The perks of being financially independent for women
Being financially independent not only ensures financial security but also gives a boost to self-esteem
According to a United Nations report titled 'The World's Women 2015', about 26 per cent of women around the world do not have a personal bank account simply because another family member already holds one.
The same report also reveals that, on average, one in 10 married women in developing countries have no say in how their own income is spent.
If you're a career-oriented and financially independent woman, these statistics may seem a bit shocking to you. But this is the unfortunate reality in many parts of the world.
For women, being financially independent not only ensures our financial security but also gives a boost to our self-esteem. There are several perks of being in charge of your own purse strings. The Souqalmal.com team zooms in on some of them:
To cope with the rising cost of living
The cost of living, especially in a country like the UAE, can turn into a serious financial concern for many expats, especially if the family is solely dependent on a single source of income. If both you and your spouse are financially independent, not only can you comfortably cater for the big-ticket items as well as day-to-day expenses, but also have enough left for recreation, saving and investment.
Have an independent saving and investment strategy
If you're financially dependent on your spouse or parents, you are less likely to take big financial decisions, especially those related to how money is saved and where it is invested.
But with financial freedom comes the liberty to make these choices on your own. You can follow any saving style or investment strategy in line with your long-term goals. Even if you want to take a calculated risk, no one's stopping you from doing so. It's your money after all!
Have individual money goals
As a couple, you may decide to combine your financial resources to pay for a mortgage, or pay for your children's education and more, but what about your personal goals? What if you wanted to take a year off to pursue higher education, or buy that expensive professional camera to improve your photography skills? Financial independence will allow you to have and chase your own individual goals in life.
Prepare for emergencies
Standing on your own two feet can help you prepare for any ill-fated financial situation that life may bring your way. Financial freedom, especially for women, can make all the difference between feeling empowered and feeling helpless.
Not a topic many married women like to think about, but untimely death of a spouse or marital separation can leave you not just in emotional but financial turmoil too. Even single women must work towards securing their financial futures, so they don't have to depend on other family members in case of a financial crisis.
Become a role model
A financially independent woman is not only a source of inspiration for other women around her, but also for her own children. Financially independent mothers can be the perfect role models for their daughters who will learn the value of being financially responsible and self-reliant. Sons too will learn to respect a woman's pursuit of financial freedom.
Wondering how to start planning your finances? Visit Souqalmal.com for a range of personal finance and insurance products to choose from, or read through an exclusive selection of personal finance guides and articles for women on our blog - The Money Doctor.
The writer is the founder and chief executive officer of Souqalmal.com. Views expressed are her own and do not reflect the newspaper's policy.
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