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Apeksha Bagchi

IWB Blogger

Wanna Learn How To Save Money? Take Lessons From 13 Y.O. Mehendi, A Pro At Money Management

  • IWB Post
  •  December 20, 2018

Paise ki ahmiyat tum kya jano – a phrase that my dear nani liked to utter whenever she saw 12-year-old me with multiple shopping bags full of toys and clothes. So, was I a spender? Well, guilty as charged, as unlike the uber-smart kids of today’s generation, I had zero interest and also no information when it came to the crucial concept of saving and money management. But, times have changed and so has the understanding of kids when it comes to distinguishing between their needs and wants, like our 13-year-old Mehendi, studying in Vimukti Sanstha.

Last year, when IWB had come up with the campaign Little Lakshmi and launched its interactive digital handbook on money management, we were in search of little girls who understand the value of money management, having savings, and using them meticulously. And that search led us to Vimukti Girls School in Jaipur, which provides free education to the girls of slums, as well as free books, uniforms, stationery, meals, and subsidized transport. It was here we met with little Mehendi who wowed us with her responsible behavior, that too at such a young age!

So, under our campaign, Little Lakshmi, we engaged in a chat with Mehendi and Kavita Khosa who is a self-made woman entrepreneur and the founder of the skin-care and wellness brand – Purearth. It is an ethical, wild-harvest brand which works with women’s self-help and microcredit groups, providing them income through fair-trade.

Excerpts from a chat between the two bright ladies, facilitated by IWB, one who has already built her present and the other who is working towards a better future:

Kavita: So, Mehendi, what do you want to become when you grow up?

Mehendi: A lawyer. I love the way they argue about what is right and get justice for the ones who have been wronged. I want to do that, ma’am.

Kavita: That’s such a noble reason! I am so proud of you. Do you know that I am a lawyer too? I practiced law in Hong Kong for 15 years. But apart from helping people, is there any other reason behind your goal?

Mehendi: Actually, it’s my father’s dream that I become a lawyer.

Kavita: And I am sure that you’ll fulfill that dream one day. But, you know, to become a lawyer, you’ve to study for years, and that education would need not only your hardwork but also that you have sufficient savings to get that education. So, tell me, Mehendi, what do you do with the pocket money you get from your parents?

Mehendi: I save most of it for two things: for my future and my parents. If my mother or my father need some financial help, it makes me so happy that I could help them out with my savings. Also, if I were to go to a good university to become a lawyer, my saving would ease the financial burden for my parents.

Kavita: Oh my, you are already very smart, Mehendi! So, what according to you is the main goal of saving money?

Mehendi: According to me it is a guarantee that when a time comes that we are in dire need of money, we won’t have to ask for it from someone else, we’ll be self-sufficient. Ma’am, can I ask you a question?

Kavita: Sure, dear.

MehendiWhen you were my age how did you save money? Did you also save pocket money?

Kavita: Yes, I did. Also, I was a very bright student and was especially inclined towards Hindi, so I thought “Why don’t I take tutions in this subject?” And, at the age of 14, I was giving tuitions to many kids and the money I earned, I would save. Even though my parents weren’t very keen on letting me continue my education post-school, as many like that generation, they were like “Itna padh ke kya karna hai.” I literally had to fight with them to go to college and the money I had saved proved to be a life-saver at that time, as they refused to pay my college fees.

Mehendi: That’s so inspiring, ma’am. You really worked hard.

Kavita: Everybody should. In fact, I wanted to let you know that apart from saving for your future and your parents today, you can even use this money when your parents are old and unable to support themselves. The habit that you have today of saving, will incorporate in you the notion to not spend money mindlessly. Of course, fun is necessary, you can and you should buy stuff that you like but never overspend, it may seem glamorous at the moment but is not sensible in the long run.

While our chat ended with Mehendi thanking Kavita for her insightful suggestions, you can teach your little girls the value of money and the basics of money management via our digital handbook, Little Lakshmi. Download it here.

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