10-year-old, “My friend Aakash has an iPod, an iPhone and an iPad. Why can’t I?”
Teen to father, “Let’s just take a loan and buy that cool, new SUV.”
Sounds familiar? The urban Indian child’s sense of entitlement and apparent insensitivity in financial matters are not just offshoots of the increasing affluence in Indian families; money is rapidly losing its tangibility, with the abundance of ‘virtual’ cash (credit and debit cards, e-banking, mobile banking). What’s more, the prevalent consumerist culture encourages instant gratification.
Why should you change this? Why should you impart financial skills to your child?
Making the best use of money is a critical life skill – no matter how your child will earn his living as an adult, whether by blazing a successful trail as a sportsperson or building a reputation as a surgeon, he will need to handle money, know how to spend and save. “Students study Boyle’s law and differential equations at school, without any questions asked about how they are going to use these in their personal or professional lives. On the other hand, money skills are not taught – and being financially savvy is a must to survive in the world!” is the compelling point of view from V. Venkatesh, Director of Money-Wizards, an organisation that aims to increase financial literacy among adults and children. As an involved parent, you need to empower your child with financial skills. Finally, dealing with and understanding money can be fun for children of all ages.
Convinced? Before you begin…
Times have changed; today’s parents were raised in very different environments, by parents who had conservative approaches and attitudes towards money. Sample these:
Today’s parents look back……..
“Peer pressure as an excuse for spending was out of question. My father would sit down with us and talk us out of any ‘stupid’ notions we had.”
– Dheeraj Sharma, Business man and father of a five-year-old girl
“My father worked hard to provide for us; seeing him, I learnt the value of every rupee. My parents did not particularly teach me to be moneywise. The way they lived was itself a lesson to me.”
– Swaminathan. N., Government employee and father of an 18-year-old girl
“When I was growing up, money was given only to buy school items. This taught s that money is important and must be spent wisely.”
– Anita Jacob, Home maker and mother of an 18-year-old girl