3 money lessons you cannot ignore

By Larissa Fernand |  03-03-22 | 
 

On March 8 is International Women’s Day. The theme for 2022 is #BreakTheBias.

At the heart of it is the idea that individuals coming together can change the way the world works. So we at Morningstar approached women to talk about their money stories.

There is power in sharing authentic stories from a diverse range of women. Some stories are brief and to the point. Others have a much more descriptive narrative. There is no little story, big story or frivolous story. Our individual actions, behaviours and mindsets have an impact on our larger society. We inspire and empower, and reveal possibilities to those who identify.

A cloak of silence benefits no one. It is time to #BreakTheBias.

Who I Am

  • Name: Shreya Singh Dalal
  • Gender: Transexual Woman
  • Pronouns: She/Her
  • Profession: Marketing and Public Relations for The Lalit Group of Hotels

My Money Story

I come from a middle-class family in Kolkata. As with most families in similar socio-economic strata, finances have played a really important role in my formative years.

PHOTO SHREYA

My parents came from a very conservative and strict background and brought me up accordingly. Money was not for frivolous spending or thoughtless expenditure. We had to value the money that we had and utilize it well. It was from my parents that I learned the worth and importance of money.

But life was not easy.

Being a Transwoman, my struggle was very different from that of any other individual within the gender binary, or even that of a queer. We struggle to earn. And it is tough. What others take for granted, we do not have that luxury.

In a largely conservative and patriarchal society, we are forced to confront homophobia, transphobia, sexual harassment, bullying and being ostracized from your own flesh and blood. Non-binary kids are often kicked out of the house into a hostile world. For many, it results in a hand-to-mouth existence. For those abandoned by their families and deprived of an education, they resort to being commercial sex workers just to survive.

What worked for me is that I have always been very practical when it comes to spending and saving. I had a keen awareness that money is a security that I could rely upon, not just for the present but even the future. Hence, circumstances propelled me to be conscious of my savings.

My Money Advice

No one told me this, but I figured it out due to my own experiences and those of my friends. During the course of my life, there have been various occasions that made me realize the importance of money and the need to save. Here is my advice:

  • Evaluate yourself before investing to comprehend the level of risk you can take. Don’t invest in something to only regret it later. Don’t invest in something just because everyone else is doing so. They will not shoulder your losses. Money should provide you with security, not regrets.
  • Consider the appropriate mix of investments and returns prior to investing. Don’t go all in with only one type of investment. You need to hedge your bets. I invest mostly in fixed deposits because my risk-taking capability is not high. But I do understand the need to grow one’s wealth, so investing small amounts every month in an equity fund would help.
  • Always maintain an Emergency Fund. Nothing is guaranteed in this life. You never know when you are going to need the money to help you tide over a rough patch or sudden expenditure.

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