Fresh graduates need financial literacy

What you need to know:

  • Growing up without solid financial habits from primary influencers such as parents is a sure way to start out with deposits of poor ways in the mind.
  • When lady luck delivers the job at the end of university education, mutiny emerges.
  • Take note that money habits are first taught at home through socialisation.

IT IS that time of the year again when large companies bring management trainees and new entrants to the work place, most of them fresh from university lecture halls.

You would naturally expect that these people in their early twenties would arrive at work place with fresh thinking, but alas, they are already soiled.

We elaborated in our article “Parents should teach children wealth lessons,” how a natural dependence relationship between a baby and its parents influence the child’s world view of money and consequently the money habits they copy from their seniors.

Growing up without solid financial habits from primary influencers such as parents is a sure way to start out with deposits of poor ways in the mind.

Many parents in Kenya do not let their young ones go free before age 25.

Instead, they hang on to them, making decisions for the young adults while controlling them with the power of “financing strings”.

For this reason, young graduates arriving at their first work place have been only partially independent during their university life phase and have neither been making their own decisions on most issues concerning their lives, nor have they been earning any money.

When lady luck delivers the job at the end of university education, mutiny emerges.

First, it might be a well-paying job, in a leading corporation that pushes the freshman into psychological dilemma.

Secondly, for the first time, they have access to both money and power over their spending decisions.

Thirdly, they have to deal with the confusing aura and expectations presented by the brand power of the new work place and peer pressure without an auto pilot operating manual to offer guidance.

While I am not suggesting that all graduates have fixed mind-sets, people at that age and stage suffocate from it as a result of peer influence.

“People with a fixed mind-set believe that a person is born with a certain amount of intelligence — personality, talents, strengths and weaknesses, which do not change.” Generally, they tend to think that, if they make a mistake or fail, then they are not as smart or talented as they portray themselves.

Take note that money habits are first taught at home through socialisation.

You can, however, improve your situation by the choices you make to develop clear money goals and skills to guide your daily life.

— Patrick Wameyo is a financial literacy educator and coach. Email: [email protected]

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