Why Should Women Have More Financial Knowledge Than Men?
By Shikha Bhatnagar - Executive Vice President, private banking, Bajaj Capital.
Both men and women should have sufficient financial knowledge to effectively participate in the money concerns related to themselves and their families. But, in general, especially in India, it is been observed that women have limited financial knowledge and lower access to formal financial products. However, if the ground realities are examined closely, one will realize that women need to have the better financial knowledge and financial planning in comparison to men.
Key Reasons Why Women Must Understand Personal Finance
1. To be Prepared for Emergencies:
Life is beautiful but accustomed to changes. So we can't be in peace believing that circumstances in life will be same for ever. Today when women are talking about equality, they must understand that it is not fair to burden the husband with the financial responsibilities of life and be a dependent on him. Not necessarily, women have to be a working professional and earn to help her family financially. Even women functional as homemakers can help her husband in gaining financial security by providing him the right financial advisory. For this she must strive to keep herself educated about financial needs and planning of the family.
Also, she must take the emergency perspective under consideration and think about her financial independence as well. Every woman, earning or not earning, has the habit of saving in her piggy banks. They must grow out of piggy banks and wisely invest that money to channelize modes of wealth creation.
2. To Meet the Rising Cost of Living:
Inflation, as we all know, has risen noticeably in the last few decades. Owning a decent home, sending kids to a good school and living life with an above average standard have become very difficult. As much the man is responsible for these duties, even the woman is responsible. In fact, she can better handle these responsibilities, because women are born talented fianncal planners since ages. All she needs is the right financial guidance and awarness.
3. Children Get Influenced by Their Mothers
In a study, dated 2009, by the National Endowment for Financial Education, it was found that “direct teaching from parents is more influential on the financial habits of young adults than work experience or high school financial literacy courses.”
Thus, both the parents need to be financially smart. But because in most of the families, the mother is still the primary caregiver, who has the greatest influence on her children, so it is important for a mother to have proper financial awareness. She will be able to shape the outlook of her child by transmitting her adequate financial skills and habits to her children.
4. Women are Usually In-charge of the Day-to-day Expenses of Living
Women is a 'born talented' financially planner and traditionally, they have taken the role of managing the day-to-day finances, such as paying bills, buying groceries and shopping for clothes. Women's art of managing day-to-day finances has been one of the most important pillars of financial prosperity of every household. Through right financially knowledge and awarness, women can empower herself groom to be a better financial palnner, who will know more about asigning the money in terms of expendeture and saving.
5. Women Tend to Live Longer
When a woman leaves all the financial matters of the household to the male members of her family, she lives a financially dependent life. This can turn challenging in face of unfair and complicated life circumstances. Also, researches done in the past says that women tend to live longer than men. Working professional, entrepreneur or a homemaker, all women should try to attain financial independence to keep herself secured even in those sunset days.
6. To Gain Confidence and Independence
Having sound awareness related to personal financial matters like investment, tax saving, wealth creation etc., not just help the woman at an individual level but she being the family's natural and traditional financial planner, can also help her husband in the investment related matters and help him in gaining financial prosperity. This will certainly help a woman in gaining confidence because her financial knowledge transforms her from a liability to an asset.
In a nutshell, every woman should widen her horizons and must strive to acquire financial knowledge. She must channelize her ways of financial independence through investments and rightly put her knowledge in helping her family to attain financial prosperity. She must adopt the changes in technology and financial domain, and take the support and facilities available to her to keep herself abreast, financially aware and financially independent.