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Four ways you can help poor people around you with financial planning

Personal finance for the poor is a completely different story. One illness is enough to derail everything. There is no job security.

ET CONTRIBUTORS|
May 13, 2019, 06.30 AM IST
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We must consider if we have done enough for those who can’t save or invest.
By Uma Shashikant

One little accident left the entire household distraught. The man of the household had his toes crushed by a speeding bike. The wife rushed to the hospital, leaving behind her daily wage work. Their biggest worry was how the family would manage with one earning member out of work.

Personal finance for the poor is a completely different story. One illness is enough to derail everything. There is no job security when someone else can easily take on the job of the injured. There is no insurance to cover hospital charges. Nor are the systems honest enough to ensure that the treatment is effective and reasonably priced. In the time it takes to return to full time work, there would be irreversible damage—they would move home to save rent, the children could have quit school over unpaid fees and the wife would pawn the valuables to buy food.

These not so privileged families are not living in a hole in the hinterland. They are all around us, working as maids in our homes, driving our cars, manning our lifts, securing the gates and doing several jobs for those of us who have the money to pay for these services. We mostly do