Do you know that it isn’t the amount of money you earn rather your financial discipline? In these seven finance lessons, an ex-banker narrates how his driver who earns less than N40,000 per month built a house while he couldn’t buy a plot of land.
This is a true-life story! In the later part of this story, we’d share with you 20 finance quotes of all time
In a real-life story shared on Twitter on July 22, 2020, a finance and leadership enthusiast, and career coach Mr Bayo Adeyinka has revealed how his driver taught him a financial lesson a few years ago.
In a story entitled, “Personal Finance: Lessons My Driver Taught Me” Engineer turned banker narrated how his driver was able to build a house with his N40, 000 monthly salary, while he was unable to achieve the same feat despite earning multiple of what the driver was earning.
His story is a true reflection of what Benjamin Franklin said years back:
“Money never made a man happy yet, nor will it. The more a man has, the more he wants. Instead of filling a vacuum, it makes one”.
Tweeting @greaterbayo, Bayo Adeyinka writes:
Mr Lawal was one of the pool drivers in the bank I worked for circa 2005. He was humble to a fault and always called every one, ‘Oga mi’ (my boss).
He was a widower and had 3 grown-up children. On a certain day, I was on a sales call and Lawal was on the wheels.
Like I used to do at that time, I sat at the ‘owner’s corner’ in the pool car. It was in Ibadan and we were on our way to Akobo- Ojurin.
Lawal normally minds his business as he leaves you to your thoughts, but on that day, as he drove past a particular junction, he pointed at a house down the road, cleared his throat and said, ‘Oga mi, that’s my house down the street’.
‘Your house?’, I asked. He replied in the affirmative. I thought I didn’t hear correctly. ‘Rented or owned?’, I asked again. Lawal smiled. He replied with a tinge of confidence in his voice that the house belongs to him. He added ‘By the grace of God’. I couldn’t believe it.
I looked closely at Lawal. His salary at that time was not up to N40,000 monthly. How could he have built a house on that salary? How did he raise 3 children on that salary? I entered into a mournful mood. I started considering my financial status.
I earned multiples of what Lawal earned but I didn’t even own a plot of land at that time. That was one of the longest rides of my life. I realized that though I didn’t consider Lawal literate, he was by far more financially literate than I was.
I also learnt that you can earn a million monthly and be poor while another can earn a hundred thousand naira monthly and still be better off.
The next morning when I got to the office, Lawal stooped and greeted me in his usual manner, ‘Good morning, Oga mi’. I looked at him and told him matter-of-factly, ‘Mr Lawal, you are my Oga’. Yes, he was the real boss.
There were things he knew about personal finance that I needed to know. From that day, I decided to pay more attention to him. I studied his habits. I observed his actions, and I drew so many lessons from him that helped me to reconsider my approach to personal finance, but I had to make a commitment to a particular personal change.
I stopped sitting at the ‘owner’s corner’ and started sitting on the passenger’s side in front when I’m being chauffeured. Till today, I don’t sit at the ‘owner’s corner’. Lawal humbled me.
Mr Lawal taught me that money is a limited resource. In other words, one can never have enough to meet all of one’s needs. That’s why the rich want more money. The poor think that if they can just have N1m, all their problems will be solved, but it’s not true.
I learnt from him that money can flow towards a direction or flow away from a direction. There are certain things you do that makes money flow to you or flow away from you.
I observed that Mr Lawal was a compulsive saver. If you give him a tip, he would thank you profusely and keep it. If you want to buy him lunch, he would prefer it is monetized and he would save the money. Throughout all our years of working together, I never saw Mr Lawal eat out.
He always brought food from home. It was cheaper for him and helped him save money. It was then I realized that it is not how much you make but how much you keep that determines your financial future.
The true measure of how well you’re doing is not how much you earn but how much you keep. Mr Lawal lived a simple life.
His first daughter at that time was in a College of Education and he paid for her education. Abstaining from what wasn’t necessarily helped him to keep a grip on his finances. He was able to differentiate between a want and a need.
He had a car that he drove to the office in the morning. He carried passengers on the way who pay transport fare which he used to fuel the vehicle. He couldn’t comprehend burning fuel to work while your pocket was empty.
The car was parked during office hours and after he closed at 6pm, he transmuted to a taxi driver until late in the night. He understood that to earn more money, one must diversify one’s income channels or make your money make more money for you. He turned his car into an asset.
Mr Lawal was not a waster. You will never catch him with the air conditioner of the car running when he’s the only one in the car. He knew the universe has a way of punishing wasters as no wasteful person will become rich.
It doesn’t matter what you waste – time, electricity, water, food, talent, idea. It doesn’t matter whose property you waste – your employer’s, the public or yours – the punishment is still the same. Little expenses add up to much and so they matter.
Advising Nigerians on how to manage personal finance, the former banker gives seven tips on how you can manage personal finance
7 Tips On How To Manage Personal Finance:
- Set your priorities right
- Have a budget
- Promptly settle your bills
- Avoid debts except absolutely necessary
- Invest your savings
- Protect your assets and investments (through insurance)
- Plan for retirement.
That ride with Mr Lawal was a life-defining moment for me. He was my inspiration for buying a plot of land and building shortly after. I kept on thinking, ‘If Mr Lawal on a salary of less than N40,000 can do this, I can also’.
This is a true-life story and shows how great things can be achieved through the instruments of Vision, Focus, Dedication And Perseverance.
20 Finance Quotes of All Time
Gandhi: “Capital as such is not evil; it is its wrong use that is evil. Capital in some form or other will always be needed.”
Jonathan Swift: “A wise person should have money in their head, but not in their heart.”
Benjamin Franklin: “Money never made a man happy yet, nor will it. The more a man has, the more he wants. Instead of filling a vacuum, it makes one.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: “Many people take no care of their money till they come nearly to the end of it, and others do just the same with their time.
Robert Kiyosaki: “It’s not how much money you make, but how much money you keep, how hard it works for you, and how many generations you keep it for.”
Eleanor Roosevelt: “He who loses money, loses much; He who loses a friend, loses much more; He who loses faith, loses all.”
Paul Samuelson: “Investing should be more like watching paint dry or watching grass grow. If you want excitement, take $800 and go to Las Vegas.”
Benjamin Franklin: “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”
Jim Rohn: “Time is more value than money. You can get more money, but you cannot get more time.”
Anonymous: “The person who doesn’t know where his next dollar is coming from usually doesn’t know where his last dollar went.”
Sydney Madwed: “Poor is the man who does not know his own intrinsic worth and tends to measure everything by relative value. A man of financial wealth who values himself by his financial net worth is poorer than a poor man who values himself by his intrinsic self worth.”
Warren Buffett: “I will tell you the secret to getting rich on Wall Street. You try to be greedy when others are fearful. And you try to be fearful when others are greedy.”
Frank A. Clark: “Many folks think they aren’t good at earning money, when what they don’t know is how to use it.”
Winston Churchill: “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”
Charles Caleb Colton: “Wealth, after all, is a relative thing since he that has little and wants less is richer than he that has much and wants more.”
Albert Einstein: Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.”
Vince Lombardi: It is time for us to stand and cheer for the doer, the achiever, the one who recognizes the challenge and does something about it.”
Zig Ziglar: “It’s not the situation, but whether we react (negative) or respond (positive) to the situation that’s important.”
William A. Ward: “Before you speak, listen. Before you write, think. Before you spend, earn. Before you invest, investigate. Before you criticize, wait. Before you pray, forgive. Before you quit, try. Before you retire, save. Before you die, give.”
Ben Franklin: “If you would be wealthy, think of saving as well as getting.”