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A Vice President and a Money Savvy Mom!

Heard of Most Powerful Women in Business, in Politics, in World, but ever heard of Money Savvy Moms?

Yeah, these are the Moms who work hard not only in their profession or their house, but also make their kids understand what money really is.

Our First Money Savvy Mom is Ketayun Irani, 42 year old Vice President (Finance) at the India office of a France-based IT company. She is a super achiever and a doting mother to 13 year old Zehan.

In their house, a day ends with an exchange of notes about school homework, activity routines and so on. But if Zehan has spent his pocket money on any day, he has a lot of explanations to do.

Now, I know what you’re thinking!  Why would a corporate big-wig like her need to worry about Rs 50, surely, they would be well off!! Or maybe she’s just being miserly right?

Well, this is one of Ketayun’s ways of inculcating valuable money lessons in the little time she spends with Zehan. By asking her son about where how and why he spent Rs 50 or whatever small amount, she is making him accountable for each rupee he spends.

Zehan got his Money Lesson One: “Work hard and earn the pocket money”, when he was around 7-8 years old. He went to buy newspapers or get vegetables and earned Rs 5-Rs 10 as a bonus for such chores. Or if he went to buy his favorite snack, a Maggie or Lays, he could keep the balance money for himself.

Zehan grew up fast and so did Ketayun’s work responsibilities. Like every working mom, she would feel guilty about not spending enough time to see her son grow up. She could have well fallen into the  parental guilt splurge trap  by taking Zehan  to a Mall and letting him buy whatever he wanted!

“There were times when Zehan would ask me if we could buy a game worth Rs 2,000” she says.

She would bring in a perspective for him by saying “You know this is the amount our Bai (maid) earns in a month. Would you still like to buy that game?” Suddenly he would understand the frivolousness of the expenditure and wouldn’t ask for it again.  Money Lesson Two: “Understand what it takes to earn a sum that you want to spend”

To curtail other spending like excess mobile phone usage, she lets the phone get disconnected by not paying the bills. The idea is to “Learn to live within your means”, and that’s Ketayun’s Money Lesson Three.


I once read a tshirt on a youngster which read’ “MY DAD IS MY ATM”. While seeming funny, it provided me with an insight into how our kids while being expert spenders, are blissfully unaware of the potential/limitations of bank savings. Ketayun has therefore conscientiously introduced Zehan to banking concepts also. He fills his school fee cheques and deposits it before the due date. He is also allowed to do online ticket bookings in presence of her mom. “To understand banking” is Ketayun’s Money Lesson Four.

Our First Money Savvy Mom thinks that whatever little she is doing will be a stepping stone in his understanding of the value of money.

So fellow gruhinis, come on, bring out the Money Savvy Mom within you. After all, the small money lessons during childhood will shape up their attitude towards money when the little feet stand on their own!

Ketayun Irani’s Tips to be a Money Savvy Mom:

“Let them work hard to earn their pocket money”

“Explain and account for each rupee they spend”

“Let them understand what it takes to earn a sum that they want to spend”.

What are your tips on being a Money Savvy Mom? I would love to hear from you!! Drop me a mail at thegreatgruhini@gmail.com

About Rachna Monga Koppikar

Rachna aka your Great Gruhini is a finance writer with over a decade's experience in writing about personal finance matters with leading financial publications of India. As she studies to be a certified financial planner, she is also on a mission to make every woman a money savvy individual. So shed your inhibitions. Get over your money worries with The Great Gruhini. Write to her at thegreatgruhini@gmail.com

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  1. Cool article and inspiring mom Ketayun!

  2. Good one Rachana

    We sure need to start early on managing money.
    this not only develops a sense of responsiblity (the larger picture), but also get the child to hone Mathematics , mental-maths, reasoning-and-decision making skills (very subtle, but used everyday, every moment)

    • Deepa
      thanks a lot for your kind word of appreciation. I agree with you, it doesn’t have to be a sit down and learn money lessons. it should happen over a due course of time and that is what our kids will realise when they grow up and earn money on their own

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