4 Working Women On How They Manage Their Money

By Steffi Dsouza | August 9, 2018

We spoke to 4 working women on how they manage their money. One, who is single, the other married, another one who is married and has children, and lastly a single mom. Here’s what they had to say.

The number of working women in our country has grown exponentially over the last decade. More and more women are joining the workforce irrespective of their social status or background. Which means, women no longer depend on their spouse or parents to provide for them and are managing their money themselves.

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Considering that women these days take on financial responsibilities and are often seen paying for a Home Loan or a Car Loan, it could sometimes be difficult to keep their financial act together. Being a working woman and still juggling your life and responsibilities outside the office is exhausting.

Often, you may be looking at another woman and wondering how they do it. A working woman may be single, married, and may have children or maybe a single parent. We spoke to three women on how they handle their finances and this is what they had to say.

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Woman 1

Name: Suman Sharma

Age: 25 years

Marital Status: Single

Monthly Income: Rs. 35,000

Dependants: Parents

Financial Responsibilities: Car Loan

What’s your financial situation right now?

“I live with my parents, so thankfully I don’t have to pay rent or have a huge Home Loan. However, I do contribute to the family’s monthly living expenses and I recently bought a new car. So, the only financial responsibility I have right now is a Car Loan.”

How much do you spend in a month and how much do you save?

“I can be a spendthrift sometimes and can go all out when it comes to shopping and buying new things. So, there have been instances where I have exhausted my salary before the 15th of a month and then I’ve had a tough time getting through the rest of the month.

That said, I have a separate Savings Account and an auto debit set up to my salary account at the beginning of the month. I put aside Rs. 10,000 every month so that is my only meagre attempt to save some money for myself.”

Do you have a Credit Card? If yes, what do you use it for? Do you recommend it?

“Yes! I use a Credit Card to pay for almost everything. The rewards programme on my Credit Card is awesome because for every purchase I make, I earn reward points which can later be redeemed for so many other things.

But, it’s also very easy to go overboard with a Credit Card and fall into debt. So my advice would be that you use your card wisely and remember to make payments promptly at every billing cycle.”

What are your financial goals? And how do you work towards achieving them?

“Honestly, I don’t have one financial goal per se. I make several short-term goals that are realistic. At the moment, my goal is to go to Europe early next year with my friends, so I have been saving a little more than usual every month.

I resist the urge to spend unnecessarily. For example, I figured that I was spending a lot of money on food. I would usually have lunch outside every day at the office. So, these days I have started taking food from home. It’s not only healthy but saves me a good Rs. 180 on a daily basis.

Earlier I would spend an average of Rs. 180 on one meal every single day. Which meant I was spending Rs. 900 every week and Rs. 3,600 every month. It may not seem so much, but every penny counts, right? If I were to do the math on this one then I can save about Rs. 10,800 in three months. Well, that’s definitely going to pay for my Schengen Visa!” (Giggles)

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Woman 2

Name: Karen Jacob

Age: 28 years

Marital Status: Married

Monthly Income: Rs. 68,000

Dependants: Parents, Spouse

Financial Responsibilities: Personal Loan

What’s your financial situation right now?

“I got married six months ago and we moved to a different city. So you can imagine we only have a lot of bills to pay at the moment. Travel expenses, buying new furniture and appliances for the new place, getting used to this city, food, commute to the office etc. Plus, I’m already paying EMIs on a Personal Loan.

So, we are still settling in and it may take us more time to settle down completely. We still have to sort out our finances and see where we stand together.”

How much do you spend in a month and how much do you save?

“At the moment I’m only spending, I’m so far away from saving anything! But typically I’m of the opinion that you need to save at least 20% of your monthly income. And up until I got married I was doing just that.

In fact, I can proudly say that I used this tactic of saving money ever since I started working and I was able to pay for most of the expenses during our marriage without depending on my folks.

I’m yet to start saving because I’ve depleted my savings for now and I need to start over. This time, I’m thinking more around the lines of long-term saving options like Mutual Funds or any other Savings Schemes.”

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Do you have a Credit Card? If yes, what do you use it for? Do you recommend it?

“You won’t believe it if I tell you that my Credit Card has been my saviour in the last couple of months. It just helps when you run out of cash but need to pay for something important. If you’ve moved houses, you’ll know that one incurs a lot of expenses while setting up a new place. And, since we even moved cities, our expenses only doubled.

We have been using our Credit Cards judiciously until now, but we also do a check to see if we are over-spending. I ask myself just one question before I swipe my card – do I really need this at the moment? That is enough to help me make a decision.

So for me my Credit Card is one of the most important financial tools and I have been able to leverage its usefulness as and when required.”

What are your financial goals? And how do you work towards achieving them?

