• Vijeta Gawdi

All about the money honey!


It is all about the money honey!

My 8 year old daughter had undertaken a # hashtag challenge :) What is it with this generation? Youtube is flooded with videos of kids trying out the mystery box challenge, the food box challenge, a challenge for a challenge :) Who am I to judge? Whatever makes the kids happy. So our challenge, much to my elation, a few days back was to finish the pile of Kumon homework, that was lying at the bottom of the shelf, hidden so cleverly from my prying eyes, by the 8 year old . The determination was fuelled by indulgence. The trade-off was bargained, debated and settled at a Barbie Jet Set Plane in exchange for 200 sums on fractions. I know as improper as the fractions were so was this way of encouraging her to study :)

Oversight on my part. My excuse, lockdown, mother of 3, keep the kid away from the iPad, get some homework done at least, shall never happen again. So the day starts, the 8 year old is bathed, brushed and eaten. She clears her desk out, places a bottle of water on it, admonishes the 3 year old for disturbing her, flexes her fingers and sets out. It is almost like she is a Ninja out to fight, only the sword replaced with the pencil.

Ninjas were Japanese mercenaries who took part in military conflicts for personal benefit. They were often rewarded or remunerated in cash for their services which included waging irregular, surprise attacks using covert methods. Well, this sudden attack on the worksheets by her in exchange for the Jet Set, completely qualified the 8 year old to be called a Ninja. Ninjas were often associated with legendary abilities and varied arsenals. My daughter's arsenal comprised of her eraser, sharpener and pen. Edward Bulwer's so rightly once said- The pen is mightier than the sword.

It was such a delight to see her go after the problems with the pencil in her hand, pausing only to sharpen her sword with the sharpener every once in a while. The 8 year old was showing spunk and enthusiasm all because the outcome of this gruelling challenge was tangible. She could see the fruits of her labour right in front of her eyes. These precious hours that she was putting in to complete her assignments was her investment and the toy, it's more like THE TOY for the ridiculous price it comes for was her ROI, return on investment.

The cost that this TOY would come at, 3 hours of playing dress-up, dolls, art and craft, swimming in the baby indoor pool in addition to 3 hours of binge-watching on Maiko Mermaids. The price of the TOY = ridiculous, hence profit.

I was so amused by all the drama, my mind suddenly in overdrive. We learn so many subjects as part of our curriculum in school. However, the one subject that they don't really teach is Financial Management. I strongly believe the sooner the kids are exposed to financial education, the more economically independent and successful they will be as adults. We Indians are programmed into thinking that money matters only need to be dealt with once we have a job in hand or a practice to start. Financial education in today's day and age is an important tool to empower and equip the children with the knowledge, skills and confidence to build a secure future. An economically educated society can also contribute to the country's growth.

Our children are living in an environment where there is excessive materialism abound. The urge to spend is greater than the need to save. The sources of income few and the avenues to spend far greater. The need to be more social and image-conscious fuels impulse buying behaviour in us parents. We are quick to reward our children's simplest of feats, albeit handsomely. Hence, it becomes even more necessary to give our children the basic knowledge at least when it comes to financing. Do our kids need to know where the money at home comes from? How do companies earn money? How do we grow money? The answers to these questions can raise economically confident children who will make rational choices in life.

The purpose of writing this blog-

At 3timesover.com, we are soon coming up with a session on 'Finance is Fun' for our little economists. For more details keep watching the blog space.

Oh! Yes, coming back to the hashtag Barbie Jet Set challenge, well the 8 year old sat glued to her desk for 4 hours, getting up in between to go online and check Amazon.in a million times, to see how soon the set would be available in India. She managed to complete over 175 sums. She was upset as the toy was still showing unavailable. I managed to perk her up with this fancy personalised, a million paints in an art kit, that she had received as a party return favour. She had forgotten all about it and I being the opportunistic, minimalistic, borderline stingy mother that I am, had hidden it away for just a rainy day like today. For now, she is happy. She has been using the kit regularly and it keeps her occupied. As for me, I am happy that this wait will teach her a little more value for time and a lot more respect for money.

Calculating profits in cuddles and kisses:)

Vijeta Gawdi

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