Monday evening I was a guest at a meeting of the Machchangolhi Women’s Committee members and their friends who chose to attend an evening get together of the group. The meeting was introduced by Rabiya from the Ward Office, and it was also attended by the Secretary of the Women Entrepreneur Council who invited me to the meeting. This was one in a series of meeting that have been organized bythe Ward Women’s Committee.
As guest speaker, I had the opportunity to share some of my experiences and arguments with the group. We deliberated on and discussed the role of money and how it impacts our life and some of the best practises for using money in a meanigful way.
In our discussions, I noticed something very interesting. We had got into three groups for the discussions and what came out of all the three was almost identical. Poeple in the groups wanted three things from the money they get: (i) fend for their basic needs (ii) save some for a gloomy day and (iii) help those in need. What a wish list! But that is really true! That is how big our hearts are. Ofcourse, we went on to do a reality check and to focus on the challenges that exist before us and how to best manage”what we have”.
What was also one of the key learning points from the experience is our belief that God is indeed our partner in wealth creation. We have to set aside God’s share of the wealth and then use the rest for our needs, while keeping some away for a rainy day.
One useful hands on experience shared by a mother of few children is the day when she took her kids to a fair. She said that the kids were told how much they have for “spending money” and the children went around shopping themselves. They made a list of the things they wanted and their prices as they went around and finally set down to make a “buying list” which was good for all at the end of the day. The children decided what to buy and they made their own decisions. The mother went home happy unlike before when she had to tell the children that something they wanted was expensive and the children feeling bad about it.
As all the stories and the discussions came to a close, the group agreed that it was not cutting down costs that was important, but how we spend the wealth we have – however little or abundant. And we also agreed that the best way to do that was to keep a log of expenses and to review it with the whole family.
Each of us leant something before we walked out of the door after the one and a half hour session. All of us left the room with a commitment to keep a log of our daily expenses!