>Women and Financial Independence


It was impulsive Fabindia day yesterday. I think it was a result of a combination of a bad case of monday blues and an opportunity to get out of office really early. Being absolutely clueless on what one does with life outside office at 5.30 in the evening , I wandered into Fabindia. Once inside, I behaved like one of those programmed robots. Go to sleeveless kurta section. Sort, sift, pull out 4-5 kurtas. Go to dupatta section. Find matching dupattas for all the kurtas. Go to trial room. Wait impatiently outside. Glare at the woman who finally comes out. Stagger in with the kurtas. Try. Try.Try. Walk out. Discard about 1/2 the haul. Rush to short top section. Sort, sift, pull out 6-7 tops. Go to trial room. Wait impatiently outside. Glare at the woman who finally comes out. Stagger in with the tops. Try. Try.Try. Walk out. Discard about 3/4ths of the haul. Walk to the payment counter, swipe credit card. Walk out with one massive brown handmade paper bag carrying goodies and a big satisfied smile.

No, dear reader. I am not taking you through my wild shopping orgies. There is a point I am going to make. Soon.

About 4 years back, I took a break from 9-5 existence. I had hoped, like a lot of us to carve out an entrepreneurial venture. Be my own boss. Let my creativity fly. Hubby stood by me like a brick. Supported me throughout. However, much to my annoyance, my dream project refused to make any money. I won’t get sidetracked into those sad details. The point is, I spent 2 years without a regular income. Along with my income, my confidence too dwindled. I could not walk into a store and spend on myself without feeling guilty. I have a great husband , who makes very decent money but there will come a time when he will look at the credit card bill, look nonplussed and say – err, more shoes?. It will kill you.

My mom was a housewife. Out of choice. Both, hers and my dad’s. The unspoken agreement was that she would concentrate on raising two great kids while dad would earn the daily bread. And I think, between them, the arrangement worked rather fine. However, when it came to spending my mom had her priorities straight. The home, the girls and then, herself. Now, as a 32 year old woman, I realize the magnitude of her small sacrifices. My point is, if mom had been financially independent, maybe her order of priorities would not have changed. But the absolute amount of money spent on herself would have gone up. If I were to take into account the hot meals, the patience with homework, the bedtime stories, childbirth, always a ear for dad’s venting…..I think mom’s salary would be huge. But she never got one.

I shut my store and got back into a 9-5 and today I realize the importance of that fixed but regular income. It gives me a certain freedom. With it also come certain luxuries which I feel I’ve earned. A great head massage at the end of a rotten week, unnecessary pink shoes, contribution to our savings. It gives me a certain attitude and a certain confidence. And a great sense of security.

I have 2 friends. One hates her job. But sticks it out bravely giving it the best she can. “ And do what? Ask hubby for some cash everytime I want to buy some cosmetics?”

And the second has just had a baby. She’s a talented designer who hasn’t looked at her computer once in the last 1 year. And won’t either for the next 10 odd years, maybe more. She’s genuinely happy being a full time mom. She’s ok with going to a store, looking at a piece of jewellery and mentally dismissing it.

They are both great women. They’ve both made their choices.

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6 Responses to >Women and Financial Independence

  1. Beryl says:

    >Financial independence really matters. U are right, just the relief of buying whatever u want without feeling guilty or answerable is so important for urselfBut most of us dont have dream jobs. At least u tried to make an attempt to do something for urself when u took a break..I think thats what matters

  2. Razigan says:

    >Nicely written………. I like ur attitude for accepting to the consequences. As far as U choose the life based on the consequences, u r one step ahead than most others. Ur blog has that successful combination – reality + insight + fun + style, that encourages me to be a follower of your blog.Kudos……

  3. Mumbai Diva says:

    >Beryl: I know, I will always have that satisfaction i guess.Razigan: Thank You

  4. Iya says:

    >i work because i like to…not that i am compalaining about the extra pair of sandles i buy every now and then 🙂

  5. Mumbai Diva says:

    >Iya: 😉 sandals! the indulgence is always footwear…aint it?You know, I think it’s more about the income than the work. I loved my shop. It was creative, fun, had some really awesome stuff. And it was a lot of work. I would have continued if it would have made money, some money. My rentals were bleeding me. Sigh! But that’s another story.

  6. Prathima says:

    >very well put thought. Choice to sacrifice the financial independence for kids/family is entirely up to an individual. As long as she is happy with the choice , I guess it is the right one.

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