Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Financial Education - at what age?

In the New York Times best seller book Rich Dad Poor Dad the author Robert Kiyosaki talks about his two fathers one rich and the other poor. He talks about how the rich teach their children about money at a very early age, so they know how to manage money and not to earn money.

Rafe Esquith the award winning American teacher narrates in his books about his vision for teaching life skills to his 5th grade students. He cleverly teaches the importance of money to his fifth graders through his unique financial program where students use money designed by Rafe to survive in school everyday, like paying for their seat etc, they also get bonuses of for several challenging things they perform daily. The best thing is at the end of the year there is an auction and the student can get his/her favourite item with the money they have saved that year. Rafe explains in his book that is important to teach students about money because it is one life skill which will make a difference in the childrens lives, depending upon the way they decide to save their money. Please read the book "There are No-shortcuts" and "Teach Like your Hairs on Fire" to know about the details of his program.

In India also the awareness amongst parents and teachers about teaching kids about money is picking up. Banks like ING Vyasa, ICICI and HDFC bank have special kids and students account where the parents and teachers can help them learn about money in a fun way. Some banks also have cool animations to teach the kids about banking.

I remember my parents had forced me to go and deposit money in a bank at a very young age, and I was very afraid of going alone but their force helped me overcome my fear. However today this can be taught to the kids in a fun way in their own comfort zone with the help of information and technology. Please read the following article which was published in Times of India Mumbai Edition on what Indian banks have to offer and how the parents are helping (They are never too Young to Learn about Money).

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