Makadii Zvenyu! It’s another week and I’m back again. Hope you all had a great weekend? From the title of this write up, you already know what’s on my mind today. So, what is financial literacy? According to Wikipedia, “Financial literacy is the possession of the set of skills and knowledge that allows an individual to make informed and effective decisions with all of their financial resources.” Yet, for those living on the margins of society where bread and butter issues are all they are worried about, ideas such as financial literacy can feel like somewhat of a luxurious thought. This is why I will try to show how financial literacy is important for everyone – especially those of us who loves to travel.

Financially literate people enjoy life on a normal budget without having to nag their parents for money. And if there is anything I have learnt about African parents, better yet Zimbabwean parents, it is that they don’t like lending money to a grown man or woman!

The ability to use knowledge and skills to make effective and informed money management decisions is nowadays among most people’s goal and the call to teach this skill to youths, is currently at the forefront, making it somewhat of a trend. Also, the influence of social media platforms like Instagram, has spiked interests in travelling, making it a trend.

Growing up in a very small city in Zimbabwe I will admit that my life was simple and that I had a decent upbringing. I did not grow up in a fancy lifestyle but l do remember how l wished to see the world. I remember how my mother emphasized that we had to save money for local trips. So whenever I wished to visit a local attraction which was just a taxi away I would sometimes foot my own bills.

I was still very young at the time. Fast forward to 2019 and l am still using some of the skills my mother taught me; writing down every penny that l use so that l can be able to track my finances, as well as to distinguish between priority trips and luxurious trips. I at least try my best to gauge which places and activities I want to do in the European city I stay. Like I said, I just don’t visit a place – I list, determine the benefits I can get from each visit, and then execute!

In London, but I never got to see the Queen…

Apart from travelling, I also use financial literacy to survive the foreign city. The responsibilities that come with moving out of one’s parents’ house, worse still, one’s continent are a lot. ‘It’s a cold world outchea’ (Excuse my French but I mean it) and experience has taught me that it is mostly those who have financial discipline that can survive this curve. Financially literate people enjoy life on a normal budget without having to nag their parents for money. And if there is anything I have learnt about African parents, better yet Zimbabwean parents, it is that they don’t like lending money to a grown man or woman!

Prince Donnell, the CEO of JumpingJack Tax wrote in a tweet on November 2, 2019, that parents should teach their families about the importance of financial literacy. He goes on to state how wealth is not actual ‘money’ itself but also the knowledge and wisdom to handle it. Donnell goes further to encourage families to teach members how to manage money effectively. That begs the question. Does this mean that only wealthy people are the only ones who should learn about handling money? Or are they the only ones who can afford to explore different parts of the country or world? I don’t think so. In fact, basing on my childhood experience of saving every small penny, I have learnt that even those who earn little can save and travel – be it for a honeymoon, a baecation in Mauritius or a road trip across the border. The secret lies in saving, being prudent – simple financial literacy.

Here are things you can cut on to save up

  1. Entertainment: Saving requires sacrifices. Try reducing the amount of money you spend on gaming, clubbing and even data
  2. Transport: It’s not every place you have to drive to. Take a walk or use the tram. It’s  cheaper, great for the environment and keeps you fit too – it’s good exercise.
  3. Takeaway: We all love food but takeout is expensive. Cut on your takeout spending and out those coins towards your baecation account.

I hope these tips will help your save up for your next big local or international trip. Who knows we might run into each other someday on a trip.

Ndini wenyu Hazel. Catch you next week peeps.

Mama could have taught Prince Donnell a thing or two…

Hazel Matebwe
Author

Hazel Matebwe is a Freelance writer (Journalist). She is Zimbabwean but moved to Germany in 2018 and at the moment she is currently pursuing Health Education. Before moving to Germany Hazel acquired a B.Sc Honours Degree in Media and Society Studies and also has worked for The Times New Ziana as a Sports and Entertainment Reporter in Zimbabwe. Hazel has experience in Childcare, which is what she loves doing. When she has free time she enjoys writing, travelling, cooking, sports and music. Instagram @hazeMatebwe Twitter @hazelmatebwe