The 67th year of Independence begins. One cannot help but continuously question the various aspects of independence. How independent are we as citizens? But even before that the question we need to ask is: what are the factors that constitute this state of independence? The answer that inevitably comes to our mind is knowledge. Being independent requires one to have clarity of thoughts, independent bent of mind and an inclinations towards rational thinking. All of this cannot be achieved but through command over knowledge.
The reason of discussing the aspects of independence is very simple. It enables us to question and rethink our own sense of independence. So can we dare to question ourselves on how financially independent we are? Do we have sufficient knowledge in the field to exercise independence in our financial matters? How independent are we when it comes to our own finances? One of the fundamental rights as highlighted in our constitution is the Freedom of Expression. How free are we to express our financial desires?
A lot of us like to believe that indeed we are as independent as we would like to believe and colonization is in the past. But in terms of financial expression we still continue to have a colonized mindset. The dependent mindset still exists because of lack of knowledge. The trend in our country is steering towards a population that is earning by the age of 25. That the sole aim is to live from one salary to another is one of the prevalent mindsets. There is a severe lack of investment awareness among the youth, hinting towards a colonized mindset when it comes to finance.
In the 21st century, the lifestyle has suddenly taken a turn towards luxury. Can everyone afford the luxurious lifestyle they seem to be having? The answer could both - yes or no. But the luxurious lifestyle is affordable because of easy availability of temporary money. So the prevalent mindset then becomes, why invest to fulfil your dreams when you can easily acquire it on credit. There are a few facts that completely escape an individual’s mind. They are easily giving into debts and sometimes with a heavy percentage of interest. The debts which might be easily payable overtime, interest become the real demon and stealthily dig into your salary leaving a thin wallet. It could be that your dream purchase becomes your worst nightmare. The purchase then becomes a constant reminder of a badly executed decision.
The process of earning when begins; it is indeed a proud moment. But more often than not individuals get swayed and splurge because they cease to be answerable. This is often mistaken to be independence. The state of being unanswerable often makes one careless and fails to make mature decisions. They do not keep aside even a small amount for contingency. While, they are busy paying back loans and interest that has accumulated on the pending interests they ignore the troubles looming in the horizon.
They discount the thought of a future and this is the colonized mindset. The idea of investments no matter how small has to seep in early in an individual’s professional career. It is these small investments made early in lives is what one can count on in times of trouble. Healthcare and wealth creation are the key areas where one should invest early on because of its increasing costs and rising inflation. Another great logic behind starting early is to benefit from the 'power of compounding'
There exists a gap between the youth and financial knowledge. Though efforts seem to have been made they are not enough yet. In order to free the financially colonized mindset, financial knowledge has to be circulated as it is the need of the hour. It is only when there is financial freedom accompanied by knowledge can this year be truly proclaimed as the 67th Independence Year.