I fund my daughter’s hobby classes and I am proud of it !!

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Image Credit: pxhere.com

Women have this innate sense of ‘saving’. As soon as the husband hands over his monthly salary to her, she starts thinking of ways to save from it. A rupee here, a rupee there, and by the end of the month, she has a little something saved for the rainy day.

I had seen my mom doing it. She was a homemaker, so she was fully dependent on my father for all the household and education expenses. After my graduation, I enrolled myself into French learning classes. It was a hobby for me. I loved the language and realized I was good at it. I decided to pursue French language at a higher level. My father didn’t understand my passion. I was supposed to get married, and not think of higher studies at my age. He refused to pay my fees. That’s when my mom stepped in. She dipped into her personal savings, the savings she had been collecting since years, and paid my fees at Alliance Française.

This was the event that made me realize how important it was for women to work. But, the more valuable lesson I learnt was the importance of saving. So, when I started working, I started saving. I quit my high paying job once I conceived, and it was a big financial blow for me. Of course, my husband assured me, “I am earning enough. Don’t you worry about finances.”

But, I worried nonetheless, for the future and my self esteem. Well, soon after my daughter came, I started working from home. I didn’t earn much (peanuts compared to my earlier job), but I started saving right from day one.

A child is mentally and physically exhausting, but gradually I realized she was financially exhausting too. School tuition fees, medical, clothes and toys…the demands were many. And, then there were extracurricular activities like drawing, swimming, tennis, singing, etc. that I wanted my daughter to enjoy and pursue. I didn’t want her to suffer because of lack of sufficient finances.

That made me invest wisely in different instruments. I bought a little gold for her (I am a mother after all, and a Marwari at that! ). I had parked my savings in fixed deposits with my salary bank account. Later on, one of my ex-colleagues who had also quit job for her baby told me about Kotak Mahindra Bank’s Silk Women savings account. Thankfully, we have a Kotak Mahindra bank branch nearby. So, I didn’t think twice before closing my salary-savings account and opened up a new Silk Women Savings account with Kotak Mahindra Bank.

I earn 6% p.a. interest per year on my savings. Secondly, I use credit and debit cards a lot. I believe in cashless economy, also I hate going to ATMs to withdraw money. And, with Silk debit card, I get cashback upto Rs. 4500 per annum on my spends. That’s not little; remember for a homemaker, every tiny bit counts. I have also opened up a Junior savings account in my daughter’s name, and got a non maintenance fee waiver on it.

So, yes, though it’s my husband who is largely running the show in the house, my contribution is not to be entirely ignored. I have enrolled her in various activities and I can proudly say I pay for each one of them. In my own way, I contribute and I am proud of it. I earn, and so I like to spend, on me and my daughter. I like the fact that I don’t have to ask my husband for every little expense. He is a busy man, he has a lot on his hands, why should I bother him with tiny details. Having said that I also want my daughter to enjoy her life. Today, she goes for swimming, gymnastics, dance and drawing, but tomorrow she might want to pursue skating, ballet, and God only knows what not. However, I am prepared for it, with my small savings that is turning big with every passing day.

I have learnt these few things in my life-

  • As a mother, we have various responsibilities – to not only feed our kids on time (to keep their bellies and bodies warm) and to keep them happy, but also to teach them to be independent. But, for that, a mother herself needs to be independent from daily financial worries.
  • Every homemaker is plagued by the fact that she doesn’t earn or earn enough. But, you needn’t turn it into a sore point of your life. Every mother I know has her own ingenious ways to save. It is just that I urge you to save smartly and wisely in women oriented schemes. They have been created for a purpose that revolves around YOU !
  • Also, don’t ridicule small savings, remember, an ocean is made up of tiny single drops.

So, save and let the power be with you !

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I Have Secured My Daughter’s Future. Have You?

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Last month, I had visited Kidzania, Mumbai with my 4-year old. It was our first visit, as 4 is the minimum age requirement for a child. I had heard a lot about Kidzania, especially how huge and exhausting it could be for a small child. Once inside, I found it to be a big crazy world, and so unimaginable. To say I was impressed would be an understatement, I was in awe of the whole place. And as for my daughter, she was in cloud 9. Her enthusiasm dragged her and me to various activities appropriate for her age. She was a window cleaner first, a fireman (a firegirl in her case), next, aiming hose over a building on fire, then a DHL courier girl, a dentist, a supermarket assistant, a dabbawala, a painter, and so many other things.

As she hopped from one profession to the other, it made me think how this pretend thing will soon turn into a reality. She is still small, but growing up quickly, and soon she would be thinking about her future and career options. In our times, there were a few selected career choices – to become a CA, hold an MBA, an engineer, a teacher, doctor and a few others. However, today, the choices have multiplied, and there is a wide scope of career choices. Apart from the regular career options, there are many unconventional ones as well. For example, she might want to become an environmentalist/geologist, or a forensic expert, or a space astronaut. She might want to take up a career that requires foreign education. That involves quite a bit of money. Yes, I know kids’ education doesn’t come cheap nowadays. What with numerous classes and appropriate technology, sponsoring a child’s education has become a big fat Indian wedding-like project for most parents. Well, as I said earlier, very soon we will be sailing in the same boat. It made my eyes open and my heart thumping harder.

My husband I talk about our nest egg when we retire, but it’s time we plan diligently for our daughter’s education as well. I would not want my daughter to drop her aspirations because her parents couldn’t provide sufficient funds for her education. It involves a bit of planning, I realized.

Once driven, I could not stop myself. I went online, to Sir Google (as usual), and did a bit of homework. Firstly, I came across this interesting video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTaHzfWsrcA of kids doodling about their future plans and of parents painting what they would like their children to become in future. I saw a bit of myself in every parents’ painting.

We took this test found on one of the sites that finds out education costs for various careers across various countries, both for today and for the future – http://www.homework.axismf.com/index.php#theHow

It threw at us a figure that took our breaths away. May be, most of you already know about it, but this came to my notice only recently. It made me regret, how much time we had already wasted. We could have had a nice savings for our daughter till now, had we known about it earlier. However, one good thing came out of this whole exercise. My husband and I have pledged to encourage our daughter to explore fields of her choice and support her decision, both emotionally and financially. We have already started investing in her future by investing in Mutual Funds.

This is the Monthly SIP chart that was recently forwarded by my friend. I found it quite helpful. Sharing it, it might come handy to you if you are looking at investing in your child’s future education too. – http://www.homework.axismf.com/the_what.php
On a slightly different note, it’s good to encourage your kids to read about and explore various career options. If you have secured your child’s future, even the sky should not be the limit to your child’s imagination as far as his or her career is concerned.

Download from here a few short stories, painting books and crossword books that will open up your child’s mind and help him explore various professions. – http://www.homework.axismf.com/the_fun.php

So, finally, are you convinced? About planning for your child’s future? Yes, start now and do your homework. Do not wait for your child to turn 10, 15 or 18, but start early. The sooner, the better!