Today I saw a post on social media of someone sharing how they had been ill-treated at an establishment because they couldn’t meet the terms of something they wanted. More like you can’t afford it here go elsewhere. The comments got me reflecting on the different scenarios I have observed over the years concerning change and how people handle it. Most of us are not good at change, we will not accept that things have changed and therefore we have to change too. We look at change as shame but I think it is fine not to afford certain things. We can always work on affording but there shouldn’t be shame in not affording something at a given point.
The COVID 19 virus has overturned everything disrupting life as we knew it leaving many people out of jobs and business. The people who will come out of this are those who accept the change and look for a way out, rather than those who choose to live in denial.
When you lose a job and a business on which you depended, you can’t just go on like nothing changed. Logically you have to learn to live without certain things and find new ways of doing things until you are back on your feet.
Like in my previous blog, COVID 19 showed me how important an emergency fund and saving generally is. Nothing is guaranteed as we have observed in the past year. Reflecting on my interactions with money, had I done some things better or differently I would be in a better financial place today. I am not here to pour out my frustration but to share a few lessons that come to mind from my experiences and my search for financial knowledge.
- Don’t spend future money.
Don’t spend your salary or expected money in advance by taking things to pay for when the money comes, this will trick you into living beyond your means and you risk not saving. Advance means you have lived on two months’ pay in one month. You will always be indebted.
2. Don’t plan on money promised.
Don’t make plans premised on promised money because anything can happen even if it is your money one promised to pay back. First get the money then spend it accordingly. In case one doesn’t keep their promise you will be devastated and disorganized.
3. Don’t lend what you aren’t willing to lose.
Lend only what you are willing to lose unless you are doing it for business. Otherwise if one fails to pay (which is a possibility) the relationship will be broken, but you will be set back by the amount you have lost.
4. Don’t spend to please others/social media pressure.
Keeping up with the Jones will only hurt you. People are busy and they don’t care about your life. In any case they have theirs to deal with.
5. Don’t get caught up in sales and impulsive buying.
Don’t buy things based on feelings and because someone has said it is on sale. Buy what you need and in a planned way. Even the sales should be on your plan.
6. Assign your money-have a plan.
One financial enthusiast says ‘idle money is bored money and bored money is gone money’- which is true. If your money isn’t doing anything you will always have idle money which will go into anything that comes up. Save with goals in mind.
7. Beware of and learn how to deal with black tax.
Most of us are a result of extended family/community effort and we are grateful for everything. Help relatives and friends but have it in plan before you end up frustrated and bitter.Otherwise as long as you keep giving, we (us your people) shall keep taking even when we don’t have to.
8. Every earning is important- don’t wait for big money.
When you wait for big sums of money while you squander the coins will leave you bankrupt. Big money comes from small money, heard of one by one making a bundle? Most of us don’t do what we have planned because we think one day big money will land on our laps and we do big things. It will be quite a wait.
9. Live below your means.
Can’t be emphasized enough! Some of us don’t save at all because we think we earn little. We are just living a life we can’t afford. It is good to know ones lane and stay in it as you work on changing it. On every earning pay yourself first, meaning take out a percentage (minimum recommendation is 10%) and save it before you pay bills and spend on other things. When you have taken off what you have to you will find a way of living on the balance.
10. Be willing to change.
Don’t let your head be stuck in the clouds. When things change you ought to change too. Beware of your environment.