“Right now my goal is to save enough money for the down payment of a house. Sure a Home Loan is a big responsibility, but, I also think that it is best to buy a house now since we both are employed and can co-apply for this loan.

We haven’t figured out the details on how we are going to achieve it. But I know we will get there soon enough.”

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Woman 3

Name: Tanvi Singh

Age: 36 years

Marital Status: Widowed, Single Parent

Monthly Income: Rs. 68,000

Dependants: One child,

Financial Responsibilities: Home Loan

What’s your financial situation right now?

The last one year has been a roller coaster ride ever since my husband passed away. To be honest, we weren’t prepared as it was so sudden. In the last year I’ve had to take on way too much, including taking up a full-time job to support myself and my son.

It wasn’t easy because we had never anticipated this loss. I wasn’t aware of our savings, investments or debts. I had to literally figure everything out all by myself. All of our savings lasted us a few months and then I knew I had to get a job.

Getting back to work after a 10-year break isn’t easy. Nobody wants to hire a rusty stay-at-home mother/wife after such a long gap. It took me six months to find a job and it’s been a few months into this job and I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.

All I can say is, things are slowly beginning to look up. At first, it was all about paying bills, but now things are slowly changing for the better.”

How much do you spend in a month and how much do you save?

“We have had to cutback severely on every single thing ever since my husband died. I now think twice before spending and I feel horrible about it. But I guess this is how it’s going to be from now on.

Honestly, I haven’t been able to save much. But I’m glad I am able to pay my own bills and I feel independent. It is a hand-to-mouth situation at the moment.”

Do you have a Credit Card? If yes, what do you use it for? Do you recommend it?

“Everyone has a Credit Card! So do I. But I rarely use it. Because, I’m always worried about overspending. But I have to admit that my Credit Card did come in handy when I desperately needed to make a few important purchases/payments.

The good thing about a Credit Card is that you can leverage its benefits when you need it the most. I would recommend it, but I’d also warn people that using it irresponsibly has repercussions.”

What are your financial goals? And how do you work towards achieving them?

We bought this house when we got married, and my husband had taken a Home Loan to buy it. Fortunately, the house is insured and when my husband passed away, I didn’t have to pay the huge EMIs. The Home Insurance covered it.

However, I still have to pay a certain sum to keep the house and with this new job, I’m confident of doing it. So, my first financial goal is to pay off this Home Loan, and secondly, I want to give my son the best in terms of education.

We are taking baby steps as of now, but we are proud of how far we have come.”

Woman 4

Name: Bhavya Balaji

Age: 33 years

Marital Status: Married

Monthly Income: Rs. 82,000

Dependants: Parents, Two Children

Financial Responsibilities: Home Loan, Car Loan

What’s your financial situation right now?

Mine is a dual-income household. But that also means we have several people depending on us like my two children, parents and in-laws. So, our financial situation at any given point in time is expenses > income!

Having children is very expensive because things like diapers and daycare don’t come cheap. Plus, we have the responsibility of taking care of our parents. A Home Loan and a Car Loan don’t make it any easier for us.

Therefore, we don’t have a buffer on our earnings. It’s just about enough but not really enough.”

How much do you spend in a month and how much do you save?

“Like I mentioned earlier, we have a ton of expenses every month, and it is quite hard to set aside a certain sum as just plain vanilla savings! With children, you need to have foresight and the only way to save is by investing it and earning returns.

Luckily for me, I have always been someone who took a keen interest in money matters from a very young age. I started investing in the stock market ever since I took up my first job. That is one thing I learnt from my father. Gradually, I got to invest in Mutual Funds as well.

But when I had children, I had to take a short break from working, and that time away from work taught me how crucial it was to have sufficient savings to bounce back. So, for me having savings doesn’t mean opening a Savings Account or keeping money locked away in a Fixed Deposit. For me, it is to find a means to grow your earnings by making your money work for you.”

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Do you have a Credit Card? If yes, what do you use it for? Do you recommend it?

“I do have a Credit Card but I try to stay away from it and use it only for emergencies. I use my Debit Card instead, because I believe in spending what I have.

I’d recommend a Credit Card to anyone only if they are diligent and have control over their spending habits.”

What are your financial goals? And how do you work towards achieving them?

“I want to retire early. This may seem like a far-fetched dream right now given the current situation. But that’s what goal setting is all about, right? Make the impossible, possible.

I am already contributing to my retirement corpus by investing in Mutual Funds. Besides, I have a pretty good Health Insurance plan as well. And hopefully when its time, I’ll have enough to sustain the rest of my retired life.”

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Retiring early must be everyone’s dream. And to make this dream come true, you need to plan your finances well. Some of our financial products can help you achieve your dream. Take a minute to go through what we have in store for you.

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