5 lessons we’ve learned on how to protect our financial freedom
Wisdom from Twinkle Khanna, Faye D’Souza, Neha Dhupia and Max Life Insurance Chief Financial Officer, Amrit Singh
Although we might not recall what we had for lunch yesterday, we vividly remember the milestones in our lives: our first date, the first day of college, and of course, that first paycheque.
Having your own money in hand tastes like adulthood. And it’s not just the fact that you can finally realise your childhood dream of buying anything you want from the mithaiwala. Financial independence can buy you freedom in so many other aspects of life, especially for women.
Most of us have grown up with the idea that it’s not exactly okay to discuss money. We’re discouraged from talking about salaries at the workplace, and asking about someone’s tax bracket is considered intrusive unless you’re their accountant. Yet, somehow these restrictions keep us from learning how to do more with our money. Whether you’re a homemaker, or are just entering the workforce, or about to venture with your business or you could be a seasoned CEO, taking care of yourself financially should be non-negotiable.
That’s why Tweak founder Twinkle Khanna decided to have an honest conversation about financial empowerment with formidable journalist and entrepreneur Faye D’Souza, the multihyphenate Neha Dhupia, and Amrit Singh, the Chief Financial Officer of Max Life insurance.
Here are our top takeaways from each of our panelists for ensuring ‘protection front foot pe’ in the long run.
Learn to keep a secret (savings account)
We’ve all seen our mothers and aunts squirrel away their gold jewellery and carefully saved-up cash in the almirah, or under a mattress. Women have always known they needed to stash away wealth, and D’Souza suggests a modern update on the practice. According to her, every woman should have a secret bank account to put her money aside. This allows her to make any big decision, be it leaving a toxic job or a bad marriage, on purely practical or emotional terms, without the added burden of financial anxiety.
Plan ahead and time will be on your side
As Amrit explains, compound interest is your friend. It’s a zero-effort way to grow your wealth, as long as you start as early as possible. For Dhupia and her husband Angad Bedi, that means right from the birth of their children. They started putting money into funds in their children’s names, so that by the time each child turns 18, they will have a nest egg to put towards their higher education or whatever they want to pursue. It’s a relief for both parents to have that burden off their shoulders and safely in a compounding fund.
Buying life insurance is money well-spent
Unless you’re employed full-time, you might not have access to certain savings and schemes – but that doesn’t mean you don’t need it. Why shouldn’t homemakers enjoy the same benefits as women who work outside the home? Max Life offers term insurance to homemakers, independent of the husband’s income proof. It is a step towards empowering Indian women and reminding them that ‘You Are The Difference’.
Invest in yourself and your future
Spending money on yourself doesn’t have to be limited to an indulgent spa day or designer sneakers. It’s never too late to invest in yourself and build the life you want. Take it from Khanna, who’s currently doing her master’s degree after having saved up her money for the fees. To start Tweak India, she also dipped into her investment portfolio, saying that when no one else would invest in her, she had to invest in herself. The best way to spend your hard-earned money is betting on yourself.
Cut your coat according to your cloth
You can’t go wrong by following Dhupia’s advice to live within your means. As Amrit says, all young people should be mindful of saving, or at least not falling into debt. D’Souza took on a part-time job in her college days so she could start paying off her student loan before she graduated. No matter how much money you have, it’s important to prioritise your spending. Even today, Dhupia doesn’t splash out on expensive bags, while Khanna’s family makes fun of her for working when she hardly spends anything. Being frugal with budgeting sounds like an old-fashioned trick, but it still works.
For more valuable insights on finding and keeping your financial freedom, check out the full conversation.
1. For Max Life Insurance – http://bit.ly/3sn16XT
2. India Protection Quotient, instituted in 2019, is an annual survey by Max Life Insurance in association with Kantar aimed to understand the pulse of the Indian consumers in the financial protection space
3. Views expressed in the video are panelists’ own.
4. Homemaker term insurance referred to in the video is Max Life Term Insurance Plan that is available to homemakers without the husbands’ income proof.