Every young Indian working woman has wide-ranging priorities. We work hard, we save and we like to enjoy a fair degree of financial independence. But here’s when we should pause and ponder about what it really means to be financially free.

It’s time that you start managing the money you earn and the money you save. You can start with 3 simple things, which can help you to live your life with a little less stress and more support.

#1. The No Compromise Fund: I personally know of a Scripbox member who quit her low paying and hated job by saving enough and today she is not only in a better job but has saved up an amount that she herself finds hard to believe. Enough and more has been said about glass-ceilings in workplace, lack of equal treatment to women in society and now, harassment too.

Very often a woman, even in this day and age, is asked to or compelled into compromising on her beliefs. Be it getting married without having a say in it, or having to pay dowry for it; an unreasonable boss or even a peer group that is pressurizing you to indulge in things, you otherwise wouldn’t. Why should you ever compromise?

You work hard for every penny you earn and you don’t deserve to be treated any lesser than a man. Being financially insulated means not having to say yes to things that are against your morals and ethics. You will always have the power to say No to anything wrong.

What you can do: Save at least 20% of your take home pay towards a ‘No Compromise Fund’ that lets you live the way you want to. This fund should be enough to see you through 6 months of no income. If you already have some savings in place, it is high time you moved it to a debt mutual fund, which is easy to withdraw from and provides better returns on your savings. It is this cover that will keep you from compromising your beliefs.

#2. Family Fund: A colleague of mine saved up money from her very first job and when her mother fell ill and required expensive treatment, she pitched in – to the surprise of her father who was also proud of her. That in fact, is true independence, when someone else can depend on you, to get through their financial troubles. Be it your child, your ailing parent or your partner who lost his or her job to external factors.

What you can do: Save 10-15% of your salary towards a ‘Family Fund’. Assuming you already save up for this cause, it would be a smart move to transfer your savings into a debt mutual fund, for better returns as well as security. Be there for your loved ones in more ways than one, because that’s what family is for.

#3. Dream Fund: I wrote earlier about saving up for an expensive LV bag. Some called it an irrational thing to own but that’s my dream indulgence and I can save for it, no matter what somebody else thinks. After you have taken care of yourself and your family, you can now afford to indulge a little. If you have saved a sufficient amount in the other two funds, you can now start saving up for your dreams. A trip you have been putting off for a while, luxury purchases you have been craving for, or even a hobby you thought was too trivial to pursue. Well, it is time to invest some time in yourself.

What you can do: Save at least 5% of your salary towards this. You could also allocate your annual bonus or any other windfall of money towards this dream fund. Depending on how big this dream is you can choose equity mutual funds or debt mutual funds to convert this dream into reality.

Take a decision today to save towards these funds, and the rest will take care of itself.13