Build Your Assets! 7 tips for homemakers towards Financial Security

  1. Always start the month with a fixed amount:    
    • If you are not the breadwinner of the family, insist on a fixed amount to be given to you every month to manage the daily purchases. That way you can have the opportunity to save some amount for yourself or your family. Don’t just save up for children. Try to build your own corpus over time, even by starting with small amounts.  
  2. Invest- Even if its just Rs.500!   
    • I cannot stress on this enough! It is very important to invest your saving, as the value of money gets eroded with time. If you are not very knowledgeable about investment options, read online or take opinion from friends who have the knowledge. Mutual funds are perfect for investing small amounts where you do not want the hassle of keeping track of the market etc. An expert fund manager is available to manage your money. Other options can be gold (either physical or only ETFs) or FDs (Banks or corporate FDs).  
  3. Know your legal rights:    
    • The Constitution of India has given many rights to married women under the Hindu Marriage Act, out of which three main rights are related to financial security. These are:
      • @ Right to Streedhan: A wife has ownership rights to all her streedhan, that is the gifts and money given to her before and after marriage. Streedhan belongs to the wife, even if it is placed in the custody of her husband or her in-laws. 
      • @ Right to residence – A wife has the right to reside in the matrimonial household where her husband resides, irrespective of whether it is an ancestral house, a joint family house, a self- acquired house or a rented house. 
      • @ Right to maintenance by husband – A wife is entitled to claim decent living standards & basic comforts of life by her husband as per his living standards.
      • @ Married Women Property Act: This act insulates the women’s personal property from any debts of her husband. You can read about it in the link below.
  4. Have a separate bank account: 
    • It is important for women to have a separate bank account, where they can take small spending decisions independently without always having to ask or inform. It will also give women confidence in money matters and help learn the ways of the bank. If you wish to invest your savings, you can link your bank account to a demat account so that you can invest directly.
  5. Have an alternate source of income:
    • If you are from a middle class family (or even if not!), being completely dependent on husband’s income will make it very difficult to remove any leeway for personal spending/saving. Try alternative sources of income even by being at home, for example, home tutoring, starting a cresh/ babysitting services, home catering, online marketing/catalogue marketing/being a distributor, etc. If you are a creative person, you can do short courses like gift-wrapped, baking, designing, and start a small business. It takes effort to take the initiative, but I urge you to do it and see the difference!  
  6. Find out about VCs or ways of saving money:   
    • Voluntary Contributions are a good way to save money. A group of women can come together to pitch in certain amount of money every month and by lucky draw one person is allotted the entire corpus in every turn, which they are free to use in whatever way they desire. Most women buy gold or save/invest in FDs etc. The benefit is of getting a large sum of money at a go, which can be used for meeting a major expense or investment.  
  7. Ask- never shy away:  
    • Ladies, always ask for your rightful shares! Whether it is cash money, or a dress you need to buy, or a course you wish to do. Always ask for it, and there is a good chance that you will get it! You do enough and you can always ask for a personal fixed amount of money from your husband, even if the amount is less. The important thing is that it should be regular and without strings attached.