The year is rolling by so fast. Its already the last week in February. How is the year going for you all? If there is anything to be said for 2021 it is that it is moving at such momentous speed, it is almost impossible to believe we just ushered in the New Year. With this comes the realization that, there is absolutely no time to procrastinate. We must begin to take actionable steps as a matter of urgency and let it sink into our consciousness that every little time in the present we have is a precious gift to utilize and ensure that we are doing the right things.
We all thought 2021 will be the year of respite having experienced 2020, but it is not letting up, no one knows when the old normal will be back, and I don’t see us getting there. This is now our normal. So where does that leave us with regards to how we manage our lives especially the financial part? Earlier in the year, we introduced our theme for the year being Balance; now this theme encapsulates what 2021 is about… the very principle which should guide our plans and actions going forward.
In 2020, many of us were caught unawares when the pandemic started and it exposed a lot of the things we take for granted. With all that happened in 2020, we have since learnt that we must each understand the basic principles of Personal Finance and must do all that we can to follow through with those principles. So while a lot of us, focus on making the money, many more cannot manage their income and do not follow these principles to enjoy the multiplier principles.
So today, we will be shedding a little light on money mistakes we must avoid as a pathway to managing our finances.
- 1. Failing to Make a Budget
Budgeting is not such a strange thing anymore, but the interesting thing is, we often let slide all these seemingly simple things / tools thinking that we have a handle on things. What usually happens is, by the time we finally settle to take stock, we are in such a state of disarray with our finances, it is quite sad. So why not actually sit down to create a Budget that can actually help us make better sense of our finances. A budget not only details our income, but our expenditures and this brings not only clarity to our spending pattern, but allows us to keep making smart money decisions.
So what are you waiting for, start your budget today, and if you will like some advice on how to go about this or would like to engage a Personal Finance Coach, why don’t you just email us, we will like to help you get started!
- 2. Emergency Funds
It is impossible to live in a country like Nigeria and not think to have an Emergency Fund somewhere accessible. The situation is not just dire but we have seen too many things happen because one did not prepare for this emergency. Listen, it is easy to say that, I don’t even earn enough or I don’t even earn not to talk of having an emergency fund, we know that there are those doing all they can, but unfortunately, things have not worked out yet and that is okay, what is not okay is to not learn the crucial need for this principle. While it is understandable for those who cannot afford to have an Emergency Fund, what about you; brother Wale and Sister Bukky? You that you earn; what is your own excuse? Please, let us not even say that the money is not enough. Let’s share one sad truth; money is never enough oh if you do not take control of your finances!
An Emergency fund is money that you have saved and is easily accessible to you for any emergency use. There are fundamental rules to having an Emergency Fund – security; accessibility and liquidity are factors that must be put into consideration. You cannot put Emergency funds in stocks or where there is risk of capital erosion in the short term or even Mutual funds and think it will serve you in an Emergency!
It is wise to have about 30 – 40% of your Emergency funds in cash – savings account as it will avail one the quick opportunity to access in a financial crisis and then the remaining part 60 – 70% invested in liquid funds. Again, if you need help, we are right here, waiting for you to make the move towards mastering your finances.
- 3. Managing Debts
Sometimes despite our best efforts to avoid it, debts become inevitable especially when one is dealing with unexpected medical bills, relocation, or major home repairs. It is a fact that we cannot plan for everything, but even with that, we must always make smart decisions even when it comes to taking loans or incurring debts. We do not want to in the fit of desperation take bad loans that has a higher interest rate above normal nor do we want to keep taking on loans to feed a reckless lifestyle. A lot of people have fallen victim of this and discover that even though they are earning, there seems to be nothing to show for it.
Don’t forget taking on debts and not servicing a loan as should not only messes up one’s emotional and psychological state of mind, but it also puts a strain on relationships. Too many people have developed high blood pressure, anxiety, fear and even suicide just because they are unable to meet up with their debt/loan obligations.
This can be avoided; you must do all you can to not put yourself in situations you cannot manage. Remember, even the best laid plans of managing situations can go wrong!
- 4. Neglecting Your Health
The last thing we will talk about in this article will be Neglecting Your Health. This can lead to such a huge money mistake and the sad reality is in this part of the world, we are very complacent about our health. Ignoring one’s health is not just about compromising our physical well-being but puts us on the path to draining our finances just to deal with a complex medical situation.
What to do; take a walk, be sensitive and listen to your body signals (it always tells us when something is wrong); eat right and healthy, do a complete health / physical exam at least once a year; stay up to date on your vaccines, have a medical insurance, ( some are as low as N2000 a month); take care of your mental health, stop procrastinating and do what needs to be done to secure your health; stop self-diagnosing and medicating when you do not have a medical or health related degree.
The best thing we can do for ourselves is to always plug the leaks on the things that can make a mess of our finances.
We hope you have learnt something and will take the necessary steps to initiating these principles. It is always a pleasure for us to share our financial insights with you as it will give us utmost joy to see you be in good standing with regards to your finances.
We are rooting for you, always.
The PFDN Team.