Have you ever wondered about when you first realised what money could and couldn't do? I was in primary school when I first realised how important money was. I remember always saving most of my daily pocket money and lending small amounts to other classmates who had probably overspent their pocket money or wanted to buy items that cost more than they had.


As I grew older and got into secondary school, I became more aware of school fees and the costs of sending a child to boarding school. I remember overhearing discussions about the cost of the items that I was required to take to school. I must have wondered where my parents would get the money because the costs seemed so much. Receiving a larger amount of pocket money and making it stretch throughout the month also helped me with understanding money. I had to evolve from managing money as a challenge to making it a skill.


The excitement of earning a salary from my first holiday job after secondary school and rushing to open a bank account remains deeply etched in my memory. The experience of working and earning felt quite liberating and daunting at the same time. Realising that I could spend my money as I saw fit since I had a source of income however little it was.


I remember buying my first shares on the Nigerian Stock Exchange during a public offer. I felt I had arrived: I now owned part of this big organisation and I would start benefiting from earning extra income. It didn’t matter that I only bought the minimum number of units, what mattered was that I had now become an investor.


Earning a proper salary from my first job after graduation must have been when I realised that I was now fully responsible for myself. No more allowances or handouts, I now had the power to pay for whatever I wanted. If I didn't manage my income properly, I would also have to take responsibility for the consequences.


When you start working and have to pay bills is most likely when you begin to appreciate money. You understand that value has to be exchanged to receive it, so you focus on creating value in some way. When we have had to work for it, spending money takes on a whole new meaning. When your salary comes and you know what you put into the job, you are probably going to be more cautious about spending but only if you have built the right attitude about money.


Growing older and becoming more responsible for one’s financial situation brings a greater awareness of what money can do, why it is needed, and what it feels like to have little or no money to meet either needs or wants. There is also the fact that one begins to understand the financial system and the part we play in it. Understanding how we earn money, how we store money, and how we get more value out of the money that we already have is key.


Most people want more money. To achieve this, we work harder and harder, and probably get a second job or a side hustle. Earning more money from work is the usual approach to acquiring more money. Many people focus on this because they are either not fully aware of other means of earning income or they distrust the financial system.


Acquiring financial knowledge is key to understanding not just how to earn money but also how to manage it and extract more value from our income. The financial system is quite diverse and offers every interested person a means of earning more money irrespective of their financial objectives and personal preferences.


If you are employed or self-employed, you would have at least one bank account through which you receive your salary or payments for work done. You probably have a savings account, and some others have investment accounts with banks or other financial institutions. The chances of you having a pension account is also high. All these instruments exist to help you manage your money better.


Money makes a lot of difference and understanding how to manage it is the first step to ensuring that you can meet your financial responsibilities and wants. Take the time today to find out the full range of financial instruments that you can take advantage of to better manage your money.

Gbubemi is a contributing writer to

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