The currency of knowledge

My experience with money is largely limited to earning small sums I hand over to pay for enough goods and services to keep me going for a few more weeks

A few years ago, I somehow came into a bit of extra cash. Obviously, being me, my first thought was to blow it all a new motorbike. Yet, it seems that, finally, a little bit of maturity must have crept into my personality, and I decided the best thing would be to save the money. Taking a shine to this new sensible, adult me, I then thought that actually the best thing of all might be to invest the money. After all, interest rates are mega-low and so any return on saving the cash would be negligible, and anyway, leaving it untouched in my account is just a way of lending it to the bank so they can invest it and make a profit on it. The problem was, where to start?

My experience with money in the past has largely been limited to earning relatively small sums that I then hand over to someone else to pay for enough goods and services to keep me going for a few more weeks, during which time I endeavour to earn more cash to keep the ball rolling, rather like a dung beetle pushing a huge ball of poo uphill. It’s an exhausting dynamic that most of us are all too familiar with. So, seeking advice about what to do in this unusual situation of having some extra funds seemed like a good idea. And I had my very own financial oracle on hand to provide all the answers I might need: Google.

If you type into Google something like “what should I do with 10,000 dollars?”, you’ll get a variety of answers, many of which seem sensible enough. From paying down debts to buying shares, from putting down a deposit on new property to investing in a start-up, there are plenty of ways to get the most out of your money. Yet, out of all the advice, the most attractive to me was investing in education. For example, a degree doesn’t need painting, incurs no taxes, can’t be swept away in a hurricane or be stolen. Knowledge, particularly in today’s world, is its own currency, and investing in qualifications is a good way of securing the value of the original investment, just as much as converting money into precious metals. Education provides a way of improving ourselves, generating opportunities and ensuring personal fulfilment that is open to just about anyone. A glance at our focus on education on pages 28-31 gives an idea of how important education is at all levels of society, for all ages and for people of all social backgrounds. No investment is foolproof and risk is part of the investment game, but I’d say that any resources – whether time or money – you can afford to put into your education is never a waste .

Education for all Pages 28-31
September is a key month in Catalonia. Not only is it the end of summer, with all that implies for society and the economy, but it also marks the return to work and school. The latter is a very big moment in the year, as it affects all levels and ages. Nurseries, schools, colleges and universities, business and language schools, training centres and even gyms, all begin a new annual cycle. The start of the new academic year directly affects hundreds of thousands of pupils, students, teachers and administrators, and indirectly affects millions of parents, workers and bosses, public officials and civil servants. To mark this key moment, we provide an overview of the education system in Catalonia, along with an interview with the head of Girona’s Official Language School, who provides insight into how one of the largest needs of society is met: learning English, the global language and a pillar in the transformation of Catalonia into a fully-fledged 21st century country.
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