My Mother Made Me Financially Educated Before I Became A Teen

I was reading this wonderful article by MMM and it reminded me how almost everything I know today was taught to me sublimely way before I was a teen.

Like many other kids, I received a small amount of money every month from my parents. It started with 100 Rs a month and grew to 500 Rs a month over the years. I stopped receiving this amount completely when I turned 18.

My mother encouraged me every month that I don’t spend all the money that she was giving me. She further encouraged me that if I am able to save 1000 Rs, I can give the money to her and she will give me an additional 10 Rs a month or roughly 12% gains per year.

Before I became a teenager, I was able to save up to 5000 Rs from the pocket money, Eidi and other cash gifts I received from my relatives. For handing this over to my mother, she gave me an additional 50 Rs every month in pocket money.

In hindsight, if you think about it, I wouldn’t have saved more than $100-$200 through-out my childhood. In addition, I wouldn’t have generated more than $100-$200 in compounded interest. Despite making no significant amount of money, I learnt the number 1 way of getting wealthy. I learnt how the money can do the work for you. That each dollar is an employee that works non-stop 24/7 to get you more employees every day. It’s even better than a pyramid scheme.

This, I think, is the single biggest differentiator between people who are able to get wealthy and those who do not. How much wealth you’ll accumulate over your life is never determined by how much income you make. I’ve known enough broke people in my life who make over $10,000 each month and still struggle to do well financially.

They do every thing in their power to make contributions in the form of “sweat equity” but make no progress whatsoever to make contributions in the form of “financial equity”. Sweat equity can get you a lot of income, but it’s often the financial equity that buys you the financial freedom.

I was lucky to be taught this way early in my life. It breaks my heart to meet people who make it to the top percentile as far as income is concerned, yet fail to buy themselves financial freedom. I hope I’m able to pass the same learnings to the readers of this blog as well as to my child.

Three Types of Founders & Financial Planning

I think I can categorize founders into three types when it comes to their financial management with regards to running a business.

The fist type of founders, and I think these are found in most abundance, do not really like to make projections and plan finances. They are extravagant with their expenses and while many times they are really good at generating revenue and achieving growth, they are still often seen in debt, or raising more funds, or struggling in general most months than they are not, despite the high amount of revenue. I’d say it’s a miracle if any of these founders and their companies survive in the long-term. The only reason they may is because their business model is extra ordinarily profitable and can afford a lot of money wastage.

The second type of founders like to make too much projections, and cut cost everywhere. They believe in MVPs and lean-startup models. They don’t spend money on creating features that someone may or may not use. They test everything with a small amount of people using unscalable methods to generate data. Their future scaling decisions are also data driven. They sometimes cut so much costs that they are often seen working long hours. They also struggle with hiring and team building because of their lower cost mentality.

The third type of founders are somewhere in between. They appreciate projections and financial planning. They love MVPs and lean-startup models. But they spend a large amount of money in building team, delegating tasks, and also on R&D which eventually results a lot of times in wasted features and money. But they do it because in the long-term it’s worth it.

In Pakistan, most of the founders I’ve met are the first type while I feel most founders should aspire to become the third type of founders.