By Hadassah-Esther Osimen
Welcome to this series on Managing Your Money – Making it do More, which should run until the end of year. In it I hope to introduce you to my thinking when it comes to money and to some interesting perspectives from great leaders about money management. This initial series is not intended to teach you stock market, budgeting and other things you can easily find in financial books and other sections of this magazine, but it is intended to step into your mind and question, even challenge your thinking when it comes to making your money happen. You will not find the information and knowledge in this series in any book. Over the past many years, I have discovered that many people don’t have because of the way they reason, the environment/culture in which they operate and mindsets they have including fear of money.
Unlike Time which cannot be managed and for which you can only manage yourself to manage your time, money can actually be managed. Your money can do for you, whatever you want it to do. Money can be controlled, money can be coordinated (its galvanization, distribution etc), money can be directed – to do whatever you want it to so, money is all yours. You are its boss. You control money, it doesn’t control you
Everyone is entitled to an equal 24 hours a day. We all have equal rights to time, so whatever amount of money we have is easily ascribable to how we allocate time and what we do with time. Money is dynamic, elastic and extremely useful. Money is not bad, it is people that are. Money is all yours to use, to grow, to allocate and so on. Money is an excellent resource. What then is wrong with money? What seems to be the problem with money?
For many, money is not enough! There are several reasons why money is not enough. Aside from low enterprise, poor incomes, social ills such as corruption which deplete national income by moving it into the hands of a select few cartels, many people do not have the knowledge to make their money work for them.
When people feel or believe that they do not have enough money, they can become afraid of their money – afraid to spend, afraid to give, afraid to invest, etc. Generally, the insufficiency of money makes many low income people live poor. For them, they simply do not have. Mind you, rich people do not have enough too. Both rich and poor can be relative terms. Two people can have equal access to the same amount of money but one is poor and the other rich, not because of the amount of money they have, but because of how they perceive the amount of money they have. This perception determines spending, lifestyle and overall decisions: to rent or to build, to eat chicken or to simply use crayfish, to wear designers or buy ‘okrika’, to eat at The Hilton or ‘mama-put, etc? One may buy cheap and believe he is making savings, the other expensive and believe he is buying quality and therefore durability. The outcome is that one is perceived rich, the other poor. You see, here, it isn’t the money that’s the issue but the mindsets. So, how do you perceive money? What is your little or plenty doing for you? Is your money addressing your priorities? Your money therefore, can only do what you are able to allow it do for you. It can only move in accordance with your thinking.
Let’s have a look at a simple example with Chimaram. She only earned 15 Thousand naira as a fresh graduate. She lived with a poor dad who earned less, and seven younger ones who were still in primary and secondary schools. Her step mother did not work, but Chimaram wanted a certain lifestyle. She knew she was poor financially but she also knew she had to make her little money work for her. So, she profiled the rich – they drove, they went on vacations, they flew aeroplanes, they dined five star, they hung out in five star, they used expensive phones, they dressed expensive, they invested, they had shares, they were schooled, they read, they spoke alot of English, they talked rich, they had big dreams, they had influential friends, etc; even along these lines there were levels. Chimaram began her professional life when there were no mobile phones but she knew some people had mobile phones that were expensive to own. You see, for Chimaram, there were levels and there were levels but whichever level you find yourself, you can up yourself. It begins with observation – paying attention to what the prosperous did and gave herself a vision. So she decided, please notice ‘decided’, to live large in small ways. She decided that she would prosper too, one day at a time but in the mean time, she was going to do as much as she could to live large so she checked out one of the 5-star hotels near where she worked, took out half of her salary to cater for a cab to and fro and a ‘good meal’. She went there and dined, making sure she looked good, observed protocols and enjoyed life – no man! She made her little income do more than it could have. She was prepared to drink Garri that month if necessary, just so that she could be ‘big’ too. She reasoned that the thinking of ‘one day’ is a loosening mentality because ‘one day’, may never come. You would think that all hell would let loose that month but not at all. The rich dined FIVE STAR, CHIMARAM DINED FIVE STAR, THEREFORE CHIMARAM IS RICH! Even though Chimaram had to grow her income by also growing her skills and knowledge which could be for you, a vocational development that can give you higher opportunities than those you have. Chimaram in that simple move, made her money do more by not being afraid that it would run out, that it was too much to spend to experience a luxurious lifestyle, even if it was once. When asked, she said, ‘I don’t want to live everything to the future if I can find a way to do it now. I don’t want to be wishing for something as simple as a nice meal, a nice ambience, basic class, when I just need to take a risk and have it now by myself. I don’t want to wait for someone to give it to me, when I should give it to myself’. It is the thinking not the money that determined her action because truly, the money was not enough. Guess what? It would never have been.
Chimaram, went on to support her siblings through school, invested in equity, car, travels, etc but it began with the decision to make it do more than it could have done.
The action you should take with your money should be defined by your life priorities- What are the things that are most important to you? For yours truly above, it is living a good prosperous life such that even five star dining was important. Are there some things you are hoping to have ‘one day? Will ‘one day’ ever truly come? Are you being too afraid to invest your money? We know that many who earn the little income Chimaram earned could not dare do what she did because they believed that they have so much responsibilities but you can still take care of your responsibilities and make your money do more for you. Your little earnings can help you achieve many of your priorities in life if you pay attention to how you organize your money. You can get a degree, build a house, give to someone, etc, just stop being afraid of your money!
What happens if you are driven, hardworking, achiever and have all of the above mentality but you still do not have money? This could be due to social exclusion, discrimination, abuse, even persecution. What do you do in such a case? What can be done about lack of money? How does my relationship determine how much money I have? What about morality issues? Does it matter how I make my money? Afterall, all money is money. What about things money cannot buy? How do these make your money do more for you? Stay tuned to my next editions.
If you have questions please, email me directly on email@example.com or the publisher.
Have a splendid week!