This article was originally written for Women’sWeb
On August 15, we celebrated our country’s freedom day. I celebrate freedom the moment I meet a Gruhini whose mind is free of money worries. As I celebrate the freedom I share inspiring stories of two women and how they are achieving financial freedom in their lives.
The Lady Who Locks Her Credit Card
Shweta Narayan, Environmental Activist, Chennai
For any reckless spender (including your Great Gruhini), Shweta is a person to envy! She doesn’t like to owe money to anyone: be it a friend or a bank. That explains why she didn’t have a credit card until her husband, Dharmesh convinced her to possess one as they were travelling abroad for work and carrying cash could have been a risky proposition.
Now that she has a credit card, it resides in her cupboard and not in her wallet. It comes out only under two conditions: during overseas trips or in planning big expenditure.
You might wonder as to what is there to learn from a stingy couple who doesn’t like to spend. That’s not the case. Just like us, they enjoy eating out and watching movies. It’s just that they seem to follow the first economic principle, ‘Need is something necessary for survival and Want is something you would like to have’ in its true spirit.
Shweta does not buy things just for the sake of buying. “It comes naturally to me that I have to think before I spend money on anything,” she says. To most of us thinking comes after buying, isn’t it?
Single Yet Financially Secure Mom
The sudden death of her husband, 8 years ago, turned Sangeeta Jain’s world upside down. She suddenly had to provide for her teenage sons’ higher education and pay equated monthly installments (EMI) for a home loan of Rs 12 lakh. Her choices weren’t many and time wasn’t her friend.
“My husband’s company offered me a job and I had to join within a month of his demise,” she says. Financial help arrived in the form of life insurance and home loan insurance proceeds. But more importantly, she was aware about how and where to use the money.
Her husband used to maintain a diary of family savings and that’s how Sangeeta was always in the know of where the money was going to or coming from. 8 months after his death, she hired a portfolio manager who till date manages her money. A proof of her financial strength is her two sons, who are settled in well paying jobs.
Sangeeta’s freedom mantra is, “The death of a dear one is an irreparable loss but if you are financially secure and you are aware of it, life can go on.”
Have you done something that makes you financially secure and free? Share your story with us.