Sabina Patangwa, Ground & Water’s finance manager, says it would be naive to believe that most people don’t dream about being rich, or at least, being financially secure. But not all of us are lucky enough to be at that stage of our lives, especially if we are just entering the world of work. The earlier we learn about money and how to manage it, the better.
Money has a huge impact on all of us and unfortunately, it does make the world go around! Learning about and understanding finance is a serious matter, as it creates the awareness needed to manage and spend money in ways that will help secure our financial future.
Financial education is all about learning these vital skills. Without it, our financial decisions and the actions we take – or don’t take – lack a solid foundation for success. And this can have serious consequences. Learning about finance includes a knowledge of budgeting. Budgeting means spending within our means and not wasting money through unnecessary expenditure or buying expensive things that we don’t really need or can ill-afford. This means understanding the difference between what we want and what we need. Budgeting also helps to prioritise our expenditure. Understanding how to save on the other hand, helps us to prepare better for lean times… redundancy, unexpected bills or another emergency. Additionally, acquiring financial knowledge will help enlighten us to invest, create income streams and help spread awareness on the importance of financial literacy to others who are in need. Moreover, it increases financial discipline and financial capability. When people know how to make sound decisions about their personal finances, their strong financial behaviour leads to financially secure lives.
Likewise, gaining and understanding how the finance works within the workplace, regardless of one’s role, helps contribute to the success to both employer and employee. Every employee within a workplace should have a full insight of the financial position of the business they are part of. Every single decision they make as part of their job, affects the financial well being of the business. Therefore, it is vital that everyone within the workplace understands, manages and contributes more effectively with financially informed decision making on a daily basis.
At Ground & Water we know how crucial it is to keep the team well informed on how the company is performing financially. The entire team is sent the weekly report that summarises the company’s financial health and thus, highlights the areas of immediate actions for improvements where and if required.
When this data was first shared with the whole team, some members did struggle to understand the financial concept behind the figures, leading to numerous requests for further explanation. As more than 85% of our team members are from non-financial backgrounds, this wasn’t a surprise. Their questions were answered individually and at team huddles, we had an open discussion on various topics within the report, so everyone was clear. A continuous professional development presentation was organised to provide a better overview of the company’s finances. It simplified complex financial matters, delivered information on our financial goals and targets and discussed how everyone must play a part in the vital task of ensuring the company’s financial health. And crucially to collectively embark on the journey together so the company can achieve its goals. This openness and transparency has proved it motivated the team with positive feedback being received. The team agreed it broadened their knowledge and understanding about how the finances work, why they needed to consider financial implications of decision making and the part everyone has to play in helping Ground & Water grow sustainably as a business.
Understanding finance on both a personal and professional level, is so important. Because money has such a profound effect on our daily lives, it is worth taking time to explore the numerous benefits of learning how to save it, make it and manage it.