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When she is your BAE and your financial buddy

“I love my husband, but it is nothing like a conversation with a woman that understands you. I grow so much from those conversations.” – Beyonce

We don’t need Queen Bey to sell us female friendships, but a little validation doesn’t hurt. Whether it is teaming up on the school playground or sharing life’s challenges growing up, having soul sisters is a great support system.

Having a network of women is great for your career, and a nurturing female friendship can do wonders for your health. There is no reason that this should not extend to your financial well being.

Here’s the story of two friends, who are discovering adulting and are each other’s financial buddies too. Meet Erica Miranda and Andrea D’Souza, schoolmates in Pune who became housemates in Mumbai where they moved to pursue a career in advertising. The twenty-somethings talk, live, laugh, thrive - and invest together.

Here are the ways they manage money and help each other out:

Keeping money conversations transparent

They say you don’t know someone truly until you have lived with them. “Well, try changing several houses in a city like Mumbai in four years,” explains Andrea. We discuss money in a very open manner, say the duo. An instance of this is when they hunt for homes to rent.

"We are more mindful of our budgets because we have goals that are bigger than hustling in Mumbai. So we make sure that while we won't settle for very less, we are not over-indulgent in recurring expenses like choosing a home or cook,” says Erica. Household costs, even the seemingly small ones, are split down to the middle. Budgeting and cost splitting tools come in handy. Any issues of delayed payment from the other are addressed openly without any awkwardness at all, the friends add.

Growing together

It isn’t just about budgeting, Erica and Andrea help each other with their careers as well. “When it is time for an appraisal, we back each other up. We go over negotiations and instil confidence in each other, reminding the other of the value they add to work. This way neither of us shy away from asking for an appraisal that we have truly earned,” adds Andrea. Merely acquaintances earlier, the two connected over social media when Erica planned her move to Mumbai.

Nudging each other on the money path

“Erica is the resident encyclopedia, and I can count on her to know about many things, money being the top,” Andrea mentions laughingly. The housemates discuss a lot of things, including the benefits of investing early, compounding interest and the pros and cons of buying a house.

Erica takes a keen interest in managing her money and says she discusses it with her peers on topics such as investing with a SIP. “When I learn about something and think it will benefit my friends, I am proactive in discussing it. Recently I have understood the importance of health insurance and encourage others to have a good insurance plan too,” she says.

She is also a member of the Basis community, where women discuss all things money.

Female friendships help women in all walks of their life, and it’s about time that we let the financial aspect benefit as well. And what better than today to get started, happy Galentine’s Day!

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