Today we look at some of the reasons why the appointment of Nirmala Sitharaman is an awesome decision.
Women always have a budget
Let’s admit it, we do not think through before purchasing things, sometimes we buy stuff for the mere contentment and joy or may be for the high that we get from purchasing it. But we need to keep our emotions aside while taking financial decisions and focus on what is really needed. Ask yourself – ‘Do I really need this?’ before you purchase – Baby step your way towards savings by spending money purposefully.
We are sure that Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman, with her wisdom as a woman to prepare a budget that takes into account all aspects of our country in a holistic manner. Since women are known to be more inclusive, we can also see a socially justified budget that would help citizens from all walks of life.
Women borrow less
People think credit card bills, personal loans or any other loans are manageable but these can be overwhelming. Think of how you can plan for buying something later by saving enough instead of borrowing. Use cash so that usage of credit card is restricted – it is difficult to spend cash than swiping a card. Following a thumb rule like “if I have to use a card, let it always be my debit card” would ensure we don’t borrow money for our purchases. This will also ensure that we stay on top of our Financial Goals.
Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman would ensure as a Finance Minister that the number of loans that our country would avail would be minimum and would be on terms that are not detrimental to our national interests.
Women Think long-term and are more patient
Wealth creation is not an overnight journey. Similarly wealth creation for citizens is also a long drawn out process. As the Finance Minister of the country, we are sure that Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman would have the long term vision and she would seek the help of experts in the field to firm up India’s Finance Policy.
Women always diversify
We learn diversification at home by observing our Moms. They stash away liquid bundles of cash in separate boxes, each box for a different purpose. One box can be for the sofa repair, the other to buy a bicycle for the kid, etc. Similarly, if we diversify our investments, the chances of losing the entire amount is drastically reduced.
Women influence our financial behavior
The role that the women in our lives play is myriad, something which is both admirable and worth emulating. From a mother, sister, wife, colleague, friend, she plays all these roles with aplomb and still manages to keep her family happy. Yet, when it comes to finances, women are usually not treated with the due respect. The decision of the man of the house, irrespective of if the woman is a home maker or is a working professional, is final when it comes to investments and personal finance. Be it the decision to buy that dream car or that dream home, the decision of the man is usually weighed in more than that of the woman. This in spite of women being more efficient and historically successful in managing money better than their male counterparts.
Women were the precursors to the SIP concept
Women brought in the concept of Systematic Investment plan (which comes from systematic savings plan). We have seen our Moms saving some portion of the monthly expenses by budgeting and walking a tightrope.
Women are more committed
By nature women are more committed to not just their careers but also to financial security. They not only manage the household in the given budget, but also ensure that the financial goals of the family are met. They are able to make this happen because of their commitment to the welfare of their families.
Women have stronger belief system which makes them stay invested longer
Driven by a very strong belief system that sees them build homes out of houses, women use this trait to telling advantage when they invest. They are less likely to jump stocks and funds based on minor fluctuations that are characteristic of markets. They are more likely to dig their heels in and wait out till the weather passes by, thus ensuring a steady and long term value based investment strategy.
Clarity of thought with discipline
It is a known and acknowledged fact that women are more disciplined when it comes to managing not just their money but also the money of the household. They are also more risk averse, which means that if more women are there in the markets, there would be lesser market bubbles.
What works against women?
Some of the things that work against women are Glass ceiling, male domination in a predominantly patriarchal society and lesser inclusion in decision making when it comes to finances. From time immemorial, women have had to face the invisible but very tangible glass ceiling. Laura Liswood famously said “There’s no such thing as a glass ceiling for women. It’s just a thick layer of men”. The mindset of men needs to change to either hand over the baton to women when it comes to managing personal finances or at least let them be a part of the decision making process, as they are equal and worthy partners in the financial journey comprising of life goals.
It is a known fact that women command a lot of respect for their approach as well as their contribution to the society. It is high time that women should also be made a stake holder in decisions catering to investments and wealth creation. Nature has blessed women with qualities that are apt when it comes to managing finances. It is only prudent that we give the respect and recognition due to them.
It is a myth that women spend more on shopping. They may visit malls more but they only do window shopping, which doesn’t burn a hole in their pockets. Contrarily, men don’t window-shop but directly buy. So impulsive buying is more among men than women. It is high time women got their due seat on the financial discussion table, for the simple reason that they are more prudent and wise when it comes to managing money.
Mahatma Gandhi said he would consider India independent the day her daughters could walk free on the streets in the middle of the night. No offence to Gandhi, but isn’t that a little restrictive? As the modern woman struggles to balance between demanding breakfast menus and spreadsheets, ageing in-laws, looming project deadlines, board meetings and parent teacher meetings, it is time she redefined her independence. While what she wears, what job she picks, how she chooses to balance her work and family life are definitely her own choices to make; how she saves and invests for herself and for her parents (kudos to the Supreme Court on this one) should also be her own choices to make.
Thankfully, we have come a long way from the time when men would grant the women in the house a certain sum to manage the household expenses, but we’re still a long way off. Because women still think their financial decisions need to be validated by the men in their life. They second guess their every investment decision. They wait for their fathers to instruct them on spending patterns. They wait for their husbands to “plan for the family’s future” and content themselves with the back-seat with their own hard earned money.
Fathers, brothers and husbands of the world, step aside. Women, seize what has always been yours – your Financial Freedom.
With the appointment of Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman as the Finance Minister of India, we are sure that many of these points we highlighted would be proved right and some of the myths surrounding women and personal finances would be proved wrong. We wish the best to Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman for her new role!