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Screw Geometry, Let's Teach Our Kids How To Count Their Money First

19/06/2016 9:08 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:27 AM IST
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Indian Little Boy With Money

Get your shit together.

I'm not sure how many times I've said that to myself.

I'm the son of a woman who kicks some serious butt when it comes to financial management. Yet, I spend like there's no tomorrow. And because of that, there might not be a tomorrow! The future is a joke as pathetic as people's reactions to Tanmay Bhatt's snapchat video.

The moment I became financially independent, I started spending. Little did I know I had no training on how to spend. I think kids should be taught how to manage their finances in school! That should be the most important subject, not the Pythagorean Theorem we force them to learn.

It's like, "Hey kids, don't worry about your credit card bills as long as you know all about the complicated relationship between the sides of a triangle." I mean, what the actual f*ck!

With all the debates about the urban poor, it's time to understand the problem or at least acknowledge it. Why is an entire generation so bad with money?

So you grow up, you start earning and without any control, you buy and you buy and you buy. You buy until the credit card gets maxed out, you can't even afford to pay the minimum amount due anymore. In that moment you are presented with three options -- Google how to sell your kidney because why do we need two anyway; look up interest rates for personal loans on bank websites because you have to somehow clear your existing debt; or ask your financially savvy mother for help because as much as she despises your spending habits, she did create you!

Me? I went with the third option. But not everyone has that luxury.

With all the debates about the urban poor phenomenon, it's finally time to understand the problem or at least acknowledge it. Why is an entire generation so bad with money? We all know how the financial crisis of '08 screwed us. With all the education we got and the pressure to nail the exams, we were promised a good future. But it was just taken away from us without any warning. We didn't even get time to lower our expectations. By the time we did, we were already in debt. And let's not forget the poor souls who took student loans. Imagine still paying off student loans when your kid's about to go to school!

But then again, there are those who do have at least some of it figured out. The ones who have a credit card and know how to use it to their benefit. The ones who take personal loans when necessary and know how to pay them back. The ones who know how to save up with the little they've got. I think someone called them the "urban smart".

I was happy [my] salary was under the tax threshold. Not because I didn't want to pay taxes, but because I had no idea how!

I personally know a few urban smarts. My peers who are planning to buy a car or a house in the city and earn as much as I do, while I'm here asking my mother for money.

That's what we need more of. It's good that the urban smarts could find the urban smartness on their own. But not everyone can do that (well, clearly!). So the training for that should start from school!

It's time to take a look at what kids should be taught in school. I had no idea what a Provident Fund was until I was about to quit my first job. I think I was the only person who was happy his salary was under the tax threshold. Not because I didn't want to pay taxes, but because I had no idea how!

Let that ridiculousness sink in for a second. Now, it's easy to discard this as a whiny plea to be spoon-fed. Because I would do so too if it was about something I happen to be good at. We are spoon-fed a lot of things, all the time. Even Bollywood treats us like we are toddlers and leaves nothing to the imagination, except sex scenes may be (that's still two butterflies flying around a flower). So why aren't we spoon-fed things we should absolutely be awesome at, instead of the ridiculous theories we are probably never going to use?

Otherwise, it's one more generation of whiners. Thankfully, we, millennials know a thing or two about whining so it should be okay. But why take the risk? Let's look at the syllabus already!

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