I recently spoke to a lady who wanted to quit working after having done so for twenty years. While the family income was enough for her to do that, she was very uncomfortable with the idea of not having her own money - to do as she chose.
Working women are compelled to take breaks at different stages of life. When you decide to get married, or have a baby, you also have to make several decisions that inevitably follow, concerning your career.
Balancing Work and Life
For instance, the decision to work after marriage – would you work the same job, as you did before marriage? Or would you join your husband’s startup/family business? Or would you quit working after marriage? When you get pregnant, would you manage with a 6-week maternity leave or would you rather quit to focus on your little one? If the latter, would you resume working after some years when the child is slightly older and life is more manageable? Or would you like to be a homemaker for all your life after that?
These are some of the decisions every working woman is faced with, at some point. While your decision is primarily your choice, it may come with some financial considerations.
For instance, quitting your job after marriage and maintaining a joint account with your husband will take some getting used to.
Or when you choose to take a break after your baby is born, your standard of living could change. A dual-income household with only 2 members would become a single-income family of 3.
What You Can Do
How do you then insulate your financial well-being and independence from taking a hit?
The answer is simple – plan for it. Save up and create a financial cushion. The sooner you start saving, the less you have to worry. Try to save up at least 9 months of your salary and invest it in a debt mutual fund.
If you think that’s asking too much, you may be surprised to know that all it takes is saving one fifth of your monthly salary for less than 4 years. This is because debt mutual funds provide a better return than your savings account. If you save more, you will have a bigger cushion. Moreover, these funds are easily accessible, which means you can withdraw whenever you wish to.
As a woman, you will still have career choices to make but your safety net will make these choices easier. This women’s day, exercise your right to invest and create your safety net.