Recently I went to my childhood friend Gitika’s home for a long due catch up. Actually, celebrations were in order since her husband Deb had bagged a coveted assignment in Hong Kong for 2 years, upon his graduation from Indian School of Hyderabad, Hyderabad.
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I knew it would be a long evening of chatting up – everything from last one year’s sabbatical to plans of working out the next 2 years of Deb’s international stint. I was worried for my friend who would have to take charge on many fronts especially with her preschooler daughter. To my surprise, she seemed smug and confident of pulling it off. I knew there was lots to talk 🙂
Both Gitika and Deb passed out as Finance majors in MBA. Gitika stuck around with her company as a Senior Analyst pre, during and post pregnancy and is blessed to have flexi hours at work. This gave cushion to Deb to pursue his second masters, despite them being new parents.
Gitika for one, had always been phobic of finance and completely depended on Deb. But after his first month at B-school, Deb was in an intensive environment to make any time for family matters. Completely on her own, Gitika did struggle but slowly realized there was nothing difficult about managing money.
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How Gitika got a new Avatar?
Managing single income, motherhood and office was getting overwhelming for Gitika once Deb was gone. She tried to put a calendar for all to-dos, but money was still out of bounds for her since it was Deb who always managed it. On a chance, she met a professional investment adviser and that became a turning point for her.
The Action Plan
Over a skype call with Deb, she and the adviser took notes of all their current investments, expenses and their money needs over short and long term.
The adviser told Gitika that the way to approach financial planning is securing an Emergency Fund first, setting your financials Goals, Protection by way of Insurance and finally making Investments.
Since Deb was planning a break for a while, he had kept aside funds to fall back on. He had taken adequate protection plans and Gitika’s office had a great Health plan to cover all three of them. So, the all-important Emergency and Insurance was taken care of.
Gitika had access to Deb’s bank accounts. With the help of adviser, Gitika moved surplus funds from bank account to a liquid fund which also funded Deb’s living expenses through a Systematic Withdrawal Plan.
In addition, Deb exited all his shares that he could not track anymore and invested in an Equity Mutual Fund. The adviser also started SIPs for Gitika in a Balanced Fund and ELSS for tax saving. A special investment for their daughter was done in the form of Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana.
Gitika made sure she met up with her adviser once every quarter and this continued her learning process. Once Gitika got into the groove, she knew that she was doing a better job than Deb too.
My Friend, My Hero
I have to say a bold move by the couple to opt in for studies. But an even bolder move by my friend to overcome her phobia. The inhibitions about money are common. But like every other challenge, all it takes to overcome is a Resolve to #BreakTheMould.