When Esther from Centonomy Campus Edition asked if I could be the alumni geust speaker for the Season 26 Campus Edition graduation in November 2019, I was more than happy to oblige. See, a little more than 7 months before, I was a graduand of the same program myself, and the financial knowledge I had gained from it had and continues to be very essential to how I approach my financial matters.
Thing is, after working for more than two years after my graduation, the annual monetary math for what came in, what went out, and what remained in form of investments and savings, did not add up. Therefore, I decided to take matter into my own hands, and know more about my money. Watching Caroline Mutoko’s Youtube videos on Centonomy, gave me the impression that Centonomy was the right place to learn (she is doing her job well!) and it was one of my 2019 goals.
So when a partial scholarship from Centonomy for the Season 23 Campus Edition came my way, I took it and ran with it. The main modules of the program were well delivered by the tutors/teachers and they helped me
- Understand what wealth creation is and how to create a budget/spending plan
- Understand how debt works
- Know where to Invest and Increase my Investment Returns
- Understand how to see business opportunities
- Career Plan for financial growth
- Market my business and build a brand
- Network, learn from and meet others on the entrepreneurial journey
Fast forward to when I gave the talk, and shared my experience. While preparing for the talk, I realized that the following lessons had really stuck with me and changed my approach to finances.
- The entrepreneurship class – in this lesson, I learned that I have resources around me such as my laptop, camera and time, which are non-financial assets which I can use to improve my financial standing. For that reason, in the last 9 months I have written for This is Essential, WomenEng, khusoko, and also used my blog to leverage career opportunities. In addition to that, I decided to use my time and data wisely, and invested in an online class which has enabled me to become very proficient in using Microsoft project for work and my career.
- The loan and compound interest class – this lesson was an eye opener, on why I should not let simple investment opportunities such as M-Akiba float by me, and the importance of saving. An even more interesting thing is that two months ago, a family member discovered an account which had been accruing interest over the last 9 years, and the amount had grown 9 times the amount it was last year. We were just discussing how it is important to sign up for simple benefits such as NSSF, for which your employer should match an equal amount to your monthly contribution. The amount is usually tax free, and will grow without your knowing so that by the time you access it many many years after, it will have grown leaps and bounds, even despite inflation, as opposed to say if you has spent the money to buy a TV.
- And the essential costs class. – in this lesson I learnt the importance of tracking my expenses, and since then, that is what I have done. I started with an app known as Fudget, but it did not have all the features I wanted, and as far back as august I switched to this another app Expense Manager and it has been great in tracking my expenses, and income sources, so that I get to think of my own personal money not as isolated money purchases, but as a living breathing resource that has money coming in and gong out at frequent intervals that I need to monitor. Perhaps my greatest lesson from tracking my expenses is the fact that my money habits yesterday determine how I spend money today and how much I’ll have tomorrow.
Personally, I recommend the program to all those who want to improve their financial knowledge. Because if you feed your body to grow every day, you should also feed your mind about finances, because that’s why we wake up to go work every day anyway.