“I consider myself far more financially independent”
Devanshi Patel, 33, worked in IIT Bombay, before recently joining her husband’s startup- Pascati Chocolates
“My mother has been a housewife throughout her life. My father solely managed money. My mom still does not know which money is lying where,” says Patel. “There is a huge difference in the women of that generation and today. I consider myself far more financially independent,” she adds.
About six years ago when Patel started working, her father introduced her to the concept of investing. Unlike her mother, she is taking care of her money and her husband is not involved in the process. Devanshi Patel invests with help of a financial advisor.
Patel says she became more aware financially after she started working with her husband on his business venture. “Since I am a part of my husband’s business, I now understand what money comes and goes and am much aware of my financial situation as a couple and as an individual.”
She invests in mutual funds. She confesses she is not really investing to achieve any specific goals. Her focus at the moment is to get best returns. However, she has a secret goal she shares with us hesitantly. “Somewhere in the back of my mind I have been saving and investing to own an electric vehicle for myself but I have not decided when,” says Patel.
Her idea of investing is to set aside a target sum every month that she wants to invest.
“I hated it when my mother used to ask my father for money”
Promila Adhana, 49, Haryana, Global HR Head Tenon Facility Management
Adhana has been working since she was 24 years old, the very next day after her graduation. she started as a commissioned officer in Army. Later she moved to the corporate sector.
She says she hated it when her mother used to ask her father money for some household work. “I think that thought remained somewhere in me and pushed me and I have never stopped working,” says Adhana.
While she considers herself enjoying full financial freedom in the way she spends her money, she is concerned for younger women who still have to ask for permission from their family before spending the money they earned.
“What I see with most of the younger women is that they are earning, but that is not financial independence. Financial independence is how much freedom your family allows you to spend your money. In typical households, I still find young or middle-aged girls struggling to get permission to spend it their way,” says Adhana.
She invests in mutual funds, PPF for her retirement, real estate, bonds, including gold bonds, infrastructure bonds and bank fixed deposit. She never tried investing directly in shares, she adds.
Adhana is a DIY investor and she does it with help of her husband who is a financial expert.
She is happy with the kind of returns she has made on her investments. She happily shares that she is still getting around 10-12% from some of her 10-year-old fixed deposits. She is also happy with the gains she made from mutual funds.
She invested in real estate to earn an extra rental income. Apart from other goals in her life, she is investing for a primary goal of retiring with sufficient money to live a comfortable retired life.
“ My husband takes care of regular expenses. I chip in when we are buying luxuries or going on vacation”
Carita Aiman, 33, Mumbai, was a banker (on a sabbatical since last one month)
Aiman started looking after her money after her marriage. Her husband insisted, she must take care of her investments on her own.
She has been managing her investments since 2011. Aiman jokes that she is take care of her husband’s money as well since he is not very good at savings and investments. “At times when my husband has excess funds, he gives them to me to invest appropriately,” she says.
Investments for her is to take out a fixed portion of income every month to invest after keeping for all non negotiable expenses like kids education expenses and daily household expenses.
“I invest in tax saving mutual funds and bank fixed deposits. The amount could be as small as Rs 5,000 or Rs 10,000 or Rs 50,000,” she says.
Aiman invests through Paytm Money app. She also takes help of an advisor to choose mutual funds when she has to invest a lumpsum.
“I invest through an advisor who is my friend as well. I always take her recommendations and tips to invest.”
She invests in PPF as well.
As far as sharing the household expenses, the Aimans follow a unique formula. “My husband takes care of major expenses, but once in a while when the expenses are heavy, I chip in. Also, when we are going to a vacation, or shopping luxuries, I chip in,” she says.
“ It was a big achievement when my mutual fund portfolio hit Rs 2 lakh”
Mehak Gupta, 28, New Delhi, working with her husband as a financial consultant
Coming from a small town of Puranpur, Uttar Pradesh, Mehak Gupta, did not know much about investing till she got married. Her husband introduced her to investing and she started investing in mutual funds four years ago. Her husband then worked as a consultant with a boutique wealth investment firm distributing mutual funds, selling life and general insurance, and at times trading on behalf of investors.
It has been eight years when she got married. She recalls the day when her portfolio hit Rs 2 lakh in a little over two years.
“No doubt it was a big achievement when I saw Rs 2 lakh in my mutual fund portfolio. I also started working with my husband. I started with selling health and general insurance. Now, I have a few kitty members who invest in mutual funds through us,” says Mehak.
She says she contributes 40 per cent to the total household income and inspires other girls in her small town in U.P.
“My investments helped me gift phones to my younger sisters”
Anjali Bisht, 26, New Delhi, school teacher
Bisht started investing in mutual funds to save taxes under Sction 80C of Income Tax Act. She says she didn’t know at that time that she would use a part of the investment to gift smartphones to her three younger sisters five years later.
Bisht is the first working girl in her family. “In our kind of traditional families, it is always the men who take care of money. I am the first lady to manage my money on my own,” she says.
Bisht’s short to medium term goals are to support her younger sisters and fund their higher studies.
Last year, Bisht funded her younger sister’s Bachelor of Fine Arts entrance course which costs Rs 10,000 per week. She says no words can describe the feeling when her sister actually cleared her entrance with distinction.
Bisht also invests in PPF and bank recurring deposits.