The use of ‘Money’ and ‘Bhagavad Gita’ in one sentence may seem ironic. We often come across a stereotypical view about Hindu Spirituality, that it is about “giving up everything and moving to the Himalayas.” But we know that money and material wealth plays a significant role in today’s society. What then is the ideal way of teaching your kids about money?
Our scriptures acknowledge that one needs to create a balance between the extremes. They show us the way to live life, the role money plays, and the path to true happiness. The Bhagavad Gita says that we should enjoy the work we do without worrying about what we will get from it, and the monetary gains will follow. While doing our job, we should be rooted in ourselves – the Gita calls refers to such a person as ‘Sthiraprajna.’
It is also important to make children understand that money is ‘earned’ rather than just received. So, have discussions with them about what they like doing and come up with interesting activities that they can perform to earn their allowance or pocket money. This can be a fun and exploratory exercise for both parents and children.
Once this process starts, inculcate the habit of conscious spending early on. Give your children a small piggy bank, or a simple jar, where they can keep the money and watch it grow. Teach them how to avoid impulse buys, illustrate how money multiplies and compounds, and encourage them to donate. Whether they want to start an entrepreneurial venture or pursue a job, making smart money choices is going to be a vital part of their decision-making in their future. So, give them a big picture view of being money smart in the true sense.
A recent webinar conducted by IGenPlus covered the basic concepts of managing personal finance. Here are some simple steps towards money smartness discussed during the session:
- Identify your goals
- Identify amount to reach goals
- Identify current financial situation
- Write your money in/money out
- Open a bank account
- Start managing your money
- Learn the magic of wealth creation
In summary, incorporating money lessons in life doesn’t necessarily have to be a number-crunching game. Parents can identify everyday moments to introduce ideas like: money has to be earned with hard work, doing what you love accelerates your wellbeing, financial education gives you a life skill, money management involves handling expenses, saving, and investing, and finally, daily habits can contribute to better financial decision-making.
IGenPlus also offers online learning programs, such as contests, webinars, and courses to help students apply and practice these skills.