Money management tips and personal finance
- Cate Morris | April 05, 2020
Mazaska. Soniyaw. Zhooniyaa. These Indigenous words all translate to mean the same thing – money.
And although money as it is today wasn’t initially part of our traditional existence, it is a staple in today’s times. Everything in our daily living calls for it, from basic needs like shelter and sustenance to our more traditional needs like travelling to visit an elder or attend ceremony. Yet many of our people struggle with managing money, perhaps because it’s relatively new to us, so we don’t know what we need to know. Perhaps individual over communal accumulation is a different world view than our own. And perhaps because money has developed a negative reputation. Greed, jealousy, shame, even ‘evil’, are thoughts that arise when money is the topic. Regardless of the reasons, what we don’t know about money is hurting us, with many of our people locked in financial struggles.
Speaking to its origin, money is an inanimate object, a conceptual (and sometimes virtual) tool. It serves a purpose when defined and used correctly. So, let me offer up this definition: money, in essence, is simply a man-made tool created to simplify many of life’s transactions. And although there are contentious issues surrounding improper usage, responsibility lies with those involved. Similar to how one might raise a puppy into a dog, it’s in the intent and actions of the handler. In truth, when money is understood and used properly, it can assist with making life simpler and securing healthier existences.
Because money is the chosen unit of exchange nowadays, understanding it is a vital life skill that our people must learn. Students need to know how to manage their money so it doesn’t become an issue while pursuing their post-secondary dreams. Our workforce must learn what their income can help them to achieve. Families should feel confident in deciding how they save and spend for their best interests. Elders should understand pensions and benefits to secure safe and sustainable retirements.
Money management skills are especially important for the women, the life givers, in our communities because they statistically have lower earnings but often carry more responsibilities for longer periods of time. From young hopefuls just starting out, to mothers holding it down on their own, to beautiful matriarchs nearing or in retirement, money management skills are essential life skills. Even those who have spouses or life partners need to know how money flows in and out of their households to secure their well-being in case of partner loss or separation. Survival often requires managing limited resources with many competing needs. Understanding money will help.
For overall well-being, good money management skills help with making informed decisions and choosing best actions. In time, this can lead to breaking free from cyclical and generational poverty. If you’d like to learn more, watch for this column in future editions of Eagle Feather News. Money management tips, personal finance information and maybe even some reader Q & A will be shared. Until then, pidamaya and peace! #MoneyScout4U