Without mathematics, there’s nothing you can do. Everything around you is mathematics. Everything around you is numbers. - Shakuntala Devi
Have you ever wondered why maths is so important in our Nigerian schools?
Well, I'm sure you know that the educational system in Nigeria makes Maths a compulsory subject from the primary to the secondary level of education. In short, if you do not have at least a credit in WAEC, GCE, or NECO, admission into a Nigerian university will be practically impossible unless you resit and pass Maths.
Mathematics is very important in our everyday life. It is a universal language and this is why is taught so early in every child's life.
Learning maths will give you an advantage in managing your finances and a better understanding of your money. Maths is more than essential when it comes to your money, as it helps you avoid overspending and having to ask to borrow money.
I know there are two types of people when it comes to the subject of mathematics: The ones who like it and the ones who do not like it.
However, it is safe to say that the maths you will need for managing your money is not complex, but the basic math skills you learn early in school, such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, decimals, and percentages. When you understand these math processes, you can start using them to help you manage your money.
So, let’s find out how good knowledge of maths can help you understand money and improve your budgeting skills!
The only way to learn mathematics is to do mathematics. - Paul Halmos
Link Between Mathematics And Money
Managing your budget, saving money, and requesting a loan is all to do with maths. Whether it’s at school, in sport at work, your business or your day-to-day life, maths is everywhere!
Financial mathematics mainly includes the basic concepts and methods of mathematics which is usually applied by all industries. With each aspect, there are estimations and allowances to make, tax to calculate, interest to add, the list goes on! This is exactly why a good command of maths is useful for finance.
For every time you use the principle of adding, subtracting, multiplying, dividing for absolutely anything, you just applied mathematics.
For every headcount done in an environment, that also is mathematics. If you go to the market to buy something, the exchange of a product for the money, to receive a change or not is mathematics. Now you see why we said mathematics is everywhere. Whether you are aware of it or not, you simply cannot do without it.
We all know that banking refers to managing money, which then essentially makes us all “bankers” in our own lives. We must devise a responsible budget to ensure that our needs are met without overspending.
Math can help balance your budget because you will have a good understanding of how to make sure that your costs are less than the money you have.
People who know math are less likely to go into debt because they know how much money they have, how much money they will make, versus how much money they have spent and are having to spend. You need the knowledge of mathematics to make accurate future forecasts and predictions in managing your finances.
Can you imagine going to the bank and not having any idea what you need to do or how to manage your finances? This will cause a huge disaster in your life, and you will be bankrupt before you know it. You can do mathematics without money but you cannot use money without understanding basic mathematics. If you spend money, you need maths.
Learning How Maths Can Boost Your Understanding
Mathematics affects the financial decisions that we make every day.
This world we live in is interconnected. The earlier maths is understood the more likely we will remain an innovative society and economy. Math is very useful and can help us do many things that are important in our daily lives.
From money management to cooking a meal (with all the measurements involved), to planning the cost of your next business or pleasure trip, to understanding investments and loans etc. All these are more are what the application of mathematics can help you understand.
We start to develop our maths skills from an incredibly young age, and the basic knowledge of numbers and values gives children the tools to go further and learn more, from calculations to geometry. This starts from infancy, where babies can recognise differences in value.
- From 6 months, babies can tell the difference between two large collections where one is twice as big as the other
- From 9 to 12 months, their mathematical abilities improve and they can tell the difference between a collection of 8 toys and a group of 10
You don’t have to be a mathematician to have a feel for numbers.
— John Forbes Nash, Jr., American mathematician
The basic knowledge of maths gives us the tools to tell the difference between a ₦100 note and a ₦000 note as well as eventually manage the money in our pockets, wallets and bank accounts.
So how does the application of arithmetics help with our understanding?
Addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. These are the basic skills that come under the title of ‘arithmetic’, and the ones you will use most once you leave the four walls of a school and start a life outside your educational background.
Maths is more than essential when it comes to your money, as it helps you avoid overspending and having to ask to borrow money. It would help you to know where you are with your money each month by making a budget.
Budgeting is the use of planning to ensure that you live within your means and don’t spend more than you can afford. To do this, you should work out how much money you need for your rent, transportation, feeding, vacations, holiday spending money, and how much you need for clothing, amongst other things that are part of your routines.
Can Maths Help Gambling Addicts?
A research called Cognitive Deconstructional Therapy done by some researchers at Sydney University's Gambling Treatment Clinic has been able to reduce their clients' gambling by 80 to 90 per cent by lifting the lid on how the gambling industry works.
This research works by teaching gamblers about mathematical concepts such as probability and randomness. This program was developed by Dr Fadi Anjoul, who found that previous approaches that treated gambling as an addiction had limited success.
The whole idea of the research is to teach their clients in poker for example that the gambling machines are completely random and that chasing your losses is ultimately futile:
Yes, it is the case that if you play a machine long enough you will eventually find yourself with a fairly big win," he said.
"What's missing from that whole proposition is, how long did it take you to get there? What was the cost?
"What you'll realise is that across your lifetime, your losses far exceed anything you could make in a discrete period."
Once people understand the mathematics of gambling and the cost it takes to win (that's if you win), the urge to gamble either will stop or people will start gambling right down to a level they want to be doing. So yes, mathematics can help with gambling.
Maths vs State of Mind
It is important to note that if your understanding of mathematics is good and your state of mind is not right, you can still mismanage your finances. That knowing one plus one is two or one minus one is zero does not automatically mean you will be good at spending money. A lot of decisions we make has to do with our state of mind.
You may be brilliant in your maths lessons, however, if you act impulsively, you risk harming the health of your finances. Impulsivity is a psychological issue. If you don’t know the need or know why you are buying something, then there is a problem.
Even the best maths student or maths teacher can have money issues. If at the end of each month, you are struggling financially even when you can use maths to understand your spending habits, then there is a problem.
You need to start tackling this issue by first taking ownership of your actions and establishing self-control when it comes to your spending. Once you have self-control and can spend your money on necessities and save what you can, then you will be able to manage your finances with math.
Now you must have understood why a good state of mind and spending habit is a great way to start applying your maths skills to better manage your money.
In summary, remember that having a budget, using the budget, tracking your spending. saving a percentage of your money, limiting unnecessary purchases and having a good understanding of basic mathematical principles are simple ways you can manage your money better.
If you need a maths tutor to teach you basic mathematical principles or you need help to improve your maths skills, then check out the various maths tutors on Supeprof Nigeria. Regardless of your location or budget, you will always have one that is right for you on our tutoring platform.
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