First, I must say I like the initiative of the livegamefully platform.
It inspires us to explore alternatives to what we’ve always known as the status quo. It challenges us to think differently, helping us understand that truly, variety is the spice of life.
That said, let’s get started on the topic of Financial Literacy we’re here to discuss. Is Financial Literacy all about Money Management?
I mean from the word financial, you can deduce it all has to do with money right? We’ll find out shortly hopefully.
Now, I do not know your income profile here and what you do for a living. But I’m sure our income levels vary from one another.
Can we agree on this?
This will then lead me to ask: Is financial literacy necessary for someone without an income source yet? Is it for everyone? If I don’t make money yet, do I need financial literacy? But let’s face it, even a toddler who doesn’t make his own money yet spends money. So sure! As long as you incur expenses, directly or indirectly, you should be literate on how to manage finances – whether personal finances or group finances.
Now the activities that contribute to how financial life goes beyond simply making money and having enough of it at every given time. We will examine financial literacy based on the following elements:
(1) Wealth mentality
Every individual has their own unique definition of what wealth means to them. This is critical to how your finances are managed – what is wealth to you?
C’mon think about it…
If you do not have an objective in mind, how do you plan your finances? To help us put this point in proper perspective, please see this short illustration, courtesy of DEBT WAVE CREDIT CONSULTING LIMITED. It goes thus:
One day, the father of a very wealthy family took his son on a trip to the country with the express purpose of showing him how poor people live. They spent a couple of days and nights on the farm of what the father considered a poor family.
On their return from their trip, the father asked his son, “How was the trip?“
“It was great, Dad.”
“Did you see how poor people live?” the father asked.
“Oh yeah,” said the son.
“So, tell me, what did you learn from the trip?” asked the father.
The son answered: “I saw that we have one dog and they had four. We have a pool that reaches to the middle of our garden and they have a creek that has no end. We have imported lanterns in our garden and they have the stars at night. Our patio reaches to the front yard and they have the whole horizon. We have a small piece of land to live on and they have fields that go beyond our sight. We have servants who serve us, but they serve others. We buy our food, but they grow theirs. We have walls around our property to protect us, they have friends to protect them.”
The boy’s father was speechless. Then his son added, “Thanks, Dad for showing me how poor we are.“
Wealth lies in the eye of the beholder
There’s a popular proverb you’ve probably heard before, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” Well, the same can be said about wealth. Each person has their own definition of what being wealthy means. One might perceive having $500 in a savings account as wealthy while another considers having $50,000 in a savings account wealthy. One might need to have an expensive four-bedroom home to be considered wealthy, where another person simply considers having no debt wealthy.
Have you read How to Manage stress?
It’s important to set your own definition and it doesn’t matter at all if any one belittles you as being less ambitious.
So someone might aim to have the riches of Dangote. Another person simply wants to be able to conveniently take care of his family. This is perfectly fine.
Even among the ultra wealthy ones, there still exists different wealth ambitions. Do you agree?
For example, Jeff Bezos might appear like he’s determined to maintain the top spot on the wealthy rankings. And another like Bill Gates or Jack Ma doesn’t bother about that any longer.
You get it?
The problem, however, will be when you have no objective and definitely no focus.
(2) Decision Making
When you have a target of the wealth level you have, you’ll be conscious about how you make money and how you spend it too.
Being conscious doesn’t mean being ‘stingy o’. It just means you hold yourself accountable, take responsibility for your earnings and spendings. It will teach you that the way and manner by which you earn is just as important as how you spend.
Hustle with purpose
You can’t just go out to hustle by any means, only to earn the money and spend everything on poor health, just because you didn’t take good precautions in the cause of hustling
I don’t know if this point is understood?
I mean you want to earn money, but at what cost to your physical and emotional well-being?
On the other hand, the only spending you take seriously is when you pay for tangibles (food, grocery, etc.). How about the intangibles (fitness classes, family vacations, regular medical checks, etc.)?
There should be a balance right? That’s it.
(3) “It’s just 10 Naira”
Has this phrase come to your mind before or heard someone chastise you as such?
“Ahn ahn, common 20 Naira…”
For the rich fellas, maybe theirs is: “it’s just a million Naira na, c’mon!”
When you add just 20 Naira together, it’s something, right?
Recently, I took 200 Naira to buy biscuits and all those ijekuje. Then I consciously spent the money till it remained 10 Naira. I asked the madam for my balance and as you would expect, she asked me to take one more biscuit of 10 Naira to close it up. I refused and insisted I collected the 10 Naira balance. Of course, she exclaimed: “ahn ahn, what do you want to use 10 Naira for”.
I sha collected my own 10 Naira and pocketed it. Wetin concern me? Now, judge for yourself, does that make any sense? What is 10 Naira compared to a total of 200 Naira?
On a serious note
Think about it, is my pocket/wallet complaining about the 10 Naira too? No o. They are cohabiting happily together
Seriously, what is the value of that 10 Naira? At the moment I collected it, maybe not much.
But on another day I’m on the road and I have become so thirsty to the point of death. Then I found a little boy hawking sachet (pure) water on a deserted road. I asked to buy a sachet. I checked my pocket but I found a #1000 note.
The boy said “I don’t have change sir”. He carries his water and proceeds to move on… Only then I realized the value of the #10 balance I stood my ground for.
That makes sense?
Good, now let’s move on to this:
(4) Wants vs Needs
Anyone ever listened to Cobham Asuquo’s TedTalk on The Gift of Blindness? There’s one of the stories he shared that will help to perfectly capture the wants vs needs concept. Should I tell the story?
Okay. Just teasing.
Here’s the beautiful short story:
Cobhams Asuquo is a popular Nigerian Music producer. He has been blind since he was born. However, he has done beautifully well for himself, including settling down to marry
There was this day he was out with his wife. Then they got thirsty and decided to go into a Supermart to get just bottled water. When they got in and asked for the water, his wife’s eye caught some beautiful flower vase. And then another pretty this, awesome that… Until they left there with bags full of different items they never planned to buy.
As for Cobhams himself, he was just fine with his own bottle of water. I mean, he couldn’t even see any beautiful things that were displayed on the shelf.
Imagine he went inside the Supermarket by himself alone… Money saved, right? So it is recommended we ‘turn a blind eye’ to mere wants.
Now, this doesn’t mean we can’t spend spontaneously sometimes, ‘to spoil yourself’. But you need to prioritize and be emotionally mature to control your spendings. That’s related to our point on decision making