Why financial literacy is your best investment

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By David Onjili

The failure of our current education system has been discussed in many forums. Yet, I find there is an angle to it that few have considered: taxation and, with it, adding streams of income that create financial independence. It is common knowledge that parents will sell an arm and leg to finance their children’s education, the reason being that good education translates into employability and thus a good salary, which, in turn, translates into a comfortable life.

The error in this thinking is that we view our jobs – and subsequently salaries – as assets. But, if you analyse your job through the lens of taxation, you quickly realise that most of your hard work goes into supporting government.

Meanwhile, financial independence involves having money work for one, not the other way around. Financial wisdom lies in the ability to add assets first then using the money from the assets to make a life.

What do you do?

Consequently, education should be about expanding the brains of students to identify and solve specific needs.

Similarly, the ability to seek out good financial education can help you against the rat race that is working longer hours for a pay rise only to be met by higher taxes. Financial education is so key that it should be mandatory in our school curriculum, because it is the difference between one and financial independence.

The challenge for him is to sell more, depending on aggressiveness and knowledge of various market needs, to multiply his earnings.

This is not imaginary financial knowledge.

Erick Kimani who works as an accounts clerk with a transport company in Industrial area has made it work for him. Working with income bands as structured in the Finance Act 2017, from a gross pay of Sh50,000, he earns a net salary of Sh41,000. Starting with an initial capital of Sh10,000, he employed someone to sell him snacks every evening, which bring in Sh2,500 daily, totalling to Sh75,000 monthly.

After overheads, he pockets at least Sh45,000 without breaking a sweat – more than the Sh41,000 net income he gets from his day job.

While his salaried job gives him security, his side hustle gives him even higher income and Eric is now planning to open a boutique for his wife of 3 years.

This is what a good financial education must bequeath us: the ability to create income streams, use the available income to purchase more assets and then you can later go for the liabilities – delayed gratification.

There can be no substitute for financial knowledge. (

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