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Swayam was now the king of the world . He had got a job. All the years of slogging, his parents reminding him “Study hard. Get Good grades, Get a good job” finally were paying off. He was excited, on top of the world. No more asking parents for money, no more buying clothes from a local shop, no more looking longingly at the latest gizmo’s. He was going to live life King size. He would buy branded clothes, latest gadgets, eat at five star restaurants, a smart phone is a MUST on his list, a cool bike. Soon he would buy a car, get married, buy a house, go on foreign vacations, have kids, send them to good school..and then maybe retire.

Top of the world

“Tring Tring..”He was woken from his day dreams by a call from his bank . On the first day of the job the company has got him an account open in the bank with a zero balance. The bank official said  that as their privileged customer he is going to get a Gold credit card. They also asked him if they can send their relationship manager to talk about investments and  retirement. Retirement – man he has just started working, he is young they should talk to his father.He didn’t know what to say, so he said “Not now as he is busy”.
His father was telling him to save money.  His cousin was advising him to invest in stocks. His uncle was asking him to buy an insurance policy through which he could save tax. The finance department in his office was asking for his tax savings.  He was confused. He just didn’t understand what to do?


He tried asking his father but father was not of much help. He told Swayam “Throughout my life I have had only one job a government job and I would get pension.” His father told him that he never had a credit card, he saved little -all was spent on their education of kids and building the house and whatever was left was put in Fixed Deposits or Post office. He bought some policies, some NSC and invested in PPF but there was no concrete plan.

A month was over and he was excited about his first pay. But he was shocked when he got the payslip in his hand. It was not what he expected. He was told in his job interview that the cost to the company was 6  lakh.per year.  He had thought that he would get 6,00,000/12= Rs 50,000 but he only got Rs 32,000. Now he remembered about his brother-in-law phone call. asking him how much would be his take home salary. When he went to the finance department, the finance guy told him CTC is the cost that a company would incur on you as an employee. The salary and other perquisites that your company pays you are actually cost for them. Take home pay is what you actually receive at the end of month or salary period. The in-hand figure is calculated after deducting income tax (TDS) and other deductions as per company policies.


His friend Govind came to him and started talking about the credit card debt that is mounting as he is just paying the minimum balance on his credit card. His senior from college, Arnav, was worried that the bank would take away his car as he was unable to pay the loan. His boss was complaining of increasing interest rate on his home loan.

Swayam realised that though he has studied in school and had a college degree his financial knowledge was tending towards zero. He decided to do something about it. He tried searching on Google but there was so much information , mostly talking in dollars that he got more confused. He tried reading the financial papers, the pink coloured ones, such as Economic times but though it was written in what he thought was English most of it went above his head.  He was lost!!

We would not allow one to drive a car without getting a driving license yet we allow people to enter the financial complex world without any financial education.

Then he heard a voice “Let’s start from the very beginning. When you read you begin with A, B,C when you sing you being with Doe Re Me.” Swayan looked up and said “And when you want to learn about money you begin with..bemoneyaware”, the voice answered “Becoming aware of money as awareness empowers. Are you interested?”“Yes” replied Swayan.


Be money aware


“Where do we start, from the basics the numbers, maths” “Maths Oh no, it is the subject which invokes a strong reaction from people -one either hates it or loves it one cannot be neutral to it.” Yes though people hate maths and there is more to maths than numbers . We need to go through some basic concepts. Are you in?Remember An uneducated individual armed with a credit card and access to a mortgage can be just as dangerous to themselves and their community as a person with no training who is given a car to drive.”

“Yes I am”, replied Swayam. To check out the first lesson click here.

Some sites which I like and follow and they talk about basics are(in no specific order):

 OutlookMoney, InvestmentYogi, Jagoinvestor,  The Financial literates, OneMint,

You might be interested in reading my articles about:

  1. My experiments with money
  2. Stop Getting Fooled
  3. What does financial freedom mean to you?
  4. What does money mean to you?

Have you been as scared, frustrated as Swayam was? Did you get confused about the various investment options? What frustrated you? Are you financially educated?  How did you get financially educated?


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