The first time I opened a bank account, I was 16 years old and in my first year in the University of Benin. After I received my account details from the Bank, I made at a stop at the University’s Sports Complex which was also served as a prayer spot for many students. I prayed to God and decreed that the bank account will never run dry or low on funds. I proclaimed every financial promise in the Bible that I could think of. And with the strides of a financial victor, I left the Sport Complex. The irony of that prayer episode is that two years into my studies, I closed that particular bank account due to lack of funds (though I opened another which I use till date).
The point of this post is not that prayers do not receive answers because they do. The point is that prayers will not work in place of principles. God will not do for us by miracles what we can do by obedience to principles. What my 16-year-old self lacked was basic financial education. I did not understand that savings and investment are important if you want to keep smiling to the bank. I did not understand that I could earn as a student and not always wait for my parents to send me pocket-money.
Throughout the rather short lifespan of that bank account, it was basically a money passage channel because for me, the only use of money at the time was spending: nothing more. I spent on food, I spent in Church, I spent on books and that was all. But that’s the life of a student ain’t it? 😂 I was not consciously working towards becoming financially self-reliant. I lacked the basic and practical knowledge of financial management and unfortunately, my cherished account took the fall for it.
It is never too early to give practical financial education to students or child(ren) because it doesn’t matter whether they have ten kobo or to ten million, they will manage it the same way. Financial habits remain the same irrespective of the amount of money involved. So, while ensuring that they receive formal education also ensure that they receive financial education because a University graduate who is a financial illiterate will be incapable of building and sustaining wealth.
When God gives you resources, he expects you to trade with them and make them multiply. Like my friend, Samuel once told me, the goal of financial education and planning is achieving financial independence or financial freedom; a situation where your passive income (the money that accrues to you even when you are not actively working e.g dividends on shares) exceeds your active income (the money that accrues as a result of a job done or service rendered e.g salary). Let us encourage young persons around us to aspire to financial self-reliance and even better, financial independence.