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Five female entrepreneurs reveal their money management tips

Keeping it real

By Manali Shah  August 28th, 2018

Financial independence is one of the most important ways a woman can be empowered. Yet, all too often, we see fathers and spouses being the only source of money management tips – because even the most educated and successful women don’t take control of their own earnings. Concepts like stock market, equity, and mutual funds can be intimidating when you are just starting on your financial journey. So we asked personalities from diverse fields like acting, fitness and fashion to take us through their personal stories of when they realised the importance of saving for a rainy day and share their approach to money.

From celebrated TV actress Divyanka Tripathi to vlogger Sherry Shroff and fitness entrepreneur Namrata Purohit, let these 5 celebrities inspire you to take stock of your own finances.  

Money management tips from 5 young powerhouses 

Scherezade Shroff Talwar, blogger

At 16, Scherezade Shroff Talwar, popularly known as Sherry, began modelling and believed in living life to the fullest. "At that age, you don't think of savings. Plus, I was living with my parents. When I grew older, I understood the value of money and realised I didn't have much left. So, around 6-7 years ago, I decided to save and started off small," she says.

Sherry then consulted with a close family friend about investments who encouraged her to also do her own research. "Initially, it was overwhelming and I was very scared," she admits. Today, she invests in mutual funds and SIPs  "nothing dangerous or unpredictable."

"I grew up in a regular middle class family where money wasn't something that was consciously discussed. We weren't spoilt though. Also, in the 90s, apart from toys and things like that, there wasn't much to spend on, unlike today, when two-year-olds have iPads," she points out.

In the future, Sherry wants to understand the stock market and how shares work. "I've always been curious about it. Right now it's an alien concept to me, and I hope to look into it when I have more time," she says.

Suman B, fashion designer

When she was in university (she studied design), Suman took every freelance gig that came her way  from assisting stylists, being an usher at fashion weeks to designing wedding cards. That was also when she began saving. Today, she runs her own fashion label, Lola by Suman, and has learnt more than one lesson about money along the way. "I took it one step at a time and taught myself about mutual funds, hedge funds, EMI rates, and interest rates in recurring deposits," she says.

Lola by Suman has a chartered account to do the taxes but Suman says she's hands-on and looks into everything from salaries to bills being paid. "When you're running your own business, you don't have a choice. You have to watch out for yourself."

Growing up, her parents taught her to differentiate between her needs and wants. It's something that holds her in good stead even today. "They were both professors who gave up well-paying jobs to settle in Goa because they wanted peace of mind. They didn't own property (we were often on rent) but never did they once make me feel we didn't have enough. Their philosophy was, if you have something, be grateful, and if you don't, be determined," she says. 

Divyanka Tripathi, TV actor

The award-winning actor became a household name with popular shows such as Banoo Main Teri Dulhann and Ye Hai Mohabbatein. Divyanka is big on savings and credits several people for it. "When Banoo Main Teri Dulhann was ending a few years ago, I happened to bump into actor Surbhi Tiwari for the first time. She appreciated my work and gave me some good advice. She told me to buy a home, as actors don't get loans easily," she says. Since then, Divyanka has been a property investor.

During her next show, Mrs and Mr Sharma Allahabadwale, her co-actor Rajesh Kumar gave her another piece of advice: to invest in gold and silver out of each pay check. "I did that and it truly turned out to be useful during my 'no work' period. Actors don't get any major benefits considering the amount of struggle we go through, especially between shows, while waiting to get work. We pay heavy taxes but we are not even considered an industry. So it's important to help ourselves," she says.

Divyanka learnt the basics of money management from her father, Narendra and is pro-actively involved in all her accounts-related work. "He's a businessman. Back in the day, I used to sit in his medical store and help him at the cash counter. He taught me that one shouldn't procrastinate when it comes to official paper work and money matters," she says. Taking his words seriously, Divyanka says she makes sure to pay her taxes on time. "If there are any loans, I try doing backward planning about how to pay them off at the earliest."

Namrata Purohit, celebrity fitness trainer

Pilates trainer Namrata Purohit is a Bollywood favourite  personalities like Kareena Kapoor Khan, Jacqueline Fernandez and Malaika Arora work out with her regularly. Having started at career at 16, she runs 10 studios around the country today. As an entrepreneur, she believes in investing, reinvesting and then saving as much as possible. “I think it’s important to invest in different things and spread or hopefully dilute the risk,” she says.

Namrata realised the need to save at a young age. As a child, she would religiously collect coins in her piggy bank. “I used to trade the coins I saved with my grandmother for some notes and would then buy myself some treats or goodies with that. My mother taught me the importance of saving money and spending it wisely,” she says. At the same time, her family believed that you must indulge yourself every now and then – something that Namrata swears by even now.

Namrata studied commerce in college and went on to do a Master’s in economics. That helped her understand the financial market, risks, loans, bonds and mutual funds. “We also specifically studied the Indian financial market. Besides, I keep talking to friends from the finance field or just people I believe are good at understanding the markets. I feel like I learn a lot from them,” she says.

Shubhangi Swarup, author and journalist

Launched recently, Shubhangi's debut book, Latitudes of Longing, garnered critical praise. She could only afford to dedicate a year to working full-time on the book, banking on her savings to tide her through. "I quit my full-time job in March 2017 and had enough kept aside for creative endeavours for a couple of years. I disagree with the idea that creative people have to deal with poverty. There's no glory in that and neither does it lead to better art," she says. 

Shubhangi grew up in a household where money was only looked at as a means to an end. Having known her parents struggles to become financially stable, savings are the core of her approach to money. When she worked full-time, she managed to save more than 50% of her income. "Most expenses are lifestyle-related  cabs, eating out, the works. You save a lot if you don't drink alcohol," she chuckles. "I don't even have a credit card, only a debit card." 

She is currently planning to look into investments. "I'm now at that stage where I can afford to put some money away for a long duration."