INTRODUCTION There are many people who are living in financial hardship all over the world simply because of unwise spending of their income. There are also so many people today especially among highly educated elites and professional with high income who are capable of acquiring wealth and riches but are not anywhere near wealth or riches. In fact many of them in spite of strong financial status are actually only income rich but asset poor. They stand the danger of financial embarrassment. Why? All because they don’t know how to spend wisely. We can go beyond individual experience to the national level. Nigeria in the seventies was one of the riches nations of the world. The then Head of State, Rtd. General Yakubu Gowon made a statement that “money is not the problem of Nigeria but how to spend it” within a period of 10years the huge wealth which can last generations was spent unwisely and squandered to push the nation into a state of poverty. Nigeria, formerly one of the riches nations of the world, is now of the poorest nations of the world! This creates the tragedy of unwise spending. A chief in one of the towns near Ile-Ife where I live was once very rich. At the climax of his wealth he took new wives and had up to nine wives besides concubines. He had about 15 private cars he was using he was there at all fund raising ceremonies to display his wealth he donated money extravagantly to churches, mosques, social clubs all in the spirit of display of wealth. In no time the economic climate in the country changed. His businesses whew hard hit. He lost all sources of income. One by one he sold his cars to maintain his family until he was left with none. He sold all the air-conditionals in his houses all the stereo sets. He even sold a hospital he started which he did not manage well. He sold the equipment one by one. He even sold the rugs in his office and house. His wife left him one after the other until he was left with the first wife. There are very many people who have plenty of money in the past but who today are in object poverty. These are very many among sports, merits and movie celebrities. Not how much you earn. It is not how much you earn that is important but how much wisdom you apply to the spending of what you earn. One can achieve much with little income if wisely spent. One can on the other achieve little or nothing with big income if wisdom is not applied. When I was working as Doctor at the Health Centre of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. I noted with dismay that our junior members of staff were able to build houses of their own. But most of us who earned four to six times the income of the junior staffers were not even able to buy a piece of land for building purposes. The same story was true in the faculties. The messengers, drivers, clerks spent their money wisely and were able to build houses. But the more highly paid lectures were not able to build at all. Some of us took note of the situation, disturbed it extensively and repeatedly. We discovered that our altitudes about money was far different from the attitude of the junior staff the professionals and academics preferred to spend our money on the maintenance of status which we and the society have carried out for us. There were some junior staff too who were spending their money unwisely. They are income poor but they try to live as if they have high income. At the end of the day they become as poor as the church rat. If you are going to get the best out of your income whether small or big, you need to know how to spend wisely. There is a man close to me that I admire a lot when it comes to wise spending of one’s income. He was Augustine Ela. He died few years ago leaving behind 12 houses. He spent his retirement in comfort. He was never a burden to his children till he died at the age of seventy-seven years. In his retirement and old age he was still supporting his children financially when there were needs to do so. How did he do it since he was also a civil servant with average income? The simple answer I will give is that he was very frugal with his money and he spent every time wisely. Many of his colleagues had experiences of financially hard retirement. They were living on their children and they left nothing for their children. Mr. Augustine Ela did not only leave houses for his children he left huge shares of leading companies in the country! Majority of people with financial difficulty usually look for more income. But what happens? As soon as more money comes their spending increases to make the increase of no use on effect. If you want to get out of financial difficulty my advice is that you first of all look at you spending and adopt the wise spending pattern. My wife and myself were looking to bring money more. But to our dismay we had no saving, no property, no landed property, no furniture of our own (we were leaving in a furnished university flat) no stocks, and no asset of any kind. We got angry at the situation. We sat and made careful plans of how to spend our money. To our greatest surprise we were able to have savings and do some good thins without any increase in our income. When we wanted to have a look of our own all we did again was to organize the movement of our money, within three years we were able to require a deceit and spacious building of our