This is Ankita Kamat, founder at Frugal Beat. I’m someone who is in the early 20s. After quitting my job, now I’m living my dream. I’m chasing my passion and dream career. In my journey, I’ve learnt to be frugal in my life. And frugal living is helping me to build my career without spending a big buck.
What is frugal living for me?
For me, frugal living is the first step towards financial freedom. Being frugal means living well without spending more money, it’s about saving money without compromising on anything. Well, personally I feel there are 3 steps to reach financial freedom. The first one is frugal living. The next step is financial independence. And the last step is financial freedom. So everyone should take the first step as soon as possible.
Financial Freedom is my dream
Now you may think what is the difference between financial freedom and financial independence. Well, if you are doing a job and paying all your bills then it’s financial independence. And today if you leave your job and still you can pay all the bills with your own money for a life long then it’s a financial freedom!
Is financial freedom meant only for boys?
Not at all! Well, a few months ago this question popped up in my mind. Then I realised that everyone needs money for survival, be it to the boy or a girl. Then I’ve observed that in India girls don’t think much about financial independence or financial freedom. Even if young women join any job then they are forced to quit their job after marriage.
I personally feel that every young girl should take charge. Each woman should be independent in all the terms. Financial independence is like a key for a girl to open the door of a cage and fly high. Everyone needs money then why should we girls stay away from financial independence and money management, right?
Why financial independence is important for girls?
As a girl, I’ve realized that it’s really important to save money and be independent. I’ve seen some women in my life whose life has become hell because they don’t have financial independence. So, it’s really important for girls to understand the importance of earning and saving money.
- Earning and saving money will secure your future:
Few years back, my parents were thinking about my marriage. But at that time my thoughts were like this -“That guy is earning well but what about my financial independence? Okay, today I’m not earning money, I’m not independent but as he is earning well I can ask him money whenever I want. Ohh no..!! what if he says ‘No’ to fulfill my demands?!”. I’m sure many of you may also get these type of thoughts when your parents talk about your marriage. And finally, I decided not to get into any relationship with this insecurity.
But when you be financially independent and save money, you feel your future is fully secured. You get confidence to live your life fully. So it’s very necessary for young girls to figure out ways to be financially independent.
- Live your life on your own terms and conditions:
I personally feel, after graduation if we girls start to earn money then we can live life on our own terms and conditions. I used to save 70-80 percent of my monthly income from my job. And I started to invest my money in mutual funds. Usually, in India girls don’t show interest in investment and personal finance. I feel the main reason is that they are not financially independent and lack of confidence.
Since my college days, I’m interested in investments, shares and stocks. But as I was not financially independent at that time I could not take any financial risks. So with my experience, I can say that financial independence gives you the courage to take risks in life. You can live your life without being accountable to anyone.
- You will be proud of yourself:
When I’ve earned my first income, I was on cloud nine! I was feeling proud and confident about myself. Well, with my first salary I bought a wristwatch for me. I can say that I gifted a wristwatch to myself 🙂
I was proud to tie that watch. Do you know why? The real reason was-once in my childhood I demanded a new wristwatch to my father. But he refused to get me a new wristwatch. And today I can say that was the best day of my life, as I’ve learnt the importance of financial independence.
So, after so many years I tied wristwatch that to which I’ve bought with my own earned money. This moment was so great for me. Trust me, it does not matter how much money you earn but when you get your first income you will feel proud of yourself. It boosts confidence in girls. I feel why should young girls miss this opportunity to be proud of themselves, right?
I really feel every girl should experience this proud moment by taking charge and stepping towards financial independence in her life.
- You will not compromise on anything in your life:
Financially independent girls don’t need to compromise on anything in their life. I’ve seen many girls who are compromising on many things just because they have not earned and saved money for themselves. When you have your own money, you can do things which you really like. For example- investing money, starting your own business, travelling, learning new skill etc.
What stops the girls to be financially independent?
Usually, all the boys start to earn money in 20s and become independent. But when it comes to girls, there are a lot of barriers to become financially independent. As per my experience and knowledge, I’m listing some barriers here-
- Gender inequality
- Lack of confidence
- Fear of getting judged by the society
- Lack of education among girls
- Family issues and pressure
- Marriage and children
No matter how many barriers do girls face in life, I feel girls are strong enough to overcome all the barriers and get financial independence in their life. You have the power to take charge and change your destiny. Some girls never think about saving and personal finance. They think the finance department is meant only for boys or men. But let me tell you, girls can also be better at handling finance.
I myself as a girl faced and facing a lot of issues to be independent. But I’m learning to be strong, independent girl. Financial freedom is my dream. As a common girl when I can take charge of my life then surely each girl has this potential. So don’t follow any myth regarding saving and personal finance and financial independence. Take charge.
Gather your confidence right now and take the right decision for you. As a girl I’m saying this- don’t get trapped into ‘dependent life’. Every girl has the potential to be financially independent. Be that kickass girl who inspires and empower other girls.