In David Copperfield by Charles Dickens, one of the most important characters in the book next to the eponymous hero is Mr. Wilkins Micawber.
His famous quote:
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen, nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.
Although this was written in 1850, about 170 years ago, this fundamental principle still holds true. Having discipline to manage expenses and to ensure it is lesser than what you make is one of the fundamental tenets of financial literacy.
Unfortunately, modern education taught in school and colleges is more focused on the ‘how money works’ rather than teaching students wisdom to make informed and effective decisions when dealing with it.
There seems to be a great reticence in school curriculums to talk about the morality or the right way to do things. It appears to me the shirking away from that responsibility has a profound impact on the rampant consumerism and lack of financial well being that plagues society.
Why not a school curriculum on the basics of finance, keeping a budget, investing and passive incomes? How about drilling the principles of not spending more than you can earn? How about saving for the rainy day?
Unless you learn to manage money, it will manage you and you will have less and less say on what happens in your life. If school is about giving students the tools to navigate life well, teaching money management should be at the top the list.