one needs to compulsorily pay off. Don’t just actively save for emergencies, but also for long-term goals and retirement.
Next comes planning for retirement. Women should start building their retirement corpus early in life, since they would have to provide for herself in their sunset years’ ‘. To achieve this, clearly jot down whatever long-term goals one might have, like owning a small business, or just traveling around the world.
Insurance is just as important.So, have a safety net around, the foundation of which lies in a comprehensive health insurance plan. If your family has had a history of certain diseases like diabetes, cancer, etc be sure to take on additional riders for the same. In case you have a home loan due, make sure you have a solid term life insurance in place, so that your parents or others are not burdened with paying off your loans in your absence.
Satsangee says that while investing in yourself should be your priority numero uno, investing through proper asset allocation should be prioritized by women. “Diversify across asset classes to neutralize the impact of market volatility on your hard-earned money and help in mitigating risks better in the long-run. But, only invest in products that you completely and thoroughly understand
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