The Importance of Financial Education

The importance of financial education by Afrika Kesho

One of the most important things of today’s day and age is money. That’s because money is the tool used to exchange value between two entities.

When you buy a pair of shoes from Bathu, or jeans from Tshepo Jeans, the value you are getting is that product you want, and the value they are getting is the money you gave them – which they can use to continue running their businesses and livelihoods.

Right now, in order to live comfortably, you need to be able to buy yourself food, clothes, clean water, shelter, and so on. And all of that, needs money and that’s one of the reasons why money is important.

Even from the perspective of a community – the black community for example – money can be a powerful tool for justice and change. In the wrong hands, which in my opinion it is, money can also be a destructive force. It can fuel greed and form the grounds for human and environmental exploitation. Money is a crutch because of society’s value of money. It crutches the poor – it helps us maneuver but puts the poor in a vulnerable position. Even an example as simple as Clicks, where to them it was an oversight, but it invalidates our being and identity, but because they are moneyed they we are in a position where canceling Clicks would cost us our livelihoods (and beloved products).

To be able to make money is to be able to survive within this capitalistic system, and to have money is to have the freedom to choose how you would like to live. That’s mostly why I would like to make money, because I’d like to have freedom.

In my view, money is simple, but the financial system intentionally makes it sound technical so that they can maximize profits. By making it seem like we can’t manage our own money, and grow our own wealth, they make wealth from us. This is not to say the financial system is simple, it isn’t, but it is learnable.

Learning about money – financial education – is a very important factor in getting economic freedom for those who’ve been disadvantaged. Financial education should be available to people in the lowest tiers of society. And if anything, there shouldn’t even be any tiers to society. When everyone is knowledgeable about money, they are empowered to make decisions and develop habits that will eventually lead to their wealth.

Wealth and income are not the same thing. You can have a high income, but if you consume 100% of it month after month, you aren’t getting wealthier. A case in point is shows like “How I blew it”, they show that even if you strike a jackpot, you probably aren’t much better off than you were if you don’t know how to manage that jackpot.

That’s part of why financial education and financial literacy are important. To help with educating all communities about money and the financial system, Afrika Kesho is developing a course based on an original concept we created called the Personal Finance Framework. Please let us know if you’d be interested in a course like this, and what else you’d like us to teach you by filling in this survey:

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