I followed a conversation on Instagram about a 21 year old who has a new job that pays her around 100.000 Kenyan shillings which is approximately 3 million Ugandan shillings (the irony is I am 21 and I wished for my starting salary to be 800.000 but after seeing multiple people who are my age earning twice or thrice as much as I had wished for, I need to sharpen my bargaining skills and networking.) Anyway, her parents want her / him to invest her first salary in farming, they get to buy a cow like the rest of the family. Although, the 21 year old feels like its invasive and she wants to move out. The replies got me thinking, is the 21 year old rushing or are her parents actually pushy.
Reply 1: Stay Home! Invest your rent money. I think that this is a smart move. At 21, we are- I wouldn’t exactly say that or call it being in a rush but we crave space because we all know that it’s easier to love our families at a distance. What I would say about this is set goals, financial goals. Research about cows, the medication, feeds, diseases, the outcomes, products, profits. Anything and everything about cows. And is it the only animal you can invest in. most times we forget to look into the ongoing expenses, we focus on acquiring the assets but who is going to be responsible for taking care of this asset. You aren’t going to be home forever, make a plan, and say at 24 I’ll move out with my profits.
Reply 2: DO BOTH, BUY THE COW AND MOVE OUT! This is a tricky one. Farming requires one to be present. Every evening after work you head home and check on your asset and how it’s doing. Furthermore, moving out is another huge decision honestly the bills, furnishing your house or place is damn expensive. Also one thing at a time, we want to do a lot without a proper planning. One step at a time, and maybe just maybe you’ll get there.
Reply 3: Buy the damn cow! Do stuff for your parents. You don’t have to like it but just do it for them. HELL NO (that’s for me anyway), I think it isn’t fair to ride on everything your parents ask you to do. I cannot stress it enough on how unfair it is for adults to want to ‘control’ every single detail in younger people’s lives. If they ‘wish’ us well as they say then their approach is not exactly great. What is wrong with sitting down with your young adult, talk to them, and guide them other than imposing ideas. Adults forget that we might not know much but neither do they. Not every 21 year old is naive today whether it’s through experience or none, today’s 17 year old isn’t exactly blank as a 17 year old of 1986. The talking also matters, being suggestive and less cynical is way better but mostly listen, pay attention. It’s one way to learn from them and for them to learn from you.
Reply 4: Never tell anyone how much you make. I AGREE. NO FURTHER COMMENTS.
Reply 5: only invest in what you understand and generally interested in. Farming is good but its serious commitment. You cannot do farming remotely. Besides its hard finding honest labor even with family. If I had a coin for every time that I have listened to stories about family as labor or bosses I’d be rich. The dynamics change when one involves money and a different space which is work. Who handles the money, and now that you have your own cow whose boss, you or your family? What if you get back from work, there’s meat on the table and just because your cow was sick, they decided to have it for dinner. Is it the truth or is it a lie? Or your family decided that since you weren’t around, they sell it off etc. Are you even good at taking orders?
Reply 6: parents plan your money when they realize you have no direction. A lot of parents do this a lot. And my answer or look at this is the same, “TALK, LISTEN AND GUIDE THESE YOUNG ADULTS” These are their lives too.
Here’s what I learnt from that conversation. “There is nothing wrong about doing your due diligence when it comes to ‘your money’. Parents aren’t angels.” – Just_Ivy_ (Instagram). Start an honest and open conversation about your money and life. It is important to set boundaries with your family as you start earning. There’s no easy way to say no but rather verbalize it. Talk about other possible investments. Truth be told, once you establish your ground and space, we all know parents feel offended ( I do not know why but it happens ) to a point where they start telling other family members or even their attitude towards you changes, others might even cut you off. You are on your own, you have to prove that you can handle it. Talk to experts, read books about financial literacy, draw a financial plan. I will not lie to you, I don’t know if it gets better, so focus on the present.