September 9, 2019
Financial literacy among children
Education of a child begins at home and in India, I have not seen many parents talking about “money” and “finances” to children from a very tender age. The conversation is limited to what we can buy for them and vice versa. Conversations around savings, rising cost of living, goals is largely missing. As children, we did save a portion of our pocket money in our “Gullak” (a box where children lock away their savings). But we were not really taught about growing that money.
In my view, financial literacy is incomplete without connecting the dots. Asking the child to save his pocket money is just one part of the whole game. It probably only inculcates a habit of putting away a part of what he owns for future consumption. That is indeed a good start. However, explaining the concept of inflation and the fact that inflation will continue to be a reality is not there. Basic understanding of investment products is something children don’t understand even till they start working. And this lack of awareness throughout our early years – at home, school and college is the reason why financial savings penetration in India is miniscule.
We have started discussing a lot about making children aware of a lot of things. However, implementation is very low. Specially, till we do not see this being implemented as a subject in schools. Anything which is incorporated in schools is automatically taught at home too. A simple subject on “money” will prepare the next generation for financial planning in the right way.