Dubai: Are you unable to save money? How women can be financially stable

Experts urge women who have reached their mid-30s to secure their future with emergency fund strategies

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Nandini Sircar

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Rehab Lootah (third from right). Photo: Supplied
Rehab Lootah (third from right). Photo: Supplied

Published: Thu 18 Jan 2024, 5:00 PM

Last updated: Thu 18 Jan 2024, 9:10 PM

As women inch closer to 35 and go beyond, they frequently encounter various changes that may affect their financial stability, prompting individuals in this demographic to prioritise setting up an emergency fund.

That’s the advice from financial experts and accomplished women within the community who during an event titled, "Financial Planning for Every Stage of a Woman's Life" on Thursday, emphasised that life events such as changes in marital status, untimely death of the partner, job loss, supporting children and ageing parents, and dealing with health issues or medical emergencies necessitate having a financial safety net.

Speaking to the Khaleej Times on the sidelines of the event, Rehab Lootah, Group Deputy Chief Executive Officer at National Bonds said: “Having an emergency fund is mandatory. The majority of people don’t have it. Keep at least six months of your salary as an emergency fund. So, every month, women must do the calculation and set aside a fixed portion of their salary as an emergency fund.”

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She highlights that divorce or the loss of a spouse can result in a significant reduction in income and increased expenses. Besides, unexpected medical emergencies can also arise, resulting in substantial financial burdens.

“We learnt more about the nature of uncertainties, especially at the time of Covid-19. So, spend wisely and most importantly learn to save.”

Rehab Lootah. Photo: Supplied
Rehab Lootah. Photo: Supplied

Constant desire to ‘buy' adversely impacts savings

She stressed the desire to constantly buy whether in-store or online also hits people financially.

“Be a wiser spender and stop consumer bad habits. Don’t fall into this trap of ‘one-click shopping’. Women get drawn by malls and the perpetual discounts that are offered there. Being a saver doesn’t mean that you don’t enjoy life. But set aside at least 20 per cent of the income, that should go only towards savings. The earlier you start saving, the easier and better it is.”

Lootah also pointed out that different financial instruments and plans like ‘earning a second salary’, ‘my one million’, and ‘junior savings plans’ among many others could be ways to save money and cut spending habits.

Anisha Sagar reiterates one must start with small savings and keep building them into one's daily routine. There isn't a quick-fix solution for financial habits as it involves a consistent process, requiring intentional thought and action.

Sagar who is the Head of Marketing & Communications – Meydan Free Zone said, “Look at different banks even if it’s just for a savings account. Then determine the percentage that each bank offers as a return. Search on Google, not for shoes and deals but go and search for what is the best percentage that I get when it comes to my savings account. Then without delay, start.”

Market your talent as a side hustle

She also urges women to turn their passions into profitable ventures, as doing so will provide a sense of fulfillment and financial independence.

“Utilize your hobby as a side income. Understand the power of social media and marketing channels. You could be a photographer, vlogger, painter, networker, or could cook well. I advocate entrepreneurship.”

“You needn’t have a great office. Get yourself a trade license. The government enables you to have a trade license for as low as Dhs 1500 for women. Once you are done with that go out and start advertising your content. That’ll help you make money. Utilize this money and take care of two important things -- create an emergency fund and take care of your insurance policy,” added Sagar.

Women must take interest in personal finances

Another empowering message entailed gaining a thorough understanding of one’s financial situation that included aspects such as debts, income, investments, and savings, enabling women to initiate actions with confidence.

Anishkaa Gehani, Co-Founder and CMO- Gulf Business Incubator, said, “(Women) Know your finance. Have a conversation with your husband or partner about finances. Don’t leave financial decisions only to men. Plan and strategize that will give you confidence. Money gives you the power of decision making and it allows you to take charge of your entire life.”

She added, “This is an area that I have also exposed my children very early on in their lives and we have positive conversations surrounding the concept of money and savings. It is important to understand how to use money and make it work for you.”

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