A new theme on financial literacy is upon us here on #MRX. We are using that hashtag as well as #MyPaperChase (huuwiii! not Chase Bank!) to carry out conversations as we learn more on how to handle cash. You would assume that it’s automatic that we all know how to handle money and why we should save, and I would forgive you for making that assumption because you see, money is all about socialization. How were we brought up when it came to money? What did our parents teach us? What myths surrounded us while we grew up around money? Before we learn about money, we need to demystify money. As I came to learn while undertaking a Centonomy class on Financial Freedom, we first need to change our mindset towards money. Only then will we really know how to handle it.
Do you recognize some of these statements about money told to us when we were much younger?
1. Love makes the world go round, not money.
Newsflash!Love can’t buy you food pale Fogo Gaucho, nor can it pay your house rent and other expenses. Saying money isn’t that important may sound deep,maybe even romantic and profound, but it’s just plain wrong. Rich people know that money is extremely important. So important that statistics show finances (or lack of it) remain the leading cause of stress in a relationship. You can take THAT to the bank.
2. You need money to make money.
But who lied to us about this? In the world of investing, it’s true that the more money you have, the more money you can make. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make money if you don’t have any. Money is just a physical representation of anything that has value. This means you can make money with your time, skills, knowledge, or expertise. And the higher the value of the service or product, the more money it makes.
The lesson here is to not limit the ways by which you can make money. If you’re feeling you’re not making enough, what you can do is increase the value you provide to the people around you.
3. It is better to give than to receive.
Let’s take it to church now! We know these words all too well when it’s donations time tukiwekwa kwa wedding committee, when raising money for that guy to go study overseas or when medical bills are due. Making it sound like giving something to someone makes you a better person than them. Here’s the thing: giving and receiving are equally important. Giving everything away without taking anything might seem noble, but for how long? Sooner or later, you’ll run out of things to give!
Most of us are very good givers, but poor receivers. As poor receivers, we’re also afraid to ask for the things we need and want in life. The lesson here is go and ask for what you want – ask for that promotion, ask for capital, ask for a mentor, and ask for money! If you do not ask, you do not receive. And if you do not receive, you cannot give. Simple.
4. Money is the root of all evil
Ah yes… a saying as old as the hills. Did you know money is neutral; it’s neither good nor evil. Money is just a magnifying glass that amplifies the person. Give it to a good person and it will be used for good. Give it to an evil person and it will be used for evil. Money feeds and clothes the poor. Money builds schools and hospitals. Money also buys votes, and silences witnesses. How do you use your money?
5. Live a simple life / Our riches are stored in heaven
Meaning it’s all about having just enough right?: A just-right home, a just-right car, and a just-right income. It’s also about having a just-right vacation and a just-right education. What about a just-right emergency? Can we have those please? That’s right! There’s no such thing! We may want the simple life but yo! the world is complicated.
Sicknesses are complicated. Retrenchments and recessions are complicated. Babies are expensive…
To me, a simpler life is about not having to worry about money. It’s about having multiple options, but choosing the ‘just-enough’ one.
6. Money doesn’t grow on trees!
My mother rang this in my ear every chance she could get. To her, it meant: “Don’t ask me to buy you that dress now because sina pesa! (I don’t have money!) ” To me, it meant: money is very very hard to come buy. And if it comes by without you physically sweating for it? It isn’t real. This meant I NEVER thought of investing my money. What do you mean I don’t have to toil in the hot African sun in a farm somewhere for my money to double? Flee from me devil! Lol. I had to change that mindset!
7. You become wise when you begin to run out of money
Another misleading money quote this time from Ghana. Like with money your brain cells diminish. I actually became wiser when I got more money and knew how to take care of it. To whom much is given? That’s right… much is expected. Chew on that.
8. Knowledge is better than riches.
That’s what they say in Cameroon. I’d rather you use that knowledge to make riches. Everyone wins!
Having looked at all that, could it be that due to what our parents/the church/ our elders told us about money, we end up misusing and not valuing it?
Do you agree with some of these quotes fed to us when we were younger?
Talk to me in the comments box below. Remember to be logged on to Facebook first!
Love. Live. Learn.