Credit cards? Taxes? Mortgages? Time to really learn how to manage your money. 

When we’re in school, it seems like the only thing that matter are Assignments, exams and sports; that’s what our lives revolve around. But after those 13 years at school, we still don't know much about one thing that truly matters: financial literacy. As T. Harv Eker, author, businessman and motivational speaker said, ‘The single biggest difference between financial success and financial failure is how well you manage your money. It’s simple: to master money, you must manage money. 

My name is Aastha, and I’m a high school student passionate about all things finance. One of my core beliefs is that whilst the mainstream education system teaches us how to make money, it neglects the importance of how to manage it. This is a fundamental life skill which young people sadly never get taught! Finishing school is not the end of a young person's struggle, rather it is the start of them. As we transition into tertiary education or take up a job, we find ourselves facing problems other than assignments and exams. How do I manage my taxes? How do I invest? How do I obtain a credit card, and what does that mean for me? These are questions that most young people will ask, owing to a lack of financial education in school. I believe that school is a foundation from which we, as young people, develop fundamental life skills. Whilst there is an emphasis on holistic development beyond academic achievement, through sporting opportunities, music, art, and more, they neglect to make us financially literate.  

I’m a huge believer in educational reform because I think it is our duty to give young people the best possible chance they have at succeeding in the future.  

I realise that there is just not enough time to do everything. We find ourselves juggling time. How do we revise for exams, finish up assignments, do exercise and make time for extracurriculars? Not to mention the infamous procrastination! And now on top of that, financial education? I get it, but prioritisation is key. It is really important to set yourself up for the future right. Watching a two-minute video on mortgages whilst brushing your teeth in the morning might just give you the financial helping hand you need for life. Remember, whilst skills and education can help us earn money, you can’t be nearly as successful as you hope if you do not know how to manage it. So take the future into your own hands.

Make good financial decisions now that will set you up for financial success. Believe me, your future self will thank you. How much better would the world be if we all knew how to manage our taxes, take out a mortgage or invest in the stock market? It all starts with a bit of dedication, a little ambition and a taste of what your future could really be like.  

Aastha, Youth Advocate.