Women’s banking for dummies | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 08, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:02 AM, December 08, 2020

#LS Editor’s Note

Women’s banking for dummies

I am a banker’s daughter, but I am embarrassed to say that I still cannot even write a cheque properly. In order to write someone a cheque, I spoil at least two leaves, invariably sign where I am not supposed to, and whenever I go to the bank, I put up my nervous smile as if I am in front of my math teacher, sitting for my finals.

For me, placing coins in lucky bamboo or money plant pots and to think that money would grow from it, is more or less the right way out to earning and saving money; but alas, if only money grew on plants!

Banking gives me the shivers; yet I dared to take loans at high interest, do high-finance transactions, always playing with numbers which makes me end up with less than the nominal amount an account holder should have.

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My finances are perennially in doldrums. To a certain extent, I am grateful for this self-isolation and lockdown so that I could restrict my spending habit. And for the first time in my entire life, my half-yearly banking statements showed a slight up-ish trend. But not to worry, as I have already dreamt of ways that I would spend it once things regularise. But that's not what I wish to discuss.

I went to my bank a few days ago to run some errands and my customer service representative introduced a fine woman banking scheme to me. I must add here that all banks have special banking arrangements for ladies, and all of them are equally beneficial. I was introduced to many such schemes, but never actually decided to accept them, and moreover, I prefer local banks to foreign ones simply because of my patriotic reasons (and also less maintenance money).

This new deal my bank was offering me, an initial deposit sum of Tk 1000 only would suffice, which is a blessing in disguise, for I never have more than this amount in my account any way. There is no maintenance fee, no cheque book fee, simple and instant fund transfer facilities. And like a cherry on top of the icing, the interest is calculated on the balance at day's end and interest payment is on monthly basis, plus no minimum balance is required for interest earning.

I was truly hooked on this offer, and am contemplating of opening this new savings account. What I like is, it is an interest-bearing taka account to facilitate customers like me in fulfilling my daily banking needs.

Being scared of banking, I am not alone in this regard; I know women whose husbands operate their salary account or savings account and even take loans without the woman properly understanding the fine print. It's all rosy that you don't have to think about finances; but unfortunately, if the unforeseen happens, what is your fall-back plan, financially speaking?

In reality, I do want to save for my future, and I do want an emergency fund ready at hand, and I must be able to foresee that life is unpredictable and weaves its own path, over which I have no grip. I should have full knowledge over my own savings. It is my economic freedom that gives me my strength and my independence. I, and all women, should learn the nitty-gritty of banking and take control of our own finances. From a migrant worker to a CEO, women in all sphere must learn to regulate her own life and it should begin with fathers teaching daughters how to learn to seize every opportunity.

Happy Saving!

 

Photo: Collected

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