Browsed by
Category: Self-Empowerment

Why it is important for women to be financially savvy!

Why it is important for women to be financially savvy!

“To be a financially savvy woman, you don’t have to like tracking your numbers. You just have to do it.” ~ Patti Fagan.

We are almost at the end of this financial year (31st March in India) as I sit to pen this blog post. Last few weeks I had to ensure all taxes are paid, income tax returns are filed, tax-saving deductions are done under Section 80C….Its time to review my investments. How are my mutual funds looking? The stock markets are high and volatile so have to plan well. I am in the midst of preparing my personal budget for the new financial year. Have to factor inflation rate plus increase in school fees….

Few years ago, all this would have been completely Greek and Latin for me. I barely had any idea about the financial jargon. When you have never handled your money on your own and are left-brain challenged, personal finances can seem daunting. Most of us Indian girls coming from a sound economic background are usually raised in way where the money matters are completely looked after by the father (and brother if there is) and after marriage by the husband (and the father-in-law if applicable). Traditionally, men have always taken care of the financial aspect in a relationship. No questions asked, all in good trust and faith.

Flash back to the time when I was faced with my divorce. And with it came all the challenges of handling not only my own finances but also that of my minor daughters. The girl who had mainly worked with paintbrushes and pens was now compelled to look at numbers and excel sheets, big time. A single woman and a single mom put together in a situation where there was no choice but to take control.

Learning the ropes of everything around money did not come easy. It continues to be a process of constant education till date. But I am so glad to have been thrown into the situation, else I probably wouldn’t have learnt as much. A lot of women I know have no clue about their own finances simply ‘cos there has not been any need to learn. One of my aunts had no idea about the medical policy details when my uncle was hospitalised in an emergency. A close friend does not know how net banking works. An older mom I know was clueless about her income tax statement and regrets not learning.

I believe it’s very important for every woman to be financially savvy. Here’s why:

  • Self-respect: When a woman equips herself with financial knowledge, she is able to control her money well. That fills her with self-confidence and puts her in charge. It is critical for her own survival skills when crisis befalls. When she can hold her own in a financial situation, her self-respect takes a huge leap.
  • Key decision-making: It is generally the woman in the family who knows the family spends. Home management, paying for the children’s education and activities, shopping requirements, bills, etc. are usually in her domain of responsibilities. If she is financially smart, money management will be easier and it will augur well for better decision-making.
  • Sense of ownership: You know your money well, you own it, you have a sense of responsibility. The onus is on you – to save, to lose, to spend. Even if you make mistakes, they will serve as lessons. But the sense of complete ownership is wonderful. No one can take you for a ride or cheat you when you know how things work.
  • Exercising your choice: There are several modes of investments to allot your money. It helps you to make an informed choice when you are aware of your funds and financial needs at different stages. Organising and systematic planning comes very easily to women, especially mothers. She can use these skills effectively for taking important financial decisions.
  • Sense of freedom: In most cases, money is the tool that allows us to enjoy the varied pleasures of life. If a woman is financially smart about her money choices, she need not wait for anyone’s permission or approval. She can indulge in whatever her heart desires. Now that feeling can be truly very liberating!

You must ask yourself – how well do I know my money?

 

A to Z Blogging Challenge April 2017: Theme reveal

A to Z Blogging Challenge April 2017: Theme reveal

“Challenges are what makes life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.” ~Joshua Marine

When I first read about the #AtoZChallenge for bloggers, of churning out a blog post in an alphabetical chronology almost every single day for 26 days in a month (except Sundays), I said to myself, ‘I cant do it. Its hard enough finding time writing a post every week, every day seems way too daunting!’ But then me and my affinity towards challenges got me pondering…at all the possibilities of participating. What it would mean to be a part of joining so many bloggers in this online event. What a wonderful platform it could be to reach out to more readers. How exciting it would be to have accomplished a difficult feat.

I am plunging in. No looking back now.

The next question – My theme! What do I give my readers that which is valuable to take away? In an alphabetical chronology? Thankfully, it didn’t take too long to figure.

One thing that has been constant in my life is my love for reading. And particularly during crisis moments in life, I read everything I could get my hand on about surviving, healing, self-help, parenting, single-parenting, personal growth…the list goes on. The process opened me to seek a deeper connection with the divine forces of the universe. Unlocking my channels for spiritual growth. Leading me on to a path of self-discovery, in a quest for life’s true purpose.