own in a quiet and some part of housing estate. Really, wisdom is the principal thing, even in spending. I. PROPER ATTITUDE ABOUT EDUCATION To me able to cope successfully in an economy with high unemployment rate and very low job opportunities the first thing is for you to have proper attitude about your education. Most people have wrong attitudes about education. And once your attitude is wrong, you will never attain good attitudes in life! It is wrong thinking and attitude to take your education of being means of obtaining certificate that will enable you to enter the labor market. It is also wrong to see your degree certificate as meal tickets as many call it. You must note that you are not born or educated to eat. The purposes of the education you were given are: 1. To equip you to face life challenges more boldly and courageously. 2. To equip you defect and acquire the best from opportunities that life naturally offers. 3. To make it easier for you to learn that things necessary for your success and happiness in Life’s Informal School. 4. To make it possible for you to contribute reasonably to the life of others, your society and community. You must note that in this lies real success and happiness. 1. Education gives you both internal and external authority and power to face life challenges. It is the external authority and power i.e. special knowledge and certificate that we actually pursue and concentrate upon. We miss the internal power and authority that education can give the lecturers too does not have at all. They intimidate the students. Many do not do their work well. Many are morally bankrupt. They in some other ways erode and rub our students of the internal authority that University or higher education is supposed to give. 2. Without the ability to detect and tap into the opportunities that life has to offer you will never be able to go beyond the ordinary level of struggling to make ends meet, meet your basic needs. You will or best be able to just meet the basic needs and necessities of life and life near broke level. It is possible to detect and know how to tap into life’s great opportunities the purpose of education to make it easier for you to do so and that it possible for many to be able to do so. Unfortunately the designs of our college curricula are defective in this regard. Only the very careful students are able acquire this discerning heart with their education. 3. You are not fully made in the university or polytechnic. Your teachers in college only open up your faculties for further development. For full development and good degree of self-actualization and good placement, complete success with attending fulfillment and happiness; you need other teachers in life. These teachers are your field of choice. There are others who are not in your field of learning. They are just like coaches some may never come across personally or physically some of these teachers are nice people around you some of them are bad and offensive people around you. Some of these teach are not people. They are life experienced good and bad, pleasant and unpleasant. They have things to offer you to help you in life. Formal education makes it easier for you to learn from these great teachers. 4. Jesus Christ say in Mathew 18: that the real value, worth and real success and happiness of a man or woman in life don’t depend on the much money, big name, big positions, big cars or houses that he or she has. I have learnt and would like you too to know that your real value worth success and happiness is in what will contribute and give and not what we consume or get. II. DRAW ON VARIOUS EXPERIENCE AND EXPOSURE. Your education is not wasted if you do not have a paid job after leaving school or if you find yourself doing something out your discipline. I studied medicine but I am profitably and happily engaged in Christian ministry and providing education services by establishment of schools. My medical training is still useful. No training is useless. Debola finished from Obafemi Awolowo University in the early 90s. She got married to a schoolmate who finished from the same University two years earlier. The Government Teachers Commission employed both of them. Initially their salaries were enough for them but as children started coming and the cost of living continued to increase due to inflation, their salaries were no longer sufficient to sustain them even with cost cutting measures. Debola while preparing for entrance examination left the village to stay with her uncle who was a graduate and a business owner. The three years he spent with this uncle opened her eyes to alternatives of making money. Her parents were teachers who always complaining about their salaries. Debola encouraged her husband to quit teaching to start a business. He was afraid of the unknown. His parents discouraged the idea. They said it would be a waste of his education to go and be making Poultry Feed, which according to them any idiot can be doing. When Debola weaned her second child she told her husband she was going into the business. Everyone discouraged her. She was told ‘a bird in hand is worth more than 10 in the bush’. Her teacher parents heard about the idea. Then both traveled to meet her. They told her the usual story that it will be a waist of her certificate and university education to go