Have you read Sheryl Sandberg’s ‘Lean In’?
In her book, the COO of Facebook, Sheryl, mentions that the division of chores at her household was traditional. Her (late) husband Dave Goldberg would handle the bills and the finances and Sheryl would take care of the kids’ activities, food and, the birthday parties etc. Dave was at that time the CEO of Survey Monkey and Sheryl is still the COO of Facebook.
I for one was relieved to note that it was a traditional model they followed – he handled the bills and finance while she handled the other stuff.
Because it reflected mine.
And maybe, yours too?
Unfortunately, in 2015, Dave suffered a fatal cardiac arrhythmia while he was running on a treadmill. For anyone, the sudden demise of a spouse is indeed an irreparable loss. Yet, anybody’s guess is that an educated and accomplished COO like Sheryl would have been able to ‘more than competently’ handle all decisions including financial ones, despite the sudden upheaval in her life.
I wonder if I would be able to.
How about you?
Would you be able to handle the financial decisions that impact your life and those of your dependant’s ‘if’ life puts you in a spot where you need to?
If you are reading this, you probably are well educated yourself, and maybe have had or still have a good job. Despite your education and career, do you make decisions on ‘where’ to invest and ‘how much’ to invest?
Do you, like most of us women, leave these decisions to someone else, perhaps your father or husband?
I personally have nothing against it. It is perfectly fine for us women to leave these decisions to someone else most probably, the ‘men’ in our lives. But, given the uncertainties in life, we need to at the least be aware of the reasons for these financial decisions.
If you are already making the financial decisions for yourself or even participate in decision making, that’s great.
But, if others are currently making those decisions for you, a great place to start is to understand why a particular financial decision was taken.
Here are some ways to begin your journey towards understanding financial planning.
If someone else has all along taken financial decisions on your behalf, begin by asking them the reasons for that particular choice. For instance, why did they take a particular term insurance policy, as against the options available? Why did they choose XYZ company over the other?
In most probability, the person you are asking will be pleased to take you through their decision making prowess.
Everything you need to understand around finance is available on the internet. But in addition to the internet, it is essential to read the daily newspaper. The newspaper will provide you a 360-degree view of the world around you. If you make reading the newspaper a habit, in the long run, you will be able to connect the dots of what is happening in the world with financial trends that impact you.
When you get an opportunity to participate in a discussion around finance, do so. Stay a mute spectator if need be, but given a chance, sit in the meeting where financial planning is being discussed. Even if it sounds like Latin to you, you can always look up the internet for the meaning of what you did not understand or ask those around.
We all know that there is no guarantee that life is going to be the same. It is imperative that we understand every aspect of our life, including those financial.
The belief that it is absolutely necessary for us to understand the financial aspects of our lives is the starting point. That will automatically make us ask more questions, read more and be curious.
If you would like to share about how you make your financial decisions, we would love to hear from you. Your experience could inspire many others to do so too, including me.
About the author:
Sruthi was an HR Manager, working for companies like Infosys and Thomson Reuters. After taking a break to look after her child, she now freelances. She enjoys developing HR content and writes on topics related to HR.
(The author is a guest blogger at Her Second Innings. The opinions expressed are those of the author.)
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