Fi­nan­cial Lit­er­acy and You

Consumer Voice - - Contents -

Em­pow­er­ing through knowl­edge

Fi­nan­cial lit­er­acy not only plays a cru­cial role in de­ter­min­ing in­di­vid­u­als’ fi­nan­cial health, it also is an indi­ca­tor of the fi­nan­cial well­be­ing of a na­tion. Low fi­nan­cial lit­er­acy level in­creases the risk of fi­nan­cial in­sta­bil­ity for an in­di­vid­ual, and if a sig­nif­i­cant pro­por­tion of the pop­u­la­tion mis­al­lo­cates its money, the pres­sure on the na­tional econ­omy in­creases. Many of you may not be aware that In­dia has about 253,000,000 ado­les­cents who are tran­sit­ing to adult­hood. Con­sid­er­ing that the fu­ture of the coun­try lies in the hands and minds of th­ese chil­dren, it is im­por­tant that each one of them is able to make in­formed de­ci­sions when it comes to man­ag­ing money. Each one of them should be­come in­de­pen­dent in terms of plan­ning their liv­ing as per their in­come and man­ag­ing their fi­nan­cial pri­or­i­ties in life.

When it comes to fi­nan­cial mat­ters—in other words, the abil­ity to understand how money works in this world, you are never really done learn­ing. Ev­ery time you think you have learned the art of man­ag­ing money, some event tells you that you missed some­thing some­where. Most of you have gained fi­nan­cial wis­dom through trial and er­ror, in the course of los­ing a sig­nif­i­cant amount of wealth and fac­ing tension, anx­i­ety and stress – per­haps some of you made wrong in­vest­ments in banks, or bought a wrong piece of land.

Only if you were in­formed and aware about how

best to man­age monies back in your ado­les­cent years, you might not have faced those hard­ships. This is where fi­nan­cial lit­er­acy pro­grammes come into the pic­ture. Fo­cus­ing on ado­les­cents, the over­all ob­jec­tive of th­ese pro­grammes is to make them aware about how some­one man­ages to earn or make money, how they man­age it, how they in­vest it (turn it into more), and how they may do­nate some of it to help oth­ers.

Specif­i­cally, fi­nan­cial aware­ness refers to the set of skills and knowl­edge that al­lows an in­di­vid­ual to make in­formed and ef­fec­tive de­ci­sions with all of their fi­nan­cial re­sources. De­vel­op­ment Pro­gramme (Pol­icy & Re­search) and con­cep­tu­al­ized the Fi­nan­cial Lit­er­acy & You pro­gramme. The Voice team part­nered with UNDP to im­ple­ment the pi­lot project in and around Na­tional Cap­i­tal Re­gion (NCR). For over six months the team en­gaged in var­i­ous fi­nan­cial-lit­er­acy in­ter­ven­tions and fi­nan­cial-in­clu­sion pro­grammes tar­geted at ado­les­cents in the age group of 11 years to 18 years in se­lected ur­ban-slum ar­eas.

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