We and our money: An introduction
I am Pichai Iyer, from Chennai, India. I worked in the banking industry for about 37 years. The banking job provided an opportunity to travel and live in different parts of the country. It was tiresome and disturbing to move the family and belongings. But those transfers also provided an opportunity to understand the culture, habits, and customs of the people living there. Not to forget the new language we get to learn at least partially. Remember all these things we got at no extra cost. All those years in service were very interesting. Bankers deal with two very sensitive and important aspects of life namely Human beings and their money. Each day in the workplace was educative and also demanding. During the initial years of my service (1977 – 1990) banking was relatively calm and simple. Accept deposits from the public and lend to individuals, small businesses, and bigger industries. The industry started to undergo gradual changes in the late 80s coinciding with the opening up of different economies. Today banking occupies a very important position in Nation building and economic growth.
The public sector banks have opened a lot of branches and even the remotest areas of our country are today served by a bank branch. The successive Governments have taken many initiatives to bring the socially and economically backward sections of our society into the banking fold to enable them to enjoy the fruits of various developmental schemes. The Government of India, Reserve Bank of India, and many other voluntary organizations have been taking many useful initiatives like conducting meetings, publishing printed handouts, messages in electronic media, etc to increase the financial awareness of the people. But India is a huge country with a population of more than 135 billion and a very uneven literacy rate. Out of this 135 crores around 45 crores are reported to be under 19/20 years of age with very less financial awareness. These are the future of India and this is the right time to equip them with sufficient financial awareness. Similarly, almost 50% of women in the age group of 18 to 58 are housewives who lack adequate financial awareness. All financial decisions are taken by the menfolk in these families. It is another point that even those men who decide on financial matters of the family are not financially literate to the desired level. Hence it is imperative that those with a better financial literacy try to spread whatever they know to the lesser privileged lots of the society in an effort to supplement the initiatives of the Government.
Having worked in the banking industry for such a long time and having seen people of different ages, languages, and cultures I felt the approach to money matters was mostly impulsive and not based on a sound set of financial skills. The housewives, students two most important segments in the society do not possess even the minimum financial literacy and solely depend on the earning member mostly the father/husband who is also guided by opinions and ideas that have been thrust into him by elders in the family, society, and friends. The very basic idea is that money is only an instrument in the hands of the holder and it is the holder who uses money usefully or otherwise is forgotten. Unwanted misconceptions and wrong notions today cloud wealth creation. Though there is considerable improvement in the thought process still a lot needs to be done and the information dissemination needs sustained and dedicated efforts from individuals like us too. It is good to see there are some really good and informative blogs by eminent personalities on money, savings, and investments I feel there is space available for many more people to step in and contribute. I have hence started my blog “We and our money.com” which is my first organized effort in this direction.
What is this blog about?
I will be publishing articles on financial literacy, banking, insurance, credit cards, home loans, etc in simple steps mainly targeting the students, housewives, etc who have limited exposure to enhancing their financial literacy. Readers many of you for that matter who may know much more than me may please try to offer your suggestions, comments, etc as feedback will make my work more enjoyable and sharper. My request to all of you is to please pass on whatever you know about financial awareness to the people around you, maybe your domestic help, driver, gardener, or whoever you deem fit. Please tell them to open a bank account and if you have time do help them too. The government has introduced life insurance, health insurance, and accident insurance schemes targeted at poor people. Let us do our bit in making them members of these beautiful schemes. Our Post Offices have many schemes catering to various sections among us. I will in the coming days be publishing blog posts about those schemes as well. Let us collectively make financial literacy OUR MISSION.
The Goal setting:
It is my earnest desire to have 1000 subscribers and 500 visitors a day for my blog by the first Anniversary next April. With this objective in mind, I will strive to publish one blog post every week on Sundays, starting 8th May 2022 ” We and our money” will have a new post published. Till then Good luck and Goodbye.