Freedom for women has been a challenge for centuries. Change began with the suffragette movement globally and has moved to a much more independent and evolved scenario today. Women in India have come a long way but when it comes to financial clarity in personal relationships, there are certain challenges that exist still. From an economic standpoint, our culture has historically given lesser due to the woman in a marital union, as opposed to a man. With the primary onus of financial freedom on the men, women would automatically be made to assume charge of the household. Women nowadays though are much more vocal about their financial rights and look out for partners who support them in their quest to maintain financial freedom. Financial independence of both halves of a couple is equally important and women must know what their rights are. Priti Rathi Gupta - Founder of LXME, MD and Promotor, Anand Rathi Group has shared with us, certain aspects that are crucial and should be kept in mind to maintain financial independence post marriage.
1. The Why Power
A marriage shouldn’t act as an obstacle in a woman’s journey to achieve her dreams, ambitions and accomplish what she is passionate about. She should have complete freedom to continue working towards her long term financial goals. With a big move in life, the short term perceptive may shuffle a little but one must have the right to continue working towards their goals.
2. Balance your finances
Whether she and her partner should combine their finances, keep it separate, or a mix of two, a woman has the complete right to decide for herself. This could also mean working together to attain common goals like a car, holidays, kids’ education etc. but at the same time enjoy individual financial independence.
3. Park your Savings and understand investment
Either it is your own earnings or saving through budgeting, one should have the power to brainstorm and freedom to park it in the investment avenues one feels is right for them. This can only happen if you ensure you’re financially aware and vocal about your preferences.
4. Being able to communicate about money
Help keep each other accountable generally and learn how to manage money better such as tax planning or savings. At every level of life, you should be willing to play like a team, contrasting yet complementing each other. Money should be something you both are fluent in and communicating openly about money should not feel odd at all. It is absolutely natural to ask and have complete information about each other’s assets and can be done very respectfully.
5. Know potential pitfalls you may encounter after tying the knot
Most of the time when we think about marriages, we fail to identify potential pitfalls which could snowball later into major issues. Resultantly, keeping a blind eye to the problem areas may lead to discontent later. Have an open chat about financial preferences and understand if that works for you before taking the plunge.
6. Have an Exit strategy as a worst-case scenario
Sometimes, things don’t work out the way that we think that they will. Hence, it’s always a good idea to have a financial back-up plan in advance. The feeling of not having any options can make you feel stuck in a place that you don’t want to be in and you must sort your finances and keep them in order for any unexpected situations.
Keeping all these in mind, it is imperative that women are aware of their financial rights, know the right questions to ask, and get over the hesitation that comes with talking finance with their partners!