Youngsters should buckle up and pave the way to making prudent financial decisions

DEBTS are no joke. The past few years, there was a rise in the number of Malaysians youth being declared bankrupt. Thus, the assimilation of financial literacy among youngsters is becoming increasingly important especially during this COVID-19 pandemic – which has brought on challenges on all fronts, financial in particular.

As many young Malaysians fall victim to high credit card debt which leads to bankruptcy, the way forward is to empower young Malaysians to develop a healthy relationship with money from a young age.

Championing financial literacy since 2012, Allianz Malaysia Bhd through its corporate responsibility arm, Allianz4Good, has conducted over 180 in-class programmes with schools and non-profit organisations nationwide to teach children and young teens basic financial knowledge and money management.

In 2019, Allianz4Good piloted its FinWise Kids Programme, an in-house programme specifically curated to empower teachers to be financial literacy enablers.

Developed and managed by EdSpace, the programme was carried out as an after-school co-curriculum programme by the participating school’s English Language Society or Club as advised and endorsed by the Ministry of Education (MOE).

Further to that, the programme supports Bank Negara Malaysia’s goal of developing best practices for financial literacy in schools as outlined in their National Strategy for Financial Literacy 2019-2023.

“The goal with our financial literacy programme was to equip young people with financial management skills and the ability to make prudent financial decisions,” Allianz4Good head Ng Siew Gek pointed out.

“And through the activities, we hope to instil the desire to practice good financial behaviour.”

Below is how Allianz kickstart its financial literacy journey to set youngsters on the right path toward becoming masters of their own money:

Teach them to differentiate between needs and wants

The first step towards being the master of money is to develop the ability to distinguish between wants and needs. Needs are categorised as basic essentials such as food, clothing, and shelter, while wants are usually anything extra.

Encourage family conversations about it and get children involved in budgeting the family expenses. Get them to differentiate which items that are needs, and those that are wants.

Make saving a habit

Encourage the habit of saving. Use the trusted coin box or tabung to serve as a designated place to store their savings and also as a visual reminder. Besides that, having a savings schedule like setting aside 50 sen a day will encourage the saving habit.

Make them set a goal for the money saved

It is important to reinforce the principle of money being a limited resource and the need to steward their finances responsibly. You can do so by helping them to identify their savings goal and develop a spending plan.

Besides that, you can also use the savings goal as a secondary lesson to explain how they can use their money to help others around them and why it is important to share the resources they have. – Feb 7, 2021

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