Money is one of those things that is often not discussed but it sticks up its thumb in every aspect of our lives. It seems no one tells you anything about it, but it appears all through your life. As a child, you cannot understand why your parents cannot pay your school fees on time or get you the little things that you ask for. You keep hoping to have more of it when you grow up.
You actually want to grow up because being an adult = having money. In fact, having more money. Your aim of going through school is so that you can start making money as soon as possible. Graduate; you did. Finding a job became a herculean task. Finally, you got a job; low paying one but “job na job”. You testified in church and you get your first pay.
Then all of a sudden you become like your father. How? Follow me. You start budgeting. Transport, food, rent, clothes, phone bills, recharge card, miscellaneous, etc. You noticed one small sweat. Then they become torrents. You become a philosopher. All in one sitting of planning a budget.
Then you ask yourself “how do I get out of this?”, “how can I get married on this salary?” “How do I support my parents and siblings?” Again, torrents of sweat. Many questions, few answers. You wish to become a teenager, but it is too late. Your whole life is flashing in slow motion in front of you.
You ask yourself, “na so life go be?” Again, as I earlier said, you are now a philosopher. It is official. You now wonder how your Dad was able to support a family of seven and two grannies on his meagre income. Your respect for your father grows geometrically. The same effect happens to ladies after giving birth.
You become humbler and hardly give those opinions that you were flooding on Twitter some months ago. “Obi is now a man” is a new realization. You are more sage than a sword. Again, all in one sitting of budget planning. This is the outcome. In trying to be financially responsible, you have become an adult.
Let’s do a little economics. I promise not to bore you.
Money is often defined in terms of the three functions /services that it provides. Money serves as a medium of exchange, as a store of value, and as a unit of account. You want to read more about money: https://www.thoughtco.com/why-paper-momey-has-value-1146309
An ideal money material should possess the following qualities: Durability, Portability, Divisibility, Uniformity, Limited Supply & Acceptability. Also, money must be easily recognizable and should be able to store the value attached to it.
End of economics. Let’s go for a commercial break
Money gives you options. It creates freedom that must be controlled … just like any other thing.
I went through this just to illustrate this special relationship we have with money. The more of it you have, the more of it you need except you get to understand it. Let us have this discourse on money and take it from here. In my opinion, there are four ways we are related to money.
Making Money: This is what most people are interested in. But this is just the beginning. You can make money in many ways. Hawking, gambling, trading, etc. Money can be made legally and illegally but you must decide how you want to make yours. Take the legal way — it is easily sustainable — trust me.
You make money by capturing value while selling a product or rendering a service. What people decide to pay you is what they think is the value that thing/service is worth.
Managing Money: Most people get stuck in making money that they forget that managing it is a bigger task. Managing money is tasking and taxing. It is painstaking, but the results are enormous. It makes you avoid debt and avoid impulsive purchases. It keeps the little demon of consumerism at bay. List out your priorities and then take it from there. Save a little; it is a sign of being wise. All in all, be disciplined. Caveat Emptor; you will be called names but not to worry because the same set of people will come to you for a soft loan. Thank me later.
Go to this site and see things for yourself.
Please watch this 6-minute video by a man (Antoine Walker) who has been there and done that and you will understand my flow on this fact.
Multiplying Money: After you have done the first two, then you can apportion a part of your money for investment. The end goal of investment is to render your passive income that will come in handy. Warren Buffet talks about compounding the little that you have. And it makes sense. Investment decisions are made after a lot of research and after educating yourself in whatsoever field you want to invest. In the famous words of Peter Lynch, which is also a title of his book “Learn to Earn.” If you do not take out time to learn about whatsoever you want to invest, you will see your hard-earned cash fizzle away. A fool and his money are one big party. Take my word for it. I have been there.
Milking the Value: What do I do with my money? What good can I sprinkle around my environment with my resources? Some people call it charity, some giving. Whatsoever name you call it, your money has to put smiles on people’s faces. It should create jobs, it should pay fees, it should be used to blessed people who have helped you on this journey. It should alleviate poverty for people by careful planning and “investment” in the lives of others. For me, that is what I mean by milking the value of money.
As you are aware now, money can be very deceptive. The appearance of wealth makes money look like something to die for. But it is not worth it. What do I mean by the appearance of wealth? It means by looking at the things (toys) around me. It means I am up there with the Jones. It is what you see in music videos. It is the reason people take pictures (especially in the 80s and 90s) beside any nice car around the vicinity.
Let me share some Old-Fashioned Cowboy Wisdom. Big hat, no cattle is an old cowboy saying, popular in Texas, used to describe someone who pretends to be something(s)/he is not. It means going into debt to buy iPhones, big homes, fancy clothes, luxury cars, and exotic vacations (big hat- items representing the appearance of wealth). All this spending prevents them from building up any real wealth (the cattle).
Make your choice, do you want a hat or the cattle.
Books to Read
- Richest Man in Babylon by Goerge S. Clason
- Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki.
- The Parable of the Dollar by Sam Adeyemi
- Creating Wealth by Robert Allen
- Insight into Stock Market Dynamics by Gabriel Omin
In all you do always remember that: Luxury is irrational. What is luxurious to me might just not make any sense to you and vice versa.
I am looking for a nice way to end this piece, but I can’t find one. Bear with me. When I grow up and have enough money and stop philosophizing, then you will know that the end is near.