18 June 2017

Uganda: Money Wise Children

opinion

There is a story that has made the rounds where two little boys are given each Shs10,000 and sent into Game Stores. One boy is named Patel and the other is Kyamutetera(Kyam). When the two boys return from the supermarket Patel carries back change of Shs6,000 while Kyam needs an extra Shs2,000.

It is an open secret that many Indians generally have a way they handle money which they tend to pass on to their children.

It is also an open secret that many Ugandan children either think money grows in the auto teller machines (ATM) or the only song from their parents about money is, "I don't have money".

There is a group who have been beaten because they somehow got access to money and in some quarters that is an evil thing.

I often watch my younger child counting his money. He has an old fashioned wallet... (note to self, get the young man another wallet) and in that wallet he collects money which he then banks himself. I have spoken with him about the principles of honouring God with his money through the giving of first fruits and tithe and we have spoken at length about using one's money to be a blessing to others. Because he works for his money he has an appreciation on how to spend it.

Sometimes I invite him to count money in foreign currencies or to read an article on money or making money.

I had my first bank account at university and I borrow a leaf from those I know whose fathers taught them about money at tender ages. One of my contemporaries handled huge sums of money before he was 22 years old. He was his father's youngest child and he was tasked with counting and banking his old man's money as they referred to him.

I normally watch as he gives each of his own daughters allowances and wages for work done. He also deducts money where need arises.

Recently, I also chopped the money that I had custody of for one of the children because for the umpteenth time they refused to clean up their room. Once it became clear that the money was getting less, in moments the room was in perfect order.

My greatest desire is to raise money-upright children. Upright in the sense that money is not the centre and focal thing, which means money does not rule or control but that they also know how to get it and accord it its rightful place.

The good book speaks of the hand which holds back and is mean and yet it tends to poverty while there is a hand which scatters and gives freely and yet it tends to have more.

There is the blessing from God which gives wealth and on which no sorrow or pain is added.

My goal is to raise children who understand that they are blessed to be a blessing, that money is a great resource which should be used as a means to an and and not as an end in itself.

Uganda

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