Enough has been written and spoken about financial independence especially with reference to women in the last two decades. But what does financial independence for women mean? It is subjective and can mean different things to different women. For a working woman, it may mean being able to make her own financial decisions or being able to sustain herself financially. For a homemaker, it may mean being able to spend money whenever she wants or being able to sustain herself during emergencies.
a basic level, financial independence makes women feel more secure and respected irrespective of their socio-economic background. This automatically has a relay effect not just on women but their families, society, and the country at large. More financially independent women mean a more progressive society that is healthier
When women work, not only do they become financially independent, they have a huge influence on the larger society and the nation. Their income contributes to the family income. The family lifestyle, savings, children’s education, old-age funds, all get positively impacted. Cash in hand and hence buying capacity improves thereby impacting the economy. The impact of increasing participation of women workforce on the GDP is well documented. When the GDP of the country improves, it is not only the women who benefit, the whole nation benefits and all those naysayers who say women should stay at home also benefit.
Here’s why every woman needs to be financially independent, married or not –
1️⃣To Pre-empt emergencies:
Every family needs to be prepared for a contingency. Layoffs are more frequent, jobs aren’t super secure and neither is life. If the husband is the sole bread earner, with the wife and kids being dependent on him, then there is reason to worry for the family. Panic tends to ensue in the time the man finds a new job. With most families running the risk of multiple EMIs, it makes sense for the lady of the house to also hold down a job.
2️⃣To meet the rising cost of living:
Inflation, as we all know, has risen noticeably in the last few decades. To own a decent home, send your kids to a good school and live an above average standard of living has become very high. Hence, 2-income households certainly fare better. Women who are financially independent can not only contribute to the everyday expenses of the household, but also help to meet the family’s financial goals.
3️⃣To feel responsible and boost morale:
Financially independent people are capable of taking their own decisions and don’t have to depend on anybody. This increases their self-respect and makes them more confident to face any kind of situations in life. Many women from conservative backgrounds with dreams and aspirations depend on their partners or parents for their fulfilment. Being financially independent, will enable them to self-sufficiently fulfil their wishes – enhance their skill-sets, go for a trip with friends, or even buying things that they want and so on.
4️⃣To stop feeling dependent
: No one should have to tolerate domestic violence or abuse, much less because they’re financially dependent on their partners. Therefore, it is extremely important that every woman becomes financially independent so that they never have to feel helpless in life.
To be a role-model: A woman who can support the needs of the family financially, socially, emotionally and so on is a role model for her children to show them that gender bias is created by the society and doesn’t mean anything when a woman is strong, confident and sure of herself. The children learn from what they see. If kids see that their mothers are financially independent, they will also understand the value of money and be inspired to be self-sufficient in life when they grow up.
In the end ,Every woman is a human being first, with the right to choose her own path, with the right to express what she wants to do, and go after it without hesitation, without the fear of being judged, without the hindrances of what society believes she must do. There are no right or wrong answers except for what are her aspirations, and what she wants to achieve in life, And she is answerable to no one but herself!
It is extremely important for all women – be it married, single, separated, widowed or divorced to be financially independent. However, it is important not to financial independence with financial security. A monthly pay cheque in your bank account alone cannot render you capable of meeting all of your financial goals. It is how you plan and manage your finances which will result in fruition of goals later in life.