So you are just like me. Young, wild and free. In the bloom of youth. No husband has stamped his logo on your heart yet, and there are yet no children to wrap themselves around your legs, displaying embarrassingly in public with cries and tantrums, making you wish they were old and married off already.
But we all know someday the story may change. No more Maybelline fit me foundation shades as a priority on the list. Instead diapers, school fees, and their ilk of expenses will be the main components of your monthly and by extension, annual budget.
So in the meantime, how do you manage your finances in preparation for the future?
Do not rely on someone else, like a boyfriend or “Sugar Daddy” (yes, we all know they exist) for your financial security. They may or may not be there for you forever, but at least you know that you will always be there for you.
Get a job, a career and try to make your own money. Also be open minded about educating yourself on how to manage and invest your money. After all, it’s your money. Trust me, you will rather keep a keen eye on it, than have someone do that for you.
There are too many I-trusted-my-money-with-someone stories gone bad and you do not want to be next on that tall list.Like all others, your financial discipline depends on your mental strength. Click To Tweet
A budget is simple; it helps you to know how much you have earned versus how much you are spending. Above all, you need to know what you spend most of your money on. It’s as simple as putting down all your figures on that notepad, or downloading Fast Budget or AndroMoney on Google Play Store.
Either way, you will know if most of your money is invested in the Friday and Saturday night outings with the girls, or if you are spending more on make-up than you absolutely need to.
After such a “divine revelation”, you will know which activities to cut down on and if you need get an alternative yet cheaper means of transport to work.
Think long term about how you want your financial future to look. One too many Whatsapp chain messages have accused the average African of prioritizing consumption over savings and it is time to prove the outside world wrong.
It starts with a mindset change, and for us at SLA, it starts with the woman’s renewed mindset. Unfortunately, statistics has also not been kind to our gender. Per a recent study by mutual fund company, Vanguard, men have 50 percent more money saved for their retirement than women do.
Even after earning less, it appears women cannot resist the urge to splurge. so let us prove them wrong. Although this is not necessarily a battle of the sexes, small acts of saving play the most significant role in determining if you can live your desired lifestyle.
Let us determine to put a percentage of the salary down, untouched. So walk to that bank, open up a savings account and place a monthly standing order on your current account. Or?
“Money, like emotions, is something you must control to keep your life on the right track.”
― Natasha Munson
First save, next invest
Saving is not enough. It is woefully inadequate. That money cannot just be there breathing. Do your own research on acquiring financial assets; will it be a Treasury bill, a fixed deposit or mutual funds?Let the money make money for you. Click To Tweet
It could even double as your emergency fund for that rainy day. There is a lot of information out there for avenues to invest. This is a great place to start. Better still, you can talk to a qualified investment officer about the options for investing.
Learn from your money mistakes. Do not let them sentence you to a life of financial misery.
“All the blood rushed from her head to her eyes when she saw that red dress, and in a split second of not weighing the odds, she pulled out her purse, counted that thick wad of stash, and exchanged it for a dress which she will later find out to be one size smaller.”
Can you relate? (Yes. That was a hushed whisper, but I heard you.)
We simply learn from our past mistakes, and the next time our friend above will think twice about wanting that dress, and purchasing it. She now has the present and future to correct that slip-up. The same should be for you.
So what if you are an impulse buyer? Seek counsel. Read a book to help you snap out of it. What if you are the contemporary African female Santa? Learn to control your philanthropic escapades. Examine your spending streak, look at your money mistakes and put measures in place so you do not repeat them.
So renew that mind and let us get to the promised land. Similarly, the hackneyed quote says; “if you can dream it, you can achieve it.” Here’s a toast to all the money you will be saving and investing for the future.
May you be disciplined to manage your finances now!
May interest rates be high so that you earn more when you save and invest!!
And above all, may you enjoy spending it!!!