By Hadassah-Esther Osimen
Did you really have to buy that? And that? And that? And that other one too? If you have answered yes about your most recent purchases or even past ones, how come you have not used them in two weeks? Something you said you would use right away? Worst still, how come you have had them in your wordrobe for the past six months, waiting for when you will use them? I once read somewhere that if you have a piece of clothing item you have not used for over six months (I’d even say, a year), you did not have to buy such in the first instance. If you have items which are rusting, disintegrating, aging and tiring out in your storage, it is terrible use of funds. So please, mind your spending.
Buy Only What You Need
Sponteneous purchasing is behind many wasteful spending. This is very common amongs women and I am sorry to say that it comes from a lack of contentment, wanting what others have, following unnecessary trends and just being a wanna-be. You don’t have to feel pressured to make a purchase because it is in trend or even looks nice when you know that you personally do not like it and won’t wear it or use it or even give it to someone. A lot of marketing campaigns appeal to emotional buyers, so when you enter the world wide web, please shield yourself. Do the same with physical shopping. Make up your mind how much you are willing to spend before you go out shopping whether online or in stores. While it is true that once in a while, you could make a sponteneous purchase, you don’t want that to be a habit at all. Save your money, only buy what you will use.
If you do have some items you have purchased, please sell them when you notice you have held them for too long and are unlikely to use them. Use ebay, jumia, etc to discard of them. Simply google your options. You could also use word of mouth to make your sales. Just don’t let these items lie around, unless you know they will never spoil; for instance, expensive clothes, wine, gold, etc. Even the latter can become obsolate, in which case you would need to melt them. TYhus, gold blocks are better.
If you make purchases that stay until they are expired, out dated or spoilt, something is seriously wrong with your mindset because you could have sold them or given them away before they expired, especially edibles. So, please, control your spending.
Organizing Your Money
There are things you will buy daily, some you will buy weekly, some monthly, yearly, etc. Please make a clear note of them in writing. This is where a proper budget comes in. I once saw a young man writing down everything he had spent money on: biscuit 10 naira, chewing gum 5 naira, transport 25 naira, etc. ‘What are you writing’, I asked, when I saw the screen of his laptop in front of me as I entered our open office.
‘my spending for the day’, he said.
‘Do you keep a tab on every penny you spend?’, I asked.
‘Yes’, he replied.
I was flabbergasted. I had never seen anything like it before.
‘My dad taught me to do so’, he finished.
‘Oh, I see’, I answered, doing everything within my will to hold down the giggle that was trying to become a roaring laughter. I did not want to offend my colleague but I was completely outstanded by the action. I did not know that people could go that far with budgetting. Well, that’s not the kind of organizing I am talking about, but, I mean, you could give it a shot if you fancy it. However, I do think it is useful for introducing kids to financial discipline. Adults will need much more than that.
Just keep a high level written account/ budget of what you need to expend on, when you need to expend on it and how much it will cost. Do not take those for granted.
Organize Your Funds
If you have multiple sources of income, it pays to also have a central point of collation e.g. accounting records, a central bank account (I don’t mean the CBN), a notebook etc. Keeping a tab of your inflow is very helpful for knowing how much money you have and can afford to dispense. There are free excel workbooks which you can use for basic accounting, a good habit to form for expenditure management.
Avoiding impulsive buying requires more than discipline. Making sure you do not carry around unnecessary cash will help. Planning your spending in the same way you would your income is good, plan down to your giving. Some recommend that you plan to give up to 25 percent of your earnings. I’d say, practice the 80/20 rule. Spend 80 on yourself and give away 20. Within the 80, make sure you have provided for emergencies, holidays, priorities, savings, etc. The great thing about having up to twenty percent of your income available to charity is that it enables you help your community and others, which in turn brings satisfaction that money cannot buy. Pardon me, but if I am not mistaken, I think I gave up to 40 percent without realizing it. I do prefare the 75/25 ratio because there are no zeros, so we go to heros.
Enjoy Your Wealth
If you are not enjoying your wealth, something is wrong with the way you are controlling and organizing it. If you have a look at the maiden edition of the managing your money series, you will notice that I touched briefly on this. We will not be spending money on the other side, you can only use it here. Make sure it is you using money and not money using you. For goodness sake, enjoy it. Now. Wait a second, Is what you call enjoyment, enjoyment or have you been buying death? Enough ‘sepe’, ‘ogogoro’, ‘colorado’, and all those nonsense and you are closer to the grave today than yesterday! That’s no smart way to die ‘jo’! Would you like to play some golf? Dart? Would you like to get on a helicopter? a balloon? a parashoot? Would you like a boat cruise? a safari? Would you like to visit the Emirate stadium, watch the Wimbledon Live? Have you been to the World cup yet>? Seen the Olympics? Have you experienced life in a Five Star hotel? What about a Seven star? Have you visited the 36 states of Nigeria? How many countries have you visited? Have you ever seen a real lion? Giraf? How about the Elephant? How many wonders of the world have you seen? Where in South Africa does Nelson Mandela come from? Have you seen his works? Have you ever seen Dolphins? Penguines? Do you get the picture? For life’s sake! organize your money so it can do more for you but stay alive, stay well, stay positive. Get a good life! Buy it if you can. See you at the top.
Have an excellent weekend!
For more on managing your money and other consulting services, please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org.