Money Matters

Money Matters are mostly forbidden on the table in most of the Indian houses. The parents think that it is not a worthy topic to discuss while having food. These topics are not taught in school as well. Schools focus on scholastic and professional skills, not on financial skills. Isn’t it necessary for everyone to develop financial skills? One can notice that there are many successful professionals who earn a very nice income but they end up struggling financially. It does not matter how much you earn, what matters is how you manage your money.

Generally money is seen as the root of all evil and people struggle all their lives to get the evil or rather money. Isn’t that strange? It is and people give rather very not so convincing statements about money. Everyone needs money at the end of the day and that is one of the possible reasons that we work. If you work only for money then the chances of you doing professionally well is not certain. There are many tricks of trade that has to be shared between the people who know it and who do not.

One of the reasons the rich get richer, the poor get poorer, and the middle class struggles in debt is because the subject of money is taught at home, not in school. Most of us learn about money from our parents. So what can a poor parent or middle class parent say to his kid about money? Their advice would be “Go to school, get nice ranks and get a decent job”. The kid does just that. Since he knows how to work hard and get nice rank, he does that and lands up in a job. He starts making financial mistakes since he does not have a fair idea as to how things work, he lands in mess and by the time he clears up everything he is in forties. Now the same cycle continues. I don’t see the knowledge sharing taking place due to various reasons. Whereas in a businessman’s family, money is discussed between father and son and kid gets to know various tricks of the trade to promote the business needs and he is also given on the job training. I have noticed this in many family run businesses. Dad ensures that the knowledge he has is transcended to his son by various methods and there by promoting his business that he obtained from his father to great levels.

The advice that the parents of poor, middle class and rich provide to their siblings are different. Parents will always think of their kid’s future and provide only good advice. But the problem is when it comes to money they are not sure and they advice their kids a tried and tested method that they had seen in the neighbors and others. But they don’t speak about the money as it is embarrassing for them. Since they don’t know much about it they prefer to be like that. Whenever I wanted something that was not affordable by my father, he would say “Son, I can’t afford it. I’ll get it to you when I can”. I wonder how many of you got the similar answers. When you get such an answer from your dad, you won’t think much. Instead if dad had said, “Son, How can you afford it?” I would have thought about it. I would have wondered and gave him some stupid ideas to get the thing. This is rather a good approach to instill in kids rather than saying that you can’t.

It is not late for every one of us to have discussions about money with our parents. Make it a habit to learn about their experience. Experience is a comb a person gets when he is bald. It might not be of much use to him but it can surely help us. Make a beginning.

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