I would love to share with you- all the learning that has touched my soul and built me into who I am. Of positive inspirations and influences. The books, the authors, the experiences – everything that has enriched my journey so far. And while I do so, I am excited to revisit all of that and perhaps take away something valuable again.

Join in. Stay connected for a fast-paced alphabetical blogging month ahead!

Being the Queen of our hearts!

Being the Queen of our hearts!

“She is the kind of queen that knows her crown isn’t on her head but in her soul.” ~Adrian Michael

Last week, I had been contemplating on a few subjects for my next blogspot (this one). I started working on something but then simply couldn’t take my mind off the recent episode of ‘Koffee with Karan’ on television. Not that I’m a big fan of Karan Johar or his show nor am I crazy about Bollywood. But his last episode featured actor Kangana Ranaut, who made a strong mark with her spunky, fiery attitude. The ‘Queen’ of Bollywood impressed with her no qualms boldness in what she had to say and the forthright manner in which she said it all. Now Kangana may have an unconventional demeanor and is perhaps not everyone’s favourite. But on this show, she was so brutally honest and opinionated, the other guest Saif Ali Khan was literally on the edge of his seat.

I felt there were subtle messages in there (seems like a penchant for me these days) beneath her classy overtones and couldn’t resist writing this post. Here is what got me pondering, with the questions I posed to myself as also to you-

Our drive – Kangana reminds Karan that he had ridiculed her English and her accent on the same show few years ago. But those comments became a drive for her, pushing her ahead.

We can use criticism, mocking and rejection thrown at us as a driving force towards success – to unleash our mettle, though not necessarily to prove a point to others.

Poser: What or who is the driving force in our life?

The value of our values – Kangana refuses to endorse fairness creams. She has never cheated on her partner. She does not do shows simply for the lure of money. Her values bear far more significance than doing something that doesn’t feel right.

We all need to set our moral boundaries at every stage in life. More importantly, stick to them and beat any sort of peer pressure. 

Poser: How much do we value our value system?

Gender equality When asked which of the Khans would she like to work with, she bluntly replied none. She wouldn’t’ be seen as an equal. This, when most of the Bollywood actresses today would do anything to bag a role opposite any of the Khan trio. Her exuding sophistication outshone even the suave Nawab on the same couch. She rightly pointed out that men think women have low IQ.

Why do we women have to share the limelight with men when we can be the limelight! We don’t need to shortchange ourselves, do we?

Poser: Are we living in someone else’s shadow?

True wealth – When asked whether she would rather be rich without love or poor but in love…she retorted saying her idea of poverty could be very different from his. Rightly said for his movies are always a superlative statement of luxury and brands. She added, artists have always chosen truth, beauty or values over money. If you have true love, you will have a rich life. Wow!

The concept of real wealth differs from people to people. What are we really here to gain? Fame? Success? Billions?

Poser: What are you seeking that would make you truly rich?

Honesty over diplomacy – Kangana admitted being jealous of others’ success. She was honest about not having friends in the industry. Her brazen opinions about Karan came forth uninhibited (‘flag-bearer of nepotism’ and ‘the snooty movie mafia’ being the highlights). She was candid about disliking certain habits of her co-stars and directors.

It is easy to indulge in backstabbing. But it requires conviction to blatantly speak the truth. And it takes courage to be unabashed on a global platform.

Poser: Are we righteous enough to say it like it is on the face?

Being genuine – Kangana said she didn’t want to fit in and tried to be as normal as she could in this superficial industry. And look how she stole the show with her candour, just by being herself.

Don’t we all want to lead a life that needs no mask or explanation, a life that resonates with our genuine core? Learning to build our own strong beliefs rather than conforming to those of others? Simply discovering who we are and be our authentic selves? What a sense of accomplishment and fulfilment that would bring!

Poser: Is our outer world in alignment with our inner world?

 

She came, she conquered and she won hearts like a true ‘Queen’!

Poser: Will others be able to say this for us?

