An Important Life Skill: Teaching Students To Be Financially Literate


Bob Talbert, an American columnist once said: “Teaching kids to count is fine but teaching them what counts is the best.” The quote is the essence of teaching fiscal responsibility to students.

Parents, mentors and teachers spend a lot of time emphasizing upon teaching mathematics to children. They send their children to Vedic classes and Abacus classes in order to make them masters of speedy calculation.

Parents and teachers have also become aware of co-curricular activities, so they get their children enrolled into drama, dance, singing, karate and other such classes. Little do they realize that no sooner than the kids enter the adult world the first thing they are confronted by is -money. Hence, it becomes imperative that we make our children financially literate at an early age. Financial literacy is an important life skill.

Some schools skim through economics or basic economics courses, however, there is hardly any school equipped to analytically teach financial literacy.

What is financial literacy?

To have an understanding of income, expenses and savings; budgets; assets and liabilities; risk management, insurance and its purpose; investments and how to make it work in your favour; taxation; how to handle situations such as disability, starting a business, inheritance; wills, trusts and inter-generational wealth transfer implies being financially literate.

Money Lessons at Home

The concept of piggy banks is the closest that most parents have gotten in terms of teaching their children savings at an early age. Although they still shy away from discussions of money and family finances with their children.

The Earlier, the Better

The best possible way to make your children learn about money is to expose them to money at an early age and to let them manage it. Once they hit their teenage, they develop strong long-standing habits which become hardwired due to peer pressure and external environment. This particularly happens beyond the 6th grade, in the face of severe peer pressure. They wish to buy gadgets, branded clothes and act flamboyant in front of their friends. Instructing them to restrain their actions at this age might be a tall order if you have not inculcated budgeting habits in your children at an early age.

Money lessons for kids

Common sense and some pragmatic ideas are more than enough to start with.

  • Inculcating healthy values about money
  • Setting goals and priorities
  • Help your children make prudent choices regarding money-related matters
  • Not living for the weekend: Avoiding the instant gratification idea.
  • The significance of hard work needs to be told to the children.

Special Time

Take some time out in order to teach your children the basics of money management. If you are unable to find the time, seek professional help. It is wise to spend a certain amount on the financial education of your children rather than letting your children fall into reckless and dangerous money habits, attitudes and behaviours.

More so, it is the responsibility of the guardians of a child to keep a check on his expenses.