Financial independence means the ability to earn a living that allows you to pay for your expenses. In India, a majority of women choose (or are made to choose) to give up their jobs and career post marriage or post having kids. It’s as if once you have kids, the priorities suddenly all change and the job just doesn’t seem important anymore. This feeling is completely natural, however equally disastrous. Just because you have a husband and a kid, doesn’t mean that you as an individual stop existing. Society frowns upon anything even slightly deviating from normal. Any man sitting at home is deemed useless by others. Similarly, women seeking to work outside are named careless and even flighty, in some cases.
The need for women (or men, for that matter) to be financially independent is very important. There has been terrible inflation in the recent years. If both do not earn, there is very little money left for savings. Children’s education is costly, so is medical treatment. A visit to a doctor might empty your pocket considerably. Also, what is the woman supposed to do once her husband passes away? Be dependent on crappy relatives to hand out charity money?
With the current changing social scenarios, it becomes imperative for women to be financially independent too.
Let us discuss some points about what being financially independent means to a woman.
You need not ask for pocket money from your husband
Imagine having to ask for money to buy sanitary napkins or medicines for headache. Or your husband forgot to give you money on a certain day, and you got your periods that day. Also, imagine having to scrimp and save from what money your relative has given you. Imagine having to see if you have enough money for veggies and groceries and save the remaining amount from them. And yet, at the end of the month, only a tiny amount has accumulated in your sugar box. This is what my mother used to do. And this is what I swore I won’t do.
You have the freedom to buy presents for anyone
An embarrassing situation I landed in when I was not working is one I am sure many of you face. I wanted to buy my husband a birthday present. And what else could I do, but ask him for money to buy his own present! I was beyond humiliated. He gave me money, he didn’t deny. But that year I resolved to become financially independent, if only to buy him a present with my own money next year.
You can delegate
Delegating work is a skill that needs to be learnt. It comes only through practice. In India, women are expected to do everything themselves. But sometimes, it is simply not possible. Just because your mother or mother-in-law did it, there’s no guarantee you can do it too. Once you are financially independent, you can start delegating work to others. You can appoint maids and cooks to help you ease your life a bit. If you are a mother, you could even appoint a nanny or send your child to day-care so that you get some respite.
You can pursue your passion without any guilt conscience about the expense burden
This works in direct conjunction to the above point. Once you start lowering your work load, you can start following your passion. Who said that women have to be tied to the kitchen always? You can do whatever you like with the time on your hands. Your passion is waiting for you to rediscover it. If your passion is sleeping, so be it!
Your self-confidence shoots through the roof
Whatever anyone says (money is not important, money is like dirt/haath ka mail), money is one of the governing factors of leading a respectable life. There is something extremely satisfying about earning your own income and being able to spend it the way you want to. Once you start earning for yourself, you develop such self confidence that you can face any problem on your own. You stop taking bullshit from “well-meaning” relatives. Just try it!
Dual Income does more good than harm
When both of you are earning, obviously your purchasing power goes up, and you can opt for a better TV, a nicer holiday, a bigger house, that jewelry you had an eye on for a long time, also better education for your kid, and so many more things. The financial burden on your husband goes down, and he also feels the reduction in stress.
Keeps you busy once the kid grows up
Agreed, that your kids need you the most in the first 8-10 years. But, what after that? Once they start forming their own friend circle, have full time schools and classes, start becoming independent, your involvement in their lives is slowly going to go down. You will suddenly find yourself faced with a whole lot of empty time, and no idea what to do with it. When you continue you job or a hobby or any activity, you will not face this. Your kid will also learn to respect you more when they see you handling multiple activities together effortlessly.
This article does not demean anyone who loves to take care of their home and be a homemaker. But a piece of advice to them: ask your husband to give you a fixed monthly amount as “salary”. You can choose to spend it or save it as you like. No one should ask you about that money.
Being financially independent is really important. If you are still not convinced, try working from home for a month. You will realize what we said is all true.
Do you agree with me? What are your views on it? Do tell us. We would love to hear back from you!
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