and mixing maize and groundnut cake for fowls. But her uncle encouraged her. He persuaded the parents to leave her to her fate. For a standard factory she needed up to two million Naira for the following: a harmer mill, a giant mixer, a packaging machine, a building, and staff salaries for 9 months. She dropped this idea of ideal situation. She approached her landlord who was kind enough to give her a junk store in the compound. She bought some books on poultry nutrition. She also met some people in the city who are into poultry and who make their meals themselves. One elderly successful poultry farmer was so kind to her. He also gave her the formulae he uses. Within few weeks, she actively resigned her appointments. Her colleagues appealed to her to wait till she will be qualified for pension. She said she was not impressed by the lives of people living with mere pension. She took the bull by the horns. She used the last salary she earned to buy feed ingredients. To everyone’s amazement, she was better than all her colleagues she left in the teaching and various government employments. She is now building her standard factory gradually. She has even started a small-scale poultry farm. The husband is erasing around with a small car she bought from her business. The husband and her parents want them to start building their personal house. She has however insisted that she will build her factory first and expand her poultry to 1,000 birds first. Please see the book of Proverbs 24:27 preferably in the Living Bible. Is her education really wasted or most wisely put into use? It is worthy of note that Debola did not read agriculture in school. She read Business management. She was only attached to a feed mill as an assistant Business manager. Yinka’s story too will encourage you. She grew up near an auto mechanics workshop. He was often at the workshop playing with the owner’s children after school. He observed this man was making good money. He went to the University to read Biology Education. While in the NYSC camp, he spent a lot of time praying for divine guardian about his future. He was not satisfied with the money his colleagues who have finished earlier were earning both private and public employment. He was posted to a village Secondary school for his primary assignment. In the first month of the primary assignment, an idea dropped into his mind to learn the repair of motor vehicle. He went to rent a house in the major form close to the village where he was teaching. He attached himself to a well-known mechanic in the town. According to him, he first learnt about the suspension systems, then the ignition system and then the break system then the transmission system. He bought some books to read along. He was going to the workshop up and down like his colleagues. He spent a lot of money shuttling between the village and the town where he was living. But he did not mind this. By the time he finished his service year, he was able to do a lot of repair work on motor vehicles. He used the Japanese service to learn. On arrival at home from NYSC, Yinka told his parents he was going into auto repair and maintenance work. His mother cried and went from prophets to pastors. Some of the prophets lied. They told the mother it was the work of the enemies for him to waste his life. Neighbors felt he was loosing his mind. How would one waste such education certificate and long year spent acquiring them. A young and dynamic Pastor the mother met took time to invite Yinka for discussion. After the discussion He prayed with Yinka and encouraged him. The Pastor, they called him bad names e.g. first blind guide leading the blind. Yinka went to Ibadan and learnt more in the next six months. He later started his own workshop in a remote part of the city. Today he is in another major city in Nigeria making plenty of money. He travels abroad regularly to buy genuine spare parts. He has his manager forearm and many workshop assistants and apprentices. He has known moved higher to specialize in one. III. RELEASE YOUR CREATIVE POWER IN YOU Deacon Oladini is a member of our church. He studied Economics at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife and made good grades. After NYSC he could not get a job. Things were so difficult that his wife left him to marry another person. This made him to be resolutely determined to make it in life. He stumbled on the idea of supplying Laboratory Chemicals to Secondary Schools. He later ascended these services to the University. At this point he came across many highly technical terms in science. He read Economics. The names of some of the Chemicals were so strange to him. What did he do? According to him he bought books on science Lab Chemicals and Instruments. Today when he talk, you will think he read Chemical Engineering or He is living well He is still working very hard because the work is still very young. He has been able to build his house. His children are attending good schools. He has capacity to grow more. Please note that this Deacon came from a poor background. His parents are uneducated. He borrowed money for the take off of his business. Is his education in Economics wasted just because he is not into financial or economic management field? His education enabled him to learn fast in a field that is different all together. If the