There is a Yoruba saying that says,"owo ti omode ba koko ri, o ma fi je Akara ni".
It means the first money a child makes will be spent on petty things and sometimes, irrelevances. "Child" in the saying doesn't necessarily mean a toddler, the word was only used to capture what an unmatured mind would do with the money when they get it either by earning it or receiving it as a gift or reward.
I wasn't the buying type when I was younger and I am still not that, I am very disciplined when it comes to spending because I usually put a lot of things into consideration. I don't know what the situation would have been if I was from a wealthy family but the fact that I was raised with struggle always made me plan for tomorrow, I usually don't let tomorrow take care of itself.
I got used to saving even as a kid and after I was cheated severally by adults who collect thrift, I decided to get a piggy bank for myself. I usually open my Piggy bank at the end of every school section and all I usually did was hand over the money to my mom when my mates use theirs for games, bicycles, and other. I was happy giving it to her because it was the best way I could help her and she usually compensate me with a gift. I got used to that way of living and I won't hesitate to support my family. I usually work during the holidays and I earned a little money before school resumes.
When I was in SS2, phone was becoming a trend. It was the Symbian and Java era back then and I really wished to have one.
A lot of my mates had gotten a phone but I couldn't because we couldn't afford one. I always wish to have one which would mean not supporting the family and it wasn't an option for me.
I continued working as a car washer during the holidays and saving for the time mom would need help. She got a better job and didn't really need that support anymore, she noticed I didn't break the piggy bank for some time so she asked me what I needed.
I told her that I needed a phone and she told me to get it. I was reluctant at first but she encouraged me and I saved more money until I could afford the phone. I bought a second-hand LG phone back in 2009 for 12,000.
I couldn't get it until I left secondary school, it took me over a year to raise the money but I am glad I did. Before I got the phone, I do spend a lot of time at the cyber cafe but everything changed after.
Aside from the fun, I was the curious type and I learn a lot through the internet, and owning an internet-enabled phone helped a lot.
I returned to my old way of supporting the family after secondary school and it was easier since I started working. We were growing and mom's responsibility was increasing as well but while supporting her at that time, I was saving up for my higher education as well which took me another five years to accomplish. It was a long time and I almost gave up on the dream of returning to school. I didn't get to enjoy those days as my mates did but I was proud of the things I did with my money.
I have come a long way in doing a lot of things for myself and it wasn't easy even though there is this pride and high level of satisfaction that comes with me doing things myself. I remembered renting an apartment for myself far away from home many years ago and I did it with ease because I was used to doing things for myself.
A lot of time has passed between now and then, and getting to do things for myself helped me to be independent not because I have enough but because I try to manage my earnings, live on a very low budget, and expect nothing from anyone.