Concept of Family Resource Management and its Importance

 By the end of this chapter, the student should be able to:

·         Explain the term resources.

·         Classify resources available to individuals and families.

·         Describe the characteristics of resources and how they are related to personal management.


Resources are those things which families can use to meet their needs and reach their goals. OR things that can be used to meet goals.

Resources are assets. Assets are tools, talents and possessions which people use to achieve their goals or solve everyday problems in life e.g. water, air, land, energy, time, knowledge, skills, and equipment. 


·       Resources are tools, capabilities and assets which individuals possess and which are used to obtain what they need.  

·         Resources available to individuals and families vary in kind, quantity and quality. The particular mix of resources determines the quality of life for individuals and families.

·         Resources may be used immediately or stored for future use.

·         Resources are considered as such only when they are recognized and are available to families and individuals.


Classification of Resources

Resources can be classified into human and non-human.

Human Resources

Human resources are all the special means and qualities that you possess. They are human/personal characteristics that individuals possess and can be used to achieve goals e.g., knowledge, skills, mental health, energy, time, creativity, interest, etc.

Non-Human or Material Resources Non-human or material resources are material possessions that people have and can be used to achieve goals e.g., money, equipment, furniture, time, houses/space, farm, etc.

Material Resources

Community Resources

Community resources are the facilities in the community which individuals and families need but cannot provide themselves. They are publicly shared resources that citizens develop for themselves or are provided by the governments. e.g., schools, libraries, banks, roads, water supply, hospitals, parks, electricity, markets, etc.


Characteristics of Resources All resources:

(i) Are limited or scarce: Not readily   available all the time and thus may vary in quantity and quality.

(ii) Could be managed: Resources could be managed judiciously to improve the quality of life of the individual and the family as a whole.

(iii) Have alternate uses/can be substituted. Resources have alternative uses or can be interchanged to achieve a goal. E.g., if I do not have time to wash, I can pay someone to wash for me. In paying for the washing, I have substituted my time for money.

(iv) Can be exchanged: That is one resource substituted for another.

(v) Can be developed: Resources can be developed. Human knowledge or skill, the more you use it the more you develop it. 

(vi) Can be transferred: Resources can be transported or moved from one place to another.

(vii) Can be saved: Resources can be saved (money) pending when it's needed.


Importance Of Resources in Meeting Family Needs

i. Human resources identify, exploit and have control over the other resources. Human beings because of their intelligence can control other resources for maximum benefit.

ii. Development is only possible through the contribution of individuals who are healthy and educated. They develop the framework and technology for the development of the family and the country as a whole.

iii. Human resources provide labor which is necessary for the economic growth and development of both the family and nation. They serve as a source of employment.

IV. Material resources serve as a source of fuel. E.g., Petroleum and natural gas, used for construction purposes e.g., Zinc, used to roof our homes, provides employment e.g. drillers, miners, engineers, and used to provide us with basic amenities e.g. electricity, pipe borne water, roads, telephone etc.

v. Community resources provides the family with recreational centers, markets, hospitals, etc.


Types of Resources

Resources may be tangible or intangible. They are tangible when they can be seen, touched and measured. e.g., include a house, car, television, furniture, plants, money, etc.

On the other hand, they are intangible when they cannot be seen touched and sometimes measured e.g., include air, energy, sound, interest, etc.


Factors That Influence the Management of Family Resources

·         Goals: Goals are targets you set for yourself or what you aim to accomplish for your family

·         Standards: They are what a person or family will accept as good and worthwhile

·         Needs: They are things we cannot do without. They are basic items the family must have to live.

·         Values: They are the beliefs, feelings and experiences that people consider important and desirable

·         Wants: These are things we can do without but would like to have in order to enhance the quality of life e.g., a car, a mobile phone

·         Events: These are things outside your control, they are unexpected occurrences

e.g., accident, fire outbreak, sudden illness.


Examination Questions and Suggested Solutions

1.a. Why do we need to manage our resources? (1993)

We need to manage our resources effectively and efficiently because resources are scarce and limited.

b. List eight resources that maybe available to a family and classify them under two main headings.

Human Resources



i. Skills

ii. Knowledge

iii. Intelligence

iv. Time

v. Energy

i. Money

ii. Tools

iii. Equipment

iv. Schools

v. Houses

vi. Markets

vii. Sewing machine viii. Text books etc

c. Identify three characteristics of resources and explain how each is important in management.

(i) Scarce: That is resources are not readily available all the time and must therefore be used judiciously.

(ii)Limited: Resources vary both in quantity and quality. It is important to use resources judiciously and for things that need attention.

(iii) Usefulness: It does not become a resource unless used for a particular purpose. It should be used to improve the quality of life or work.

(iv)Can be substituted: Alternative resources can be identified and used to meet goals.

(v) Interchangeable: Resources have multiple uses. Resources can be used for several things and must be used to derive maximum benefit.

2.a. What are resources? (June 2000)

Resources are tools, capabilities, talents and assets which people use to achieve their goals or solve everyday problems in life e.g., of resources include water, air, land, energy, time, knowledge, skills and equipment.

Types of Resources

(i) Community resources: Schools, libraries,  roads, water   supply hospitals, parks, banks, electricity, markets etc.

(ii) Human resources   Example, knowledge, skills, mental health, energy, time,     interest,           creativity, friends, families, attitude, etc.

(iii) Material resources Example, money, equipment, furniture houses / space, farm, nature, tools, etc.


b. Explain the differences between the three kinds of resources you mentioned in a (ii) above.

Human resources are found in or within the human being e.g., knowledge, energy, attitude, interest whiles material resources are things found in or within the environment and they include money, tools, equipment, house, etc. and Community resources are resources that are shared by many and thus individuals’ families cannot provide themselves or facilities that are publicly owned e.g., hospitals, schools, roads, banks, markets, etc.


(c) Explain in your own words

Resources are scarce and limited

Scarce means resources are not always available, limited means resources vary in quality and quantity.


Examination Questions

l. Define the term resources.

2. i. Explain the following concepts

(a) Human resources.

(b) Non-human

(ii) Community resources

3.a. Define energy

b. Discuss one characteristics of energy as a resource.

c. Mention and explain four causes of fatigue giving an example of each. (Nov 1995)

4.a.i. What are resources?

ii. Why do we need to manage resources?

b. State four characteristics of resources and explain how each is important in management (June 2002)

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