Happy birthday Osivela: Financial advice to a 3-year- old

Hey! Osivela, do you know what date it will be next week Tuesday? Yes, 18th April. Ringing any bells? It should actually—you will have clocked three years my daughter. That’s sweet!

Osivela, my beloved daughter, allow me to introduce you to the world of personal finance management.

First, in the modern world, the path to a healthy personal finance life is a good education—whether you are to be self-employed or on a salaried job. Nobody should ever cheat you out of education, Osivela. Consider education your second parent on earth. When your mum and I are long gone, education will take care of you, Osivela. Remember, I said education will take care of you, not your spouse. Spouses can torture you for all that they may give you but they will respect you like the queen that you are if they know you don’t need them to survive other than wanting them for their love alone.

Second, there are some rules for a healthy personal finance. For your ease of remembrance, I will put forward 10 rules in number format so you can make reference easily in future. Suffice to mention that these rules may not the golden standard neither are they exhaustive—always be resourceful and hunger to learn more.

  1. Time is money. Don’t waste either one.
  2. Spend less than you earn. If you think about every coin you have before you actually spend it, you’ll find more money in your pocket.
  3. If you have debt (which should be on investments not consumption), eliminating it should be your top priority starting with the high-interest debt.
  4. Don’t overthink your investments before you start. You are better off starting your investing now and making needed changes down the road. By the way, stuff you are not using is money that is not invested.
  5. Spending time with family can look like old life style (ameneyu ndi tradi) but it saves money, too. It doesn’t cost anything to spend the evening playing cards or hide-and-seek in the backyard than going out looking for fun at a cost.
  6. The more you give without strings or regrets, the better you feel about your own life and the more money you make because of the goodwill around you.
  7. The appetite to learn new skills will never let you down. So too is a good motivational or personal finance management book.
  8. If you want to learn about something, surround yourself with like-minded people or with books on that topic: audiobooks in your car, books on your bedroom shelf, printed articles on your breakfast table. Make the ideas flood your mind.
  9. Quality of what you buy matters more than quantity as it will save you money in the long run.
  10. Tell the people you love that you love them. Do this often. You never know the last time you will be able to tell them that, and if you don’t take that chance, you may regret it for the rest of your life. No amount of money will take that regret away. More importantly, there can’t be happiness if you make money and have no loved ones to spend with.

I will archive this article for you so you can read it in years to come, Osivela. Should we lose this article, go to the Nation Publications and ask for it. You may not find it useful now but in years to come, it may prove worthwhile. Be sure to also share the same to your children, Osivela—it will be a free gift to my grandchildren.

Osivela, you are privileged to be listening to this advice when you are just about to turn three. Others have learned the hard way because they never had anybody to tell them at such a tender age.

Enjoy your birthday this Tuesday, Osivela! You will never ever know how much you mean to me, your mum and brothers! We wish you many more happy, healthy and prosperous years ahead. 

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