Financial Literacy

How much do you love money enough to die with money in your bank? Weird question I know that too on a Sunday, I asked this because a lot of people die with a huge amount of savings in the bank. Money that they worked really hard to earn, money they cut many corners to save, money they never really got to spend. You know how much 18,830 crore rupees is lying unclaimed in Indian banks. This is as of 2019. Who does this money belong to - people who have not claimed it in more than 10 years. Many of them may be dead many others they have no inheritors. Why did they have so much money if there was no way they could spend it? Or pass it to another generation?

A survey found that most people save up or build assets if they can even in retirement. Why do they do so for unforeseen costs? Said 40% of the respondents ; legacy said many ;some said having money in the bank made them feel better. A handful of them said they were scared. They may run out of money if they started spending 20% said they do not want to spend money even in retirement because money once spent cannot be recovered. Here’s an unpopular question. Why earn money if you cannot spend it? What if someone told you that you can save enough money without being needlessly frugal? This is India a country where at least 75% of the population is literate, but only 24% of the adult population is financially literate meaning only 24% of Indian adults understand the fundamentals of saving, investment , debt and budgeting.

We either overspending or over saving. We don’t know how to handle our money better. The answer to that lies in our school classrooms. In class eight we are taught how to calculate cost price and selling price… We are taught how to calculate simple interest by multiplying P with R and T and dividing the sum by 100. And this sums up our financial literacy. We know theories, but not the application we are taught calculation but not how to make decisions in money matters. We take money related calls every day, how many times a day do we calculate the area of a triangle or the value of x? No pun intended. Today in Maharashtra only 70% of the population is financially literate 32% in Delhi 21% . Overall, the financial literacy rate of India is 24% China’s financial literacy rate is just as bad 28% Russia 38% Brazil 35% South Africa 42% . 38% of US households have credit card debt 33% of American adults have saved $0 for retirement. The lack of financial literacy is a global problem. Most of us end up turning to our friends and family for matters of personal finance. Many of us do not even know anyone who knows finance. What should we do?

Fix the basics. The answer again lies in our school classrooms. It’s there that we should start talking finances. We must include financial literacy in school curriculum. It will help people understand economics understand loans, interest investment budgeting. Today, many students take high interest loans for college spend much of their salary repaying debt, they fail to save, take credit cards to meet their expenses and get trapped in a cycle of borrowing and paying off. Today the concept of budget is alien to many millennials, even older people. It’s hard for most people to follow simple steps like determining income, calculating expenses, setting realistic saving goals and tracking them.

A survey found that 72% of Indians are unaware of how much to put aside or invest in order to achieve financial freedom 76% said that there’s a need for more education in the financial planning space. 51% of millennials said that the level of personal finance knowledge is holding them back from making financial progress. Financial Literacy helps you make that progress. It helps you maintain a healthy credit score. In many countries, it is hard to even get a rental apartment if you do not have a good credit score. Recruiters too take credit scores into account. Financial literacy can also improve a person’s standard of living. Estimate say that you need at least $1 million to retire. This is if you want to live 30 years without working.

Financial literacy can help you make smart investments without having to be frugal. You see the key to a good life is not saving endlessly.

It is smart investments. If you’re worried about future medical expenses, take Life-term Insurance that include medical covers.

Financial experts say start investing early diversify your portfolio divide your goals into short term and long term vacation or a new fridge could be a short term goal. Retirement at a house on the hills is a long term goal. Your child’s college and marriage again your long term goal. This is just the tip of financial literacy. It’s a subject that we must all deep dive into and now is the time to start.

We’ve all heard stories about COVID victims who passed away leaving behind a pile of debt for their families. Many have mortgaged their family homes many records and businesses. Financial planning can help avoid such crises and more and more countries and are realising this. In the United States. 21 states have compulsory financial literacy New Jersey is the latest. In Australia financial education has been embedded in school curriculum. Russia has introduced financial education programs for students of Class 2 to 11. But the two countries that take the most pride in their education systems India and the United Kingdom are yet to push for mandatory financial literacy programs. What should you do if you’re reading this from a country that does not offer financial literacy in schools? Go online. There are many courses on fundamental finance many of these courses are free no matter what your age is. It’s never too late to learn. Educate yourself. educate others, see how to maximise your savings. Secure your tomorrow without compromising on your dreams today.