Watch this royally candid episode right here:

http://www.hotstar.com/tv/koffee-with-karan/1525/saif-kangana-let-it-all-out/1000167379

Feature image courtesy: Pexels

Kangana Ranaut image courtesy: Star World

A strong woman is more than what meets the eye

A strong woman is more than what meets the eye

stocksnap_l11glriqxi

A man’s got to do what a man’s got to do. A woman must do what he can’t.” ~Rhonda Hansome

Recently, I had the privilege of attending the private screening of actress Tisca Chopra’s first short film as a producer and writer, ‘Chutney’, at the Lightbox preview theatre in Mumbai. Invite courtesy – Ritu Gorai, award winning entrepreneur and dynamic founder of JAMMs – short for ‘Journey About Mast Moms’ (Read more about JAMMs* below).

Now I admit that I am a novice in appreciating the genre of short films, which I understand is relatively new in India. So watching ‘Chutney’ that started and concluded in less than 20 minutes was a first for me. When the film began, it left me stunned. The actress whom we had just met outside appeared on screen in a completely new look, almost unrecognisable. And when the movie ended, it left me speechless! Just like her wonderful metamorphosis from actress to writer and producer off-screen, Tisca’s screen character had beautifully transformed towards the end of the spicy film!

img_2724

That a lot can be conveyed in a short duration, is what I realised after watching my first short film. And when a story leaves you thirsty with questions, wanting more, it lingers on your mind. The more I thought of it over the next few days, the more intrigued I felt with the many layers portrayed by the protagonist. The story as well as the characters could have several interpretations. I guess the reason I kept analysing the role Tisca played was ‘cos she could well be a woman or women we may know of in our daily lives. Perhaps women we have met, having various shades, portraying an avatar for different occasions. One or more than one woman with several undertones.

A homemaker. She does what she enjoys doing best – running her domestic abode with utmost dedication. She may appear naïve but don’t you underestimate what she can pull out. For she is a powerhouse of talent and knowledge. She has figured an effective way to balance her home and work life. A simple lady – whose benign outward appearance can be deceptive, for she hides the dark secrets of her family. And is shrewd enough to use them as a weapon in order to shield her marriage from a neighbouring threat.

A loyal wife – yeah sure she knows when her adulterous husband is cheating on her. Yet she chooses to be tolerant and maintain a dignified façade. She is fully aware of her powers and knows exactly when and how to unleash them. She may choose to remain a shadow of her husband in the eyes of the society, but she has a light shining within. Inside the closed domestic doors, it is she who is in full command. A strong woman is the one who pushes ahead in times of crisis and rises to the occasion, while the man of the house sheepishly follows orders. She is a go-to person when her folks need the right advice or action the most. She exemplifies that still waters truly run deep.

Haven’t we all seen or met such women that we admire in our lives ?

A strong woman understands that the gifts such as logic, decisiveness, and strength are just as feminine as intuition and emotional connection. She values and uses all of her gifts.– Nancy Rathburn

A woman knows how to adapt beautifully when life demands it from her. She can face a situation at hand with poise and stoic tolerance. Dig deep and you will discover a pool of resources within. Very often it is presumed that power lies in arrogance and in being loud and demanding. Ask a woman of substance and she will tell you that true power is in maintaining a demeanour of grace and dignity – especially when the odds are against her!

Here’s to more women power!

Watch this spicy ‘Chutney’ here if you haven’t already:

*JAMMs (Journey About Mast Moms), initiated by Ritu (Chief Connecting Officer) is a multi-award winning Mumbai based Moms support group for networking that started in April 2014 and has been steadily expanding and evolving since then. Over 16000 moms from various areas connect and communicate online regularly, plus meet offline every month during complimentary workshops, interesting seminars and diverse events.

The groups have been categorised on WhatsApp based on specific aspects like age group of children, area-wise for local networking, single moms, moms with special kids, grand-moms, common interests like books club, pets, artists, etc. It regularly conducts funding drives and events to support the underprivileged.

JAMMs is a social initiative of the moms, by the moms and for the moms!

JAMMs social media links:

Facebook: http://on.fb.me/1kUYKND

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jammsnetwork

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jammsnetwork/

Website: http://jammsnetwork.wixsite.com/jamms1/

I am lucky to be a Jammie. Happy Journey with JAMMs!

 

%d bloggers like this: