International Women’s Day 2024: 7 steps that lead to financial empowerment

India has women in diverse sectors but faces a financial literacy gap. Women need to proactively manage finances, break myths, and take steps like self-confidence, knowledge acquisition, savings, debt management, professional guidance, and strategic investments for economic empowerment.

India boasts a notable presence of women across diverse sectors, including aviation, technology, medicine, and finance. However, despite their significant contributions, there remains a concerning disparity in financial literacy levels among women in the country. Contrary to common perception, financial literacy is not solely a concern for marginalised women; even those with higher education backgrounds require fundamental financial knowledge.

As the cost of living continues to escalate and financial objectives such as education, marriage, and retirement planning become increasingly burdensome, it becomes imperative for women to take proactive steps towards financial management. Unfortunately, prevalent myths and societal norms often dissuade women from assuming this responsibility, perpetuating the belief that financial matters are primarily the domain of men.

To address this gap, women can undertake the following measures to enhance their financial acumen:

Self-confidence: Cultivate confidence in one’s ability to navigate financial decisions. Acknowledge that financial management is a skill that can be acquired and honed with diligence and perseverance.

Knowledge acquisition: Invest in comprehensive financial education to make informed decisions. While online resources abound, subscribing to reputable financial publications and seeking guidance from certified financial professionals can offer valuable insights.

Prudent savings: Prioritise disciplined savings habits to build a solid financial foundation. Aim to set aside a significant portion of income towards savings and investments to meet both short-term and long-term financial objectives.

Debt management: Exercise caution when leveraging debt and ensure that loan obligations remain manageable. Over-reliance on loans can impede financial progress and erode wealth over time.

Risk mitigation: Safeguard against unforeseen circumstances by securing adequate insurance coverage for life and health. Establishing an emergency fund equivalent to six months of living expenses is essential to navigate financial challenges with resilience.

Professional guidance: Consider engaging the services of a qualified financial advisor to tailor investment strategies aligned with individual goals and risk tolerance. Professional advice can provide clarity and direction amidst the complexities of the financial landscape.

Strategic investments: Diversify investment portfolios to include assets capable of generating long-term returns and outpacing inflation. While prioritising stability, consider allocating a portion of investments towards growth-oriented assets such as equity mutual funds.

Women play a pivotal role in shaping societal norms and influencing future generations. By prioritising financial literacy and empowerment, women not only enhance their own financial well-being but also contribute to broader economic resilience and prosperity.

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