Every summer memory is christened with trips to the native home, where dusty boxes and cookie jars are filled with little change saved over decades. We grew up believing that the best practice for extra cash is to save it and forget it.
As a woman in Indian society, you are brought up to believe that money is a matter of the “others'” hands. Even in the most educated households, we often find children being taught to save their money or not worry about it.
Conversations about finances are often brushed aside like little crumbs under the carpet, but our culture has taught us over the years that saving comes naturally to Indians.
The journey of women and money has been a complicated one, and sadly, not much has changed. According to our survey done by us, 65% of women resort to keeping their money in a savings account and only 16% invest in financial instruments.
But why should women invest?
Women today are shattering the glass ceiling and redefining stereotypes. With multiple roles, managing businesses and running households, with differentiated career peaks and longer life expectancy, the financial needs of women are very different from those of their male counterparts.
29% of women in India do not invest at all, and the number is as high as 34% in the 21–25 age group. Overall, 49% of women in the country are either not investing or are unaware of their investments.
According to the LXME Women Money & Power Report, only 9% of women are investing independently through self-learning.
Why start young?
Setting a strong foundation is necessary for an empire to be built. We have seen the devastation caused to livelihoods in a post-pandemic world.
In most cases, fearstruck women with minimal financial literacy have had to take charge while bearing the grief of losing the sole breadwinner.
Life can take on a myriad of colors, good or bad, and being prepared for contingencies can go a long way.
However, does one manage to dive into the new when they cling onto the old? Financial planning is not a welcome habit for women in India.
Even today, in 2022, women look to their male counterparts in the family to manage and handle the finances. 40% of women took assistance from their partners and family to make their investments.
This highlights a major dependency among women on family and partners when it comes to financial matters. When we fail to encourage financial literacy at its roots, we miss the gold from the start.
When we start making financial knowledge and tools a takeaway for young girls from the beginning, we
them to develop a better risk appetite and support their financial independence from the ground up.
Investing versus saving
The youngbloods of today are more aware of their risk appetite, of their personal finances, and the veracity of the tools available at their disposal.
Any confident young individual today is more than daring to use the right resources at hand and experiment with investing.
For generations, we have seen women in our families manage our homes and household expenses expertly, but how many of us remember the women making investment calls?
In today’s world, when decades of the fight have finally brought women to the forefront of the workforce, women earn well yet refrain from making investment decisions, fearing the repercussions of a bad call.
Being in control of your investments lets you have a say in your financial future and that of your loved ones. It takes care of two very important factors when it comes to financial stability — uncertainty and dependency.
We saw that the majority of women invested only 16% of their income. This could be derived from apprehensions related to investments, primarily emanating from a lack of knowledge. A massive 92% of women revealed that they do not access any financial investment-related websites.
Another ill-informed fear is that investing is for the rich only, as 39% of women stated low funds as the reason for not investing their money. This is followed by a lack of financial awareness at 12% and a fear of losing savings at 10%.
As young children, we are often taught to fear money, that the one to save and play safe is the wiser.
When we begin to ask ourselves about the opportunity for growth in such safe bounds, we wonder what wonderful changes can become if women are taught to trust their generational skills, to start making investment-related decisions for themselves and to have the confidence to manage their. own money.