4U2K FAMILY AND FINANCE - THE LINK !

Irshad JACKARIA

Do you know the relation between Family and Finance !

The International Day of Families is observed on the 15th May of every year. It is a platform to promote awareness of issues relating to families, and to increase the knowledge of the demographic, economic and social processes affecting families. Let us extend this stage and think about Family Financial Planning. For us at Cover and Above, it is a about a culture that should be developed, continuously improved, and nurtured in every Mauritian family. For some, it is engrained, and that too, since generations, for some, it is something new, that has been developed only in the current generation, and for some others, it is quasi inexistent. What is worrying about the latter is that even the new generation of some of such families is unaware and/or unwilling to start this thought-action practice.

The central objective of this reflection is to focus on ending poverty, promoting shared economic prosperity, social progress and human well-being, while securing the future generation’s capacity to grow. During a time when we are talking about “minimum wage” in our country, we believe that we should add some more ingredients, in order to develop a holistic approach towards family welfare. We need to promote the culture of savings for each individual in the family, as well as educating on the issues of group savings for the family’s medium and long term plans. And, most importantly, we need to inculcate into our children, as from the age of 3, the issues and concepts of money, budget, savings and investments. For you to muse on:

  • take your little one with you when you do your routine shopping, like going to “bazaar” and buying “dhall puri”. Introduce her to the transactions of payment and change, and let her handle the cash.
  • introduce a yearly budget for your child’s toy and entertainment expenses, and show how he will need to live with that account. And, do not feel embarrassed when he is crying out loud in a supermarket for an avoidable and/or not-within-budget purchase.
  • make your progeny accompany you to the ATM as well as inside the bank, and show her how to withdraw, and more importantly how to deposit. Let her collect and do the counting for her “non-boxed” gifts for New Year, Christmas, Divali, Eid, Varusha Pirappu, Ugadi, Chun Jie or Naw-Ruz, and her birthday, and now, you accompany her to the bank for her deposit.
  • induce your junior to share and help his near and dear ones and develop his sense of generosity. Educate him on the need to portion his financial aggregates to donate to the very less fortunate ones, and make him participate, with the required respect, in the distribution.

We can easily forgive a child who is crying out one’s eye and heart for us to buy him/her something unnecessary and out-of-budget; the real tragedy is when adults are doing the same for themselves in silence.