Noted Author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, in one of her books, talks about the idea of Feminism Lite. According to her, Feminism Lite uses analogies like “He is the head and you are the neck” and “He is driving but you are in the front seat”, and in general uses the language of ‘allowing’. Women, for generations, have been conditioned to give away financial control to the ‘head’ of the family. Of course, times have changed. Yet, whether or not there is a ‘he’ in your life, the conditioning is so deep-rooted within us that we voluntarily give up the nitty-gritty of finances. It is about time we take charge and feel truly empowered.
In the PS Show on money, I spoke to five very financially independent women. Each has a different story to tell:
These women come from various backgrounds, from consultants to ex-journalists, and they share with us their unique experiences. While some women like Shonali Advani have been into the habit of saving from a very young age, others like Sarita Prakash developed this habit after working for a while.
Our conversations were around what they learned as children, the experiences with money in their professional journey, how they saved, and why. The financial independence enjoyed by these women is balanced against the ground realities of Indian culture and Indian family life – the expectations and obligations that are placed on women generally. Sarita Devpunje, CEO and founder, Magneton Technologies PVT Ltd, speaks about how she had to explain to her family about financial independence first, and then she started earning herself. Their approaches to saving, how much they save, etc. are all different, but equally effective.
For example, some women like Gaganjot Kaur and Shonali Advani say that they tend to avoid using credit cards, and prefer debit cards. These women also ensure that they plan for the future and make calculated decisions on how to spend, what to spend on, and where to cut down and save. For example, Maitre Dasgupta speaks about how she has made decisions to cut down expenses on travel by backpacking and saving that money.
Disclaimer: We want you to think about your reserve fund. We don’t claim to be experts but urge you to think and act.
Prathibha Sastry is Founder and CEO, PS: This Matters, the content brand behind The PS Show.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)