By Omilola Oshikoya

March is a special month for women. We celebrate Mother’s day and International Women’s day. During the month of March. we would be focusing on women building
wealth at the different life stages. If you are not a woman, you can still read and share the knowledge with your wives, daughters, mothers, sisters, friends etc. You can also apply
these principles in wealth creation.

I recently attended a seminar where one of the key speakers mentioned that there are three main categories that are forecasted to thrive and succeed in this season namely Youths,
Africans and Women. It is therefore a good time to be a Young African Woman. In order to succeed as a Young African Woman and to ‘win’ in all areas of your life, you must be in
control of your finances and build wealth. It is therefore important to understand the different stages of life i.e. the financial life cycle and how to build wealth at each stage.

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I would start from the girl child, in order to ensure that we also empower our children, sisters, students, mentees etc. This is the most important stage because if you get it right at
the stage, you are likely to be wealthy. There are different theories on the number of stages in a financial life cycle, however, for
simplicity; I have divided it into 5 phases or stages.

Stage 1: The African Girl Child
This is typically between ages 0-12. At this stage we begin to understand the value of money i.e. N200 can buy more sweets than N100. We begin to have conversations like

Kid: “Mum why can’t we buy a bicycle? Mum: “Because we do not have enough money at
the moment”. Kid: “But mum what about the money in my piggy bank, I have a lot of
money in my piggy bank”. Mum: “Honey, N500 is not enough to buy a bicycle”.

Generally, we believe that money is to be used to buy junk food and also to buy toys. At this stage we receive pocket money.

Financially intelligent parents would begin to teach their children the basics of savings via a piggy bank or a kids’ account. They would also learn the concept of earning money by
being paid for household chores as well as through mini businesses such as making and
selling lemonade or bracelets etc.

I attended a conference where Ndidi Nwuneli was one of the speakers. She shared how when she was younger her parents paid her whenever she did her house hold chores and
that is how she learnt the value of hard work and earning money.

My daughters started their first business at age 6 and 3. During their Christmas holiday, they made personalized bracelets from beads and also bracelets with virtues such as love,
faith etc and sold them to their aunties, uncles and friends. Shortly after they received an order to make personalized bracelets for a birthday party. Within two weeks they made
about N30, 000. I introduced the concept of a piggy bank and also taught them how to give as well.


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