In class the other day, our lecturer told us about a conversation he had with a colleague about children, and in particular how expensive it is to raise children in today’s world. He run through some numbers, including pampers and milk for the newborn, nursery school and transport to drop and pick child from school, primary and secondary education and came to the conclusion that we should plan ahead, and have at least $50,000 in investments by the time one decides to get married. From the comments and murmurs, I gathered that most of my classmates thought that was a lot of money, and that they were still young (about 20 years old) after all, so they still have time to worry about money and marriage and kids later.
For some reason the conversation was on my mind the rest of the day, and I realized there was an important life lesson for to learn. The truth is, we are not that young any more, and we don’t have as much time as we may think we have. The thing with life is that it is a marathon, not a sprint, meaning that you can not just wake up one day and become financially stable. It takes time to map out a strategy, and take action, one step at a time. And what we do today contributes to our tomorrow. For example, you cannot attain a University degree in a
month, but instead have to go through many years of education preparing you for University, and a minimum of three years’ study to be awarded the qualification. In the same way, one’s financial future has already started, even while a student at campus. Even though some guys may still be getting pocket money from their parents, it is very likely that their attitude towards money, and spending habits will be formed firmly during their time at University, and it will be hard to change later in life, especially since we do not have financial literacy class in our education system.
So we need to make the effort now to be aware of our financial habits, go out of our way to learn how to handle money, budget, save, tithe and how to invest for the future. If you open an account at university and start saving, as little as you may, and learn how to live frugally and cut out unnecessary expenditure, you will be better equipped to handle your finances once you get out of campus and get a job, and start handling much more money. It is the discipline that you will have learnt that will enable you to continue saving and not spend all the extra money on expensive clothes, outings or gadgets. That is how you will be able to have savings to invest, or buy a car, land and build a home. If you do not start planning for your financial future, you will get a job and earn a good salary, but find yourself living paycheck to paycheck, month after month, year after year, with no fund to make big purchases or investments, or to handle emergencies. Let alone get married and start a family..
The lesson to learn is that it is never too early to start planning for your financial future, and the earlier you start, the better.