How can homemakers become financially savvy?

Little drops of water make the mighty ocean.

Indian homemakers perfectly personify the above phrase. Saving pennies from household expenses, they manage to build a handsome corpus for emergencies. Unfortunately, due to lack of knowledge about financial planning, this money sits idle in home safes. Imagine, the returns that could be earned on this corpus, if invested!

Limited investment knowledge

The financial literacy being low, most homemakers keep money with themselves or in a savings account. At most, you might open a fixed deposit and earn some interest on it. Another alternative, popular amongst homemakers is to buy gold ornaments or bars. Not many are aware of other better investment alternatives. Even if they are, there is reluctance due to the fear of the unknown and fear of loss.

With proper knowledge and exposure, you too can become financially well informed and put your money to work. Here’s how.

Study

A strong foundation can give your knowledge a sound structure. Put the internet to good use to learn the basics of financial planning. Enrol for an online certificate course. It will give you the flexibility to study from anywhere, anytime. Many classes also teach with real-life examples. This can help you not only understand the real-world scenario but also apply knowledge to your case. Buy books on investments and financial planning. Visit simulation websites, which are financial planning games, that let you sell and buy investments.

Set SMART goals

Before you embark on your investment journey, set specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-based (SMART) goals. You will have to pick and choose investment instruments accordingly. Each of your goals, long-term and short-term, will have a separate investment. The nature of these goals can help you decide the type of investment. Then depending on the target figure, work your way back to find the amount you need to start investing.

Balance the risk

Like your personal life, learn to balance the risks in personal finance as well. Do not be all-brave and invest in high-risk instruments because you want high returns. When you go out on a trip, do you keep all the cash in your purse? No. You divide it and keep at various safe locations to create a back-up. Similarly, adding different investments with different risk levels to your kitty can be an excellent choice.

Start small

Once all the theory and your basics are in place, it’s time for practice. Taking one step at a time, start with the minimum amount required for investment. For instance, you can start a mutual fund SIP or contribute to PPF with just Rs. 500. If you plan to begin trading, play safe with minimal investment. You could also start with low-risk investments and gradually move towards high-risk options.

Monitor progress

Once you have invested, your job is not over. It would help if you tracked the performance of each of the investments on a regular basis. Check how the shares are performing. Follow news to know about the changes in interest rates offered on FDs, PPF, etc. This can give you an idea of whether to stay or quit the investment.

Conclusion

Homemakers are the backbone of a family. Having financial knowledge is a step towards empowerment. It can contribute to a secure financial future for you and your family.