Money and young people
Why do some parents give their children money to spend each week?
This is something that a lot of parents od here. My parents used to give me a certain amount of money each week that I was allowed to spend.
I know why my parents did it, and I guess it’s the same for many others; it’s to teach children about the value of money and basic financial budgeting.
My parents never told me what to spend my money on, but they did explain to me that I should save some it and not spend it all at once.
That’s how I first learned the importance of saving – to be able to get something bigger and more important, later.
It’s a good way of teaching children financial responsibility and the value of money and also delayed gratification – being willing to wait until later to get what you want – and not always wanting everything instantly.
Do you agree that schools should teach children how to manage money?
It’s a good idea if they are the taught the basics of economics, yes.
And money management is a life skill, so it should be taught in schools so that all children have a clear idea of the value of money, how to manage it, and how to make the most of it.
It’s an important lesson to learn so that as adults they can avoid many financial problems later in life.
Do you think it is a good idea for students to earn money while studying?
Whether or not it’s a good idea is virtually irrelevant, unless you come from a very wealthy family, most students need to work just to survive and pay their bills and things while studying.
Student loans are very expensive and not every family has enough foresight to save enough money to send their children to university.
When I was at university, I think about half of my class had some form of work that they earned money from while they were studying – it was essential.
Money and society
Do you think it is true that in today’s society money cannot buy happiness?
It’s a fact, it’s been proven in studies that once you earn enough to meet all your basic needs such as housing, food, clothing, etc. the more money you earn does not make you happier.
But, and it’s an important but, everybody has problems in life, but it’s generally easier to deal with problems when you have enough money to take advantage of solutions.
Being poor and having problems and not enough money to do anything to improve your situation is really frustrating. So, it depends on how comfortable you are as to whether money will make you happier.
If you don’t have anything, then more money will make you happier – but only up to a certain point – then it won’t.
It’s like people say money can’t buy you health, but it can definitely get you access to the best healthcare and doctors, which helps.
It might not make you happier – but having money certainly makes life easier.
What disadvantages are there in a society where the gap between rich and poor is very large?
Probably, the main one is that the poor want to have what the rich already have. It breeds resentment. But it’s not as simple as redistributing wealth, as some people seem to think.
Wealth is not a finite resource; so just because one person has a lot doesn’t mean that, for example, I have less. Anyone can create more wealth, but it generally takes a long time.
It’s also a by-product of globalization, as many traditional industries have closed or been outsourced to other countries, developed countries like the USA, UK, and some other European countries have experienced a stagnation of wages for the working class.
Clearly, when work can be done online, it is just as easy to get someone in another country to do it cheaper, and just as well. I remember reading an interview with a Wall Street financier not long ago.
His comment explained this very well; he said that he has interviewed several American financial analysts, all with master’s degrees etc., but aer analyzing all the data, he realized he could contract 5 financial analysts from another developing country for the same cost. That’s a big difference!
The non-American candidates had the same qualificaons and experience but were 5 mes cheaper to employ. So now employees in developed countries are competing with employees in developing countries for the same work, which will push salaries down for those in the developed countries.
It’s a balancing act, which is rebalancing the value of workers on a global level in certain types of work, usually tech-related or work that is not location-specific.
Do you think richer countries have a responsibility to help poorer countries?
In very general terms, yes. Helping other countries to improve their economy is good for everybody, but over the long term, it also changes everything.
Developed countries need markets to sell their products to, so helping develop emerging markets serves their interests and the interests of the developing country also.
But, if you think about it – eventually a developing country will become a developed country – and what then?
As more and more business is driven by technology, and technology is now available to almost every country, it is just a matter of time before there is less difference between developed and developing countries in terms of ideas, innovation, and business models.
The first responsibility of any nation is to protect its own citizens. There is also a moral responsibility to help those who need help in times of crisis, etc.
The fact that many countries invest in developing countries is driven by business, and making a profit, rather than altruistic motives.