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Financial Planning & Women | BankBazaar

This International Women’s Day, we are happy to bring to you a primer on financial planning written keeping women at the centre.

Taking the first steps to financial independence is difficult regardless of your gender. However, women face some hurdles unique to them, leaving them with a disadvantage when it comes to finances. This can have a far-reaching impact on the financial and emotional well-being of women, and by extension, their families.

With this primer, we have tried to acknowledge all these constraints and put together a set of solutions that can help anyone, especially women, meet the most important milestones of their life. These are actual insights and tips that we’ve put together from our collective experiences.

OVER THE LAST DECADE, the percentage of women in the workforce has seesawed from lows of 17.5% to 32.8%. The percentage of women taking independent financial decisions remains similarly low. According to one study, only 27% of women took financial decisions independently, and at the other end of the spectrum, 31% were not at all involved in any financial decisions in their homes. A good percentage of women, regardless of having an independent income or not, are not just out of the picture when it comes to planning their financial lives, but are also entirely out of the decision-making process on the whole.

Nevertheless, financial literacy for women is a fundamental tool to lead a life of opportunities and security. On a good day, it is the first step to financial independence, helping women think about their life goals — both personal or professional — for themselves and their family. On a bad day, it gives women the confidence to get out of difficult situations, be it a bad marriage, a toxic workplace, or a dysfunctional household.

THIS WHITEPAPER looks at how one can take those often-difficult first steps to some major financial milestones. While the struggles — the overthinking, the at-times paralysing feeling of not knowing enough to start investing — aren’t specific to any particular gender, we cannot forget that women face some very specific challenges unique to them.

WOMEN SUFFER from “time poverty”. Our society still places the primary responsibility of family and household care squarely on women’s shoulders. Indian women spend roughly 7 hours a day on household duties compared to 2.7 hours that men do. Even today, quality education for the girl child is not always a priority. So, it is not surprising that paid work is not an option for a lot of women. Even employed women still tend to have lower paying jobs, more frequent career disruptions, and fewer opportunities to upskill. These responsibilities also mean lesser time to study and familiarise oneself with financial matters.

However, a lack of understanding around finances can have far-reaching impact on the financial and emotional well-being of women, and by extension, their families. So, with a view to fill this gap as painlessly as possible, we have tried to acknowledge all these constraints and put together a set of solutions that can help you meet the most important milestones of your life.

We hope that the solutions in this whitepaper will give everyone, especially women, the confidence to become an active participant in their own financial journey, regardless of whether they have a personal income or not.

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