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.
Says financial planner Nema Chhaya Buch, “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”.
Now, while navigating through life’s choppy waters all alone can be extremely daunting, having your finances planned can somewhat ease the journey. 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 high-soaring, free wings.
Have an emergency corpus
Emergencies do not wait for you to have an adequate financial or emotional cushion before they come barging. 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.
According to Buch, an emergency corpus with at least 1 year worth of all your major expenses is advisable. You can further invest it in a liquid mutual fund, or keep it in a separate account to distinguish it from your regular expenses.
Be your own organized superhero
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. As financial planner Shifali Satsangee highlights, “Treat savings like any other monthly bill that you need to compulsorily pay off. Don’t just actively save for emergencies, but also your long-term goals and retirement”. Also, keep all your financial records like insurance papers, property documents handy and organized. Not only should you have nominees added to all your investments and accounts, but should also get a will readied, so that your assets are taken care of in a manner you want.
Plan for your dream retirement
Your twilight years should not be spent struggling for funds. According to Buch, women should “start building their retirement corpus early in life, since she would have to provide for herself during her sunset years’ ‘. To achieve this, clearly jot down your long-term goals. It can be owning a house, having a small business, or just traveling around the world. Make sure you start financing your long-term goals early on. Also factor in inflation while calculating the amount you will eventually need.
Have a safety net around yourself, the foundation of which lies in a comprehensive health insurance plan. If your family has a history of certain diseases like diabetes, cancer, 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.
Always look to clear all your debts as soon as possible, so that interest payments do not eat into your funds in the long-run.
Invest, Invest, Invest
While investing in yourself should be your priority numero uno, Satsangee says that investing through proper asset allocation should be prioritized by women. “Look to diversify across asset classes and across styles of investing. Diversification helps you to completely neutralize market volatility and helps in mitigating risks better in the long-run. However, only invest in products that you completely understand”.
Planning your finances can amplify your independent stride, only if you make them an important part of your life’s journey!
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