May 13 , 2013
As a woman you cannot avoid the financial impact of decisions you make. Consider money as your workers. Put them to work for you. They'll bring more workers and your life will be made easier. Treat them right and they'll make you happier and richer.
Women are used to privileges everywhere. Hop on to public transport and you'll find seats or coaches reserved for women. In queues in public places there will be dedicated lines for women. Being a woman entitles you to special financial benefits too which include
1. Lower income tax slabs
The government taxes women lower than men. For the year 2011-2012 the tax-exempt income for women is Rs 1, 90,000 compared to men's income of Rs 1, 80,000. You can use this money to make investments.
2. Lower insurance premiums
According to statistics women live longer than men, which means in a given population the probability of women reaching a certain age is more than that of men reaching the same age. Besides, fewer women engage in activities like smoking and drinking. For these reasons insurance premiums for women are lower than for men. For women in the age group of 18-30 the premiums are lesser by 25-30% than for men in the same age group.
3. Lower stamp duty
Stamp duty on real estate transactions is lower for women. Stamp duty is a tax collected on all legal documents and make transactions valid. The rates vary from state to state. Stamp duty is lower for women to encourage purchase of property by women.
Many banks offer loans to women on lower interest rates than to men. The difference could be 0.5%-1% on education loans. Some banks offer a waiver on processing fee for loans to women. Banks also offer special privileges on credit cards to female customers.
Women in India have always relied on their men- father, brother, husband to take care of their needs. Even among women that earn, only a little majority exercises freedom over financial matters. Be your own fan and do things to ensure you'll have a secure financial future. Remember that no one can be more responsible about your life than you are.
It is essential to having savings of your own. Maintain an emergency fund to take care of unexpected financial needs without the need to depend on others.
Think through spending
You can think of finance as a diet. Occasional splurge is fine but frequent overspending can harm you. Consider saving as a tax you must pay to yourself. Learn to live on 85% of your salary. Think over purchases you make. Whenever you're about to make an expensive purchase go over the value the item will give you and how often you'll use it. If you decide to buy it you'll appreciate its value and if you decide not to you won't regret for having spent later.
Some common reasons why women don't make it big financially are
Ignorance is never bliss when it comes to finance. Knowledge is empowering. Women are relatively less keen on learning to master strategic finance skills such as investing. This is changing for the better with more and more housewives venturing into online stock trading. However caution must be exercised while venturing into unfamiliar waters.
Coupled with ignorance is lack of confidence. Many women think of investments as something coming under men's domain. There are scores of well educated and brilliant women that shy away from investments because they believe they're just not finance savvy enough to handle such things.
In India many times a working woman is expected to take care of household chores without significant help from the spouse or other family members. If she is a mother she is expected to raise children. Being single you are spared these situations. Time is on your side so go ahead now and make financial decisions that will make you glad some years down the line.