4 ways the youth can build financial resilience

One significant factor that influences our perception of money is the way our parents saw and handled it. Independent Newspapers

One significant factor that influences our perception of money is the way our parents saw and handled it. Independent Newspapers

Published Jun 14, 2024


By: Wikus Olivier

WHAT feelings or emotions do you experience when you think about money? Does money evoke a sense of security, freedom, or perhaps anxiety and stress? It holds immense power in our lives, impacting our choices, decisions, and even our sense of self-worth. Understanding our relationship with money is essential for achieving financial well-being and cultivating a healthy mindset towards money and wealth.

One significant factor that influences our perception of money is the way our parents saw and handled it. Our upbringing shapes our beliefs, attitudes, and behaviours towards money.

If our parents or guardians demonstrated a scarcity mindset, constantly worrying about finances or engaging in unhealthy financial habits, we may have inherited those fears and negative associations. Similarly, if they emphasised the importance of saving, investing wisely, and using money as a tool for growth, we might have adopted a more positive and responsible approach.

However, it is vital to recognise that money by itself won’t bring joy or fulfilment. We often fall into the trap of equating material possessions or a hefty bank balance with happiness. While financial stability is undoubtedly important, true joy is intrinsic and stems from non-monetary aspects of life, such as relationships, personal growth, and meaningful experiences.

Understanding this fundamental truth allows us to shift our focus from amassing wealth for its own sake to using money to achieve certain goals and create a more fulfilling life.

It is crucial to remember that money does not define us as human beings. Our self-worth should not be tied to our financial status. Society often places a disproportionate emphasis on material wealth, leading to comparisons, envy, and a constant pursuit for more.

We must detach our sense of identity from our monetary achievements and instead embrace our values, passions, and contributions to the world. Recognising our inherent worth beyond financial metrics allows us to develop a healthier and more balanced relationship with money.

While diligence in financial management is essential, it is equally important to acknowledge that money should not be idolised. It is merely a tool – a resource that, when used wisely, can enhance our lives and the lives of others.

When we place money on a pedestal and obsessively pursue it, we risk sacrificing our well-being, relationships, and overall happiness. We will never achieve that stage where we feel we have accumulated enough. Becoming good stewards of our money requires understanding its role as a means to an end, rather than an end in itself.

Developing good financial habits is indeed crucial for long-term financial success. We should strive to save, invest, and make informed decisions that align with our goals.

However, to truly thrive in our financial journey, we must first cultivate a healthy mindset and relationship with money. By examining and reshaping our beliefs and attitudes surrounding wealth, we can transform our financial lives and create a positive ripple effect on our overall well-being.

In conclusion, our relationship with money goes beyond rands and cents. It is entwined with our emotions, upbringing, and self-perception. Understanding the psychological aspects of money and reshaping our mindset is key to achieving financial wellness.

Let us strive to view money as a tool, not an idol, and cultivate a healthy relationship with it – one that empowers us to live a life guided by our values, aspirations, and the impact we make in this life.

I hope my words have inspired you today – let’s build the road towards financial resilience together!

* Olivier is the managing director at CreditSmart.