By Olamide Falase
It has been nearly 18 years since I entered the “productive labor force” of the Nigerian economy.
Providence led me to have this part of my life begin in one of its most economically viable sectors – Banking.
So, I guess it would be okay to say that I had been closely acquainted with money very early on.
Oddly, in spite of this “familiarity” with money; counting it, accounting for it, helping others save it, earning it – earning loads and loads of it, spending it (ah! Spending it!), giving it, receiving it as a gift, borrowing it, lending it etc. In spite of all these, money, until recently has remained an enigma of sorts, a hard to grasp concept that has kept me befuddled these many years.
“Don’t spend what you can, spend only what you must”
I must confess that I never truly understood money, even though I made loads of it, I never really was able to wrap my mind around its principles and now, looking back, I realize that I, like many other people, assumed that, to have a lot of it, is to understand it and of course to master it.
When Jesus’ disciples saw him pray, they said to him, “Rabbi, TEACH US TO PRAY…”
You see, there are some things you honestly think you know how to do until you have to do it.
Many times we assume that having a desire equals to know how. So, because we, as Christians, desire to pray, we assume, erroneously, that desire means we know how to pray; but then we must come to realize, like the disciples did, that some things have to be taught.
Like prayer, Money has to be learned and mastered; and the strange thing about money is that many of its principles are “counter-intuitive”; in other words, they don’t readily avail us of themselves; we have to look with a “fresh pair of eyes” to finally GET IT!
In the last quarter of last year, I stumbled into some of the “best kept ‘non-secrets’” about money, when I was invited to a session on money by a friend.
That class changed my life (I am not exaggerating) and it caused me to ruminate over and over again, these principles of money that I will attempt to share – in a series of posts here
First things, first…
One of the biggest put offs about studying or attempting to gain insight about money is that it always gets slightly “technical” and technical is another word for boring.
Maybe that is why people never learn about money, because money is boring.
Don’t get me wrong o!
It is great to own, fun to spend and much more fun to be given by others; but, let’s face it, it is booooring joor!!
Sadly, we can’t really understand money without the boring stuff.
There are a few terms that we must acquaint ourselves with if we want to “take money seriously” words like:
MEDIUM OF EXCHANGE
UNIT OF ACCOUNT
STORE OF VALUE
All these words will come in handy for the person finally interested in learning about money.
I was told by my money coach that to know anything, I have to know about its origin and its purpose.
Okay, I am not going to go into the origin of money, I will just say, “As exchange of goods became too complex for trade by “barter”, money became a stable and more acceptable medium of exchange”; this means that if I had yams and I need oranges badly, I don’t have to look for someone who has oranges and needs yams (which would take many many days, even in a small community). All I have to do is take some money, go to the market, and buy oranges (and hopefully sell my yams too…)
I told you it was boring…
“An Asset” is anything tangible or intangible that can be OWNED or CONTROLLED to PRODUCE VALUE (that is, Positive Economic Value) – please note the words in caps, they will come in handy later…
“A Store of Value” is the function of an asset that can be SAVED, RETRIEVED, and EXCHANGED at a later time, and be predictably useful when retrieved.
A store of value is anything that RETAINS PURCHASING POWER.
I am not even going to bother you with UNIT OF ACCOUNT.
Why is knowing all these things about money important?
You will find out soon…
Olamide Falase has nearly 18 years industry experience, which spans the Banking, Food Services, Civil Construction and the downstream sector of the Nigerian Oil and Gas industry, most of which has been in management and leadership positions. He presents industry related issues in a relatable format, easy for a broad range of people, not only to understand but to also relate to.