Without financial dignity there can be no freedom.

Other people may not quite get why we do what we do. After all “students are already in so much debt, why bother”.

But we know that nothing can be more empowering than giving students a feeling of control over their finance. If embedded within their education, nothing will give students the firepower they need, to design their future, more than being able to deploy their assets in a way which will give them the greatest boost.

What better way to demonstrate this, and really dig it into the student psyche, then during money week? A week, in which financial literacy comes to the fore and we can celebrate control and financial empowerment rather than dwell on the destructiveness of debt. It’s why we are so excited about next week – National Student Money Week 2017 – and the theme of Waste Not Want Not.

It got me thinking about the famous psychologist, Abraham Maslow. In 1943 he stated that human motivation is based on people seeking fulfilment and change through personal growth. He did this by clearly defining our needs in a hierarchy, a pyramid. At the bottom of the pyramid are our base needs, our physiological needs – those things without which we cannot survive for very long (food, water).

At the top of the pyramid are the more esoteric ideas of esteem (the desire to be accepted) and self-actualisation (the need to become what we feel we must become).

As we satisfy each level we begin to seek the level above. It is human nature.

More intriguing is the idea that those who feel they are not getting what they need at any one level will regress, that is go down, to the level of the pyramid they find to be easier to achieve and will park their life there. So it you aren’t climbing up, you are falling down.

If you feel you aren’t able to aspire, you will seek satisfaction in base needs. So the accumulation of “stuff”, the unstoppable spiral of spending, and the unrelenting pressure to purchase merely numb us from seeking our true potential. Or excuse us from its pursuit. The mirror of that is that if we don’t have the lower levels satisfied, if we don’t have access to adequate supplies of food, water and shelter we can not hope to reach our potential.

Without financial dignity there can be no financial freedom.

Without satisfying our base needs we are unable to pursue our dreams and potential, and without pursuing our dreams and potential our base needs become merely animalistic.

Waste not want not is the perfect excuse for highlighting this!

By not wasting our resources at the bottom of the pyramid – by focussing on creation and not consumption, on repairing not rebuying – we are able to dedicate our immense mental power, creativity, innovation and creativity on the more satisfying pursuits of becoming who we are destined to become.

Reducing waste, as the proverb suggests, means we will never be in need which frees us from worrying about how to put food on the table, or keep the heating on.

Vivi Friedgut

Founder & CEO

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