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Financial Literacy - Need of the Hour

Financial literacy is the education and understanding of various financial areas including topics related to managing personal finance, money, and investing. This topic focuses on the ability to manage personal finance matters in an efficient manner, and it includes the knowledge of making appropriate decisions about personal finance such as investing, insurance, real estate, paying for college, budgeting, retirement, and tax planning.

It is the possession of skills and knowledge that allows an individual to make informed and effective decisions with all of their financial resources.

In India, Financial Literacy has still not become a priority like in other developed nations. Lack of basic financial knowledge results in poor investments and financial decisions. That’s why most people invest in short-term plans and physical assets to accomplish their personal goals which give lesser benefits and do not help in the economic development of the country.

According to a global survey, about a staggering 76% of Indian adults do not understand basic financial concepts and are unfortunately financially illiterate even today. The survey confirms the financial literacy rate in India has been consistently poor as compared to the rest of the world. It is indeed high time for a developing country like India to realize the importance of financial literacy as such a poor financial literacy rate can prove to be a major setback to India’s ambition of becoming an economic superpower in the coming years.

Here are a few questions which you can ask yourself to know your financial literacy rate:

(1) Are you able to understand basic financial concepts like compound interest, credit scores, mutual funds, etc.?

(2) Are you able to make effective financial decisions?

(3) Do you know the best ways to generate cash flow?

(4) Are you able to do effective financial planning?

(5) Are you able to manage your personal finances well?

(6) Are you aware of the most profitable savings techniques?

(7) Do you have enough savings for your rainy days?

(8) Do you live a debt-free life?

(9) Do you know the best investment options for gaining maximum profit?

(10) Do you have solutions for your financial problems?

Now, if you are not able to find satisfactory answers to these questions, then you definitely need to educate yourself on financial concepts as soon as possible. The lack of knowledge on financial literacy may lead to making poor financial decisions that can have serious impacts on your financial well-being. Hence, it is high time we understood our finances well and did better financial planning and investments for a smooth financial life.

Financial Literacy is extremely important as:

- It helps in improving the financial knowledge of individuals.

- It brings clarity to basic financial concepts and principles such as compound interest, debt management, financial planning, etc.

- It enables you to manage your personal finances efficiently.

- It helps in making appropriate financial decisions about investing, saving, insurance, managing debts, buying a house, child education, retirement planning, etc.

- It helps individuals to achieve financial stability and financial freedom.

- It helps in understanding the difference between assets and liabilities.

- It helps in developing the skill sets required for better financial planning and managing your money.

- It provides in-depth knowledge of financial education and strategies which are indispensable for achieving financial growth and success.

- It helps you in generating, manage, save, spend, and invest money.

- It enables you to be debt free by inculcating financial knowledge and debt strategies.

Hence, we need to put our conscious effort into improving our financial knowledge and should also impart financial education to our children as they are the future. The government should also take initiative to make financial education compulsory in schools and colleges. The government should run campaigns to educate people about the importance of financial literacy in everyone’s life. Government bodies, banks, insurance companies, and financial institutions should take necessary measures to educate people about various financial concepts and investment opportunities so that people can live financially stable life. Financial stability and financial inclusion are two key aspects of a growing economy.

In India, there is an enormous opportunity to provide financial literacy to all sections of society. The first priority is to reach out to the uneducated, poor, and economically backward people with limited access to the financial world, who constitute the major chunk of society. They should be given free financial education about basic economic concepts. They should be trained on how to generate money, the best ways to save money, and where to invest their money to get maximum returns.

Also, the educated, working middle class should be given proper knowledge about the various financial products available in the market so that they can invest their hard-earned money in the best possible ways. Even the rich and famous should be made aware of the various opportunities for investments, and how to use their wealth to make the maximum benefit for their personal development and for the development of society as a whole. Hence, financial literacy, financial inclusion, and financial stability are the top three aspects of a growing and efficient economy. These are undoubtedly the most important factors for India to emerge as an economically developed country in the next few years. In order to enhance your financial knowledge and take your life to the next level.

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