On International Grandparents’ Day, it’s time to learn a thing or two about how our old folks managed their money.
“Money is very very necessary, but one should not become a slave to it… Rather we should control our money wisely. Also, one should do charity.”
Those were the first words that my grandmother shared with me when I told her about this article. Having lived through transformational changes in the world, her generation has the unique experience of witnessing the evolution of finance and technology over time. The thought of this sparked a few questions in my mind, so I bugged my granny for some answers to see if there’s more hidden treasures in the mind that has given me some legendary Rasam & Rice over the years.
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Here’s what we spoke about:
Me: How different was managing personal finances before the days of technology?
Granny: Back in our day, we maintained an account book which would be filled in everyday… This is just my personal experience; I’m sure others can relate to it, though. Every thing spent in a day would be recorded here. This was our main method to watching our expenses.
Today, technology has made life easier and that includes managing finances.
Me: Any tips you’d like to share with youngsters about money management?
Granny: Well, you may have heard these tips before, but they’re always relevant. My mantra is simple.
- Always put away some money as savings first thing after you get your salary
- Organise your finances and spend according to your budget
- Keep unnecessary spending under control
As you can see here, the ‘what-to-do’ hasn’t changed much even today. It’s just the ‘how to do’ that has evolved. The principles of money management are simple and everlasting.
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Me: Do you think people valued money more back when you were young?
Granny: Yes, there has definitely been a cultural change in our relationship with money. People valued money more when I was young, but this was probably because only one family member earned for the whole family. Now in modern households, the overall earning capacity has increased – and for good. Naturally, with more money comes more temptations and reasons to spend; that’s the one thing that needs to be watched. There are so many more avenues that attract expenses today than before.
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This chat with granny reminded me of a scene from Spiderman where Peter Parker’s uncle tells him this iconic line – “Remember, with great power comes great responsibility”. I guess this applies to all of us whether we’re swinging from building-to-building with webs or dancing month-to-month with debt.
Got a few tips from your grandparents that you’d like to share ? Feel free to add them in the comments below: