It could be argued, very convincingly, that the current state of worldwide economic gloom has been caused by the greed and actions of a handful of men at the very top of the world’s banks. Indeed, each time the press runs a story about a trader who has lost millions, or even billions, by gambling on high risk investments, or each time the story focuses on a banker who is to receive a huge bonus, the protagonist in the feature is often, if not always, a man.
Down here at the level of personal finance, it seems to have been understood for a long time that women are somehow inherently better at managing finances with many couples and families leaving the financial planning, and decision making, to the head lady of the house.
But to suggest that female financial planning was simply the preserve of homemakers and housewives would be outdated and clichéd. Such is the reverence with which women are now being viewed in the financial world, Barclays have launched their own ‘female-only’ financial advice for women service and a magazine called Smart Woman which gives users advice and tips on how to maximise investments, how to get the most out of their pensions and market guidance. Impressive stuff.
But there aren’t many of us splashing around in the pools of high investments and market strategies, so what are the key financial decisions that the modern woman has to make?
Key financial decisions
Some of the key financial decisions surround life’s key decisions. For instance, the decision whether or not to have children is one that every couple, or at least every woman, makes at some point in their lives. The reality is that children are expensive and life would be a lot easier if you have savings to support you during that time.
There is also the consideration of maternity pay. If you work in the public sector, it’s likely that you’ll receive a generous maternity package but if you work in the private sector you may find yourself struggling for funds.
Unfortunately, not all couples find it easy to fall pregnant, so you may need to use savings to pay for fertility treatment.
In modern times, it is also increasingly unlikely that a bride’s parents will be able to pay for their daughter’s wedding so, again savings will be important.
In India, banks such as First Women Bank and ICICI offer women only bank accounts, but that is not the case in the UK. With that in mind, the best savings, ISAs and investment plans are non-gender specific so think about how much you can afford to save or invest (regular monthly amounts work best) and find the account that best suits your needs and, most importantly, your future needs. For more specific details, see under.
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