Money Has Wings

No matter how much you earn, it is important to note that money has wings and they can fly away within moments. Within a twinkle, money can disappear and from your experience, you know this is true.

Think about your first job or the promotion that looked like the game-changer for your finances and after a few months of earning this ‘yuuuuge’ amount, it felt like the money is no more sufficient and that begins another level of financial problems.

Little wonder Suze Orman said “the only way you will ever permanently take control of your financial life is to dig deep and fix the root problem.” This requires financial discipline.

Financial discipline begins from the boundaries you painstakingly set in your daily spending and saving habits as you tend to your needs more than your wants. Not many are aware that financial discipline helps you become a better saver, intelligent investor, and unarguably independent.

That is why research describes financial discipline as the act of setting monetary goals and measuring oneself against how well they are achieved. You are liable to gain freedom from an unhealthy spending tradition that could cause more harm to your future plans than good.

Here are a few practices that will help you clip the wings of your money:

1. Be Realistic

Save yourself the stress and get your head out of the clouds. Truth is, when we are realistic, then we achieve anything and everything we set out for.

Do a math of your daily and monthly spending and see if it’s a habit to carry on or to forgo. You could also let your partner in on your new plan of budget. Don’t spend to impress or chase clout. That is so superficial.

I still recall what my senior school teacher told us one morning during his class. “Why buy fancy pens worth N100 for so much when you can simply buy the mundane pen at N20 and save N80.” As teenagers we didn’t get the drift until we became adults and worked for our own money.

2. Activate Spending Awareness Alarm

It is never too late to start. All you need to do is wake up and pay attention to your spending lifestyle.

Let’s break it down to the average expenses of an average Nigerian adult. Ask yourself: How much do I spend on essentials and non-essentials – groceries,  petrol for car and generator set, water bill and light bill, medicine, rent among others necessary for survival?

Make this conscious list and let it serve as a manual. See the area that needs adjustments and improvements.

3. Save for the Rainy Day

Have you ever heard of saving for a rainy day? It is a worthy pathway to wealth creation. Whether you save it in a regular bank or a piggy bank, it will give you the same result if you control your wants.

That is why I conceded to Warren Buffett when he said, “Do not save what is left after spending, but spend what is left after saving”.

Cut down on what you spend on non-essentials like latest gadgets, dinner outings, jewellery, fancy home appliances, and hair.

4. Be Determined

There are many reasons people run into financial crises and emergency situations that leave them vulnerable.

When I was in my early 20s, a friend helped me regulate my spending fantasies. He shared with me some brilliant reasons like opening another bank account that I wouldn’t access daily. This, he was sure, would help me during emergency situations.

This friend taught me never to spend my money before I have it. I was a master at that. I could squander every dime on me once I heard I’d be getting some pay soon.

Just remember that treading the route to saving doesn’t have to be in large amounts. It can be 2 dollars or N1,000 weekly or monthly, depending on when you get your pay. Have the figure to salt away each month. A little commitment can make that huge difference.  

5. By All Means, Clear Your Debts

In the 5 Cs of Credit as we learnt in banking, Character is the most important of all five. Character reflects more on your willingness to pay your debts. No matter how much money you have, Character could be the single differentiating factor between you and your peers as many people don’t pay back as and when due. As a Champion, you must be different.

Remember, when money is lost nothing is lost. When health is lost, something is lost. But when character is lost, everything is lost.

Don’t lose everything, pay your debts.

6. Block the Leakages

Now analyse your monthly subscriptions from cable TV, book apps, movie streaming apps among other mobile and TV services.

These apps have your bank details registered in them. So, you have authorised them to withdraw a certain figure from your account at the end of each month.

May I ask, how many of these services do you end up using before it expires?  When you subscribe to 700 channels for N20,000 (for instance) every month, how many programmes or let’s say how many TV stations do you watch?

These are leakages. Won’t you like to evaluate such needless monthly charges? Consider this.

7. Have an Investment Plan

Last week, I watched how some pensioners were awarded their bond certificates. This automatically grants them access to their retirement funds.  

A particular woman couldn’t believe she was receiving her N10.5m by herself. Now this is what an investment plan does, it gives you financial liberty. It also leaves financially equipped.

There are loads of competent Financial Planners out there to help you make this happen.

8. Start Now

Now that you are aware of these authentic strategies to help you hoard some extra cash, you don’t have to see the whole staircase; just take the first step. So says Martin Luther King, Jr. “All that matters is that you take that first baby step and see how far you’ll fly.”

And if you feel you have missed out many years without practicing these insights, remember that the last best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago and the next best time is now.

When you start taking these steps now, you will not only clip the wings of your money, you will be financially stable but also be able to afford the lifestyle you have so desired.

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