government does not create opportunities for us we can create opportunities for ourselves. There is creative power in you and in all of us. This creative power is part of God’s image and likeness in us. You need to realize this and release your creative power as you face the realities of life and aspire for strong financial status in life. IV. AIM AT THE BEST LEVELS OF MAKING MONEY IN LIFE LEVELS OF MAKING MONEY 1 2 3 4 4 Population There are 4 levels, which you can make money. Level I:- (a) There are very few people here – very, very few (b) They are of various educational levels. They don’t work for money, money work for them. They have or no staff. Money is their staff. They make money from near and for without running are usually very rich without sweat or hassle. Their money keeps growing ahead and inflation. They involved in two things only – STOCKS (SHARES) and REAL ESTATE. Their wealth lives on after them. CHALLENGE AND SUGESTIONS - Aim at operating at Level 2 and 1 - Start to buy stocks regularly. The earlier you start the better. - Educate yourself in the issue of stock and real estate. - Do not keep your money in banks. Keep them in stock or landed properties. - Before you start to build. Level 2:- (a) There are few people here (b) They use their head to work not their hands like people in 4 and 3 do. (c) They organize people to work for them (d) They can have multiple means of income and chain of business. (e) Most of them are not highly educated. They are of average brilliance and performance in school – 2.2 or 3rd class. There are fewer highly brilliant people here. They have small scale or medium or large-scale enterprise. They have money. The have time to enjoy their money. They keep growing. Their business continued to live after their death. Their children can inherit their businesses to develop their money or to wreck them. Level 3:- (a) Many people are at this level (b) They are self employed without any worker (c) They work hard to make money (d) they are highly educated people most of them are – Doctors, Lawyers, Engineers and Teachers. (e) They are averagely educated and people with low education here. (f) They make more money than people in Level 4 (g) They don’t retire (h) Their businesses often die with them (i) They live big (j) They have little or no assets (k) They work harder and harder to make more money. Level 4:- Many people (a) Most people are here. Graduates, Lawyers, Doctors, Engineers, Accountants (b) They work for other people or the government (c) They live big but they are not (d) They may be earning big salaries, they have little or no assets (e) They struggle to buy their cars, maintain their cars, build their houses, send their children to schools, no saving keep on hoping things will be better (f) They are either broke or near broke (g) they fear financial risk (h) they are grumblers (i) they work for money (k) after retirement they look for contract appointments that swifter a lot from inflation. They enjoy pray rise for short periods only because inflation makes the rise meaningless and by which time they have increased their standard of living. V. IT’S MIND NOT MONEY Thinking that money is the most important thing for taking giant steps in life have hindered and will continue to hinder many people all. Thinking that money is the most important thing for taking giant steps in life is a very big mistake. This error has prevented people from achieving what they could possibly achieve. The thought pattern is a terrible but mighty effective trick of the Satan truncating the destiny of people. Money is very important. The Bible says with money you can get almost anything done in life. But that is something the Bible says is more important Proverbs 4:7, and stronger than money – that is wisdom. A wise mind is what you need to get great dreams in your mind established. When you have an idea, the first thing you must look up to is God not money. Call on God for wisdom to go about it. Ask God for wisdom to get all the money you need. The money you need is available somewhere. By wisdom and favour of God, you can get it out. Uncountable number of people has killed great vision by thinking that money is the most important thing they need. No. You need wisdom and God’s favour more than money. There are people with money who don’t have idea of what to do with the money. Mr. Nikah Ogba is a schoolteacher; he conceived the idea of having a school of his own. He had no money to start. He prayed fervently to God. He asked for wisdom and favour. He met his Pastor and some members of his church and shared the vision with them. He was given a loan of N2,500.00. he knew this will not do anything in the city. He moved to a big village and with N2, 500.00 he started a secondary school. People laughed at him. The Government Officials closed the school. He reopened it. He told the education officer he did not mind being arrested in the course of fighting poverty and unemployment. He said he wants to establish an institution where lives of young people will be changed, bring hope and joy to the villagers’ children and employment for many. The Education Officer him a chance, that is God’s favour. Today it is a big school with 300 students, many buildings, school vans and almost 25 people gainfully employed.
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