Two weeks ago, I examined the wisdom of using knowledge one acquires because it is applied knowledge that leads to success. Today, my discourse will centre on preparing for one’s future by saving.
Recently I sat with some friends who were discussing politics and the topic was on their past and present governors. In their analysis, the past governor was someone who wanted power and as a result dished out money to his associates so that he could remain relevant for people to rush to him anytime they had problems and he would be happy. The consequence was that infrastructures meant to develop individuals were not put in place and that has brought about poverty in the state. In their political analysis of the present governor, they did say that he loves money, but not power, that is why it is difficult to see him give out money to people, that even with contracts in the state, he awards to foreigners so that no one around the state could be financially empowered to compete with him.
Listening to the discussion reminded me of an experience I once had with a relation who always asked me to make way for her so that she could travel to Canada and study, while she had just secondary school certificate. I would always advise her to get her first degree in Nigeria before attempting to travel out of the country, even if she must travel because the grass is not greener on the other side of the river, things could be tougher in the so-called developed places. For about four years, she kept on dreaming that she must attend a foreign university until I compelled her to enter the University Matriculation Examination (UME) and go to a Nigerian university. Eventually she agreed and is now about to complete her undergraduate studies. One day, she said to me, “Father, thank you for helping me to get university education. I have learnt that it is not easy to make it outside the country, that things are tougher over there. The truth is that I used to think that you did not want me to go outside the country and get your type of experience.”
The problem with us human beings is that we keep on blaming others for our problems. It is true that government is supposed to help us empower ourselves by creating the conducive atmosphere. But it is bad to sit down and keep on bemoaning that the right atmosphere is not there. We must create the conducive atmosphere for our lives and take the responsibility of bettering our lives as an adage has it that your future is in your hands. One fact we should always be reminded of in life is that no one is there to work for your welfare, to take responsibility for you! That is your own assignment. Acknowledging this fact can ginger one to take adequate measures that can guarantee one’s financial independence.
As a youth thinking of contributing your quota to the development of the society, things will be extremely difficult if you have no financial resources to enable you to execute some projects meant for the development of our society. The good news is that you can do this by having a saving plan for your life. Maintain a saving scheme. If you are a student, open a savings account and make it a point of duty to save monthly. One may ask: where can I get the money to save? You can cut down your unnecessary expenditure. I know of students who use more than N2,000 a week on mobile phone cards. Some must get the most expensive handset in town while others spend a lot of money drinking when they hang out with friends. Assuming that N500 is saved from the recharge cards you get each week, within a year you will have N24,000 in your account. Thus if you are an undergraduate, by the time you complete your studies you should be smiling home with almost N100,000. For someone fresh from school with limited responsibilities, such an amount can help you float a business that can help you have some financial independence.
A principle used by financial management consultants is that of pay yourself first. That is to say, you must save a part of any money that comes your way before spending the remaining. Stephen Adei would say in his book, 12 Keys to Financial Success, “As far as personal financial management is concerned my recipe for success is – pay God 10%, pay yourself 10%, pay your bill with the remaining 80%. In other words, learn to live within 80% of all your income. Devote 10 percent of all your earnings towards savings and investments and the other 10 percent towards the expansion of kingdom of God and in support of others.”
If you use your money to do the three things stipulated by Adei, happiness will be yours; our society will become a better one to live in.
Fr Indyer, CSSp, is the principal of Holy Ghost College, Sankera, Benue State (firstname.lastname@example.org)