Despite having higher literacy rates, we, Sri Lankans are not financially disciplined, we live in a technologically advanced world where our needs and wants are forced by someone who wants to sell their products and services to us, the bigger part of our society are fallen victims to temptation and financial mismanagement which leads to unnecessary debt, stress, family issues and health issues, still we are programmed to ignore those warning lights. What can be the reason for these problems, why are we not able to pause for a second and think before we spend our hard earned money on something unwanted? Is it due to lack of financial discipline?
We receive emails and calls from lots of people requesting solutions for the financial issues, unpaid loans, credit card debt, guarantor issues and the list goes on and on, all the issues point to the only end where the victims don’t know or not aware of repercussions of their financial mismanagements and mistakes. Thus the question arises, financial discipline: should it come from the education or experience?
What is Financial Education?
Something which is never taught in schools, but it is more important than anything you learnt in school or college, financial education or financial literacy is all about having a basic understanding about investments, insurance, savings, loans and retirement planning. Unfortunately, most of the students and degree holders enter the professional world without a basic understanding of financial products and services.
When you lack financial education, you are more likely to have financial distress, a simple example can be the credit card usage can bring a lot of issues and ruin your CRIB report if you don’t understand the basics of credit card management. Do you know that a simple signature as a guarantor to someone can push your credit score down and put you into deeper trouble?
Benefits of financial education
- Save you from unwanted financial distress
- Make your investments grow faster
- Help to enter and exit from investment on right time
- Keep your budget smart and manage expenses below your income
- Maintain a positive net worth
- Have access to debt and emergency funds
Financial discipline through experience
We all know that fire will burn our finger and we avoid putting our finger in to fire, some elder or our parent would have taught us and we handle fire with care, some of would have learnt the lesson by putting our finger in to fire and after that we do handle fire with care, but the damage is already there and sometimes we take the scar till we die.
Financial discipline by experience also something similar to the above example, we learn the lesson by burning our finger and sometimes the damage is huge where we may incur huge loses.
According to our financial experts, we prefer financial discipline through education, a basic understanding of financial terms, products and services can take you to greater heights and it will give you peace of mind, it’s never too late to start learning and especially financial education is important to all the age group. You just need to spend a few minutes, there are ample tools and resources available on the internet and make use of those resources to put your financial literacy right.
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