By – Jamylah Yusuf
Sometimes it’s difficult to draw the line between prudent spending and being a miser. The reason for this isn’t far fetched . A lot of people in their efforts to spend prudently end up being misers especially to themselves .
They are so hard on themselves that one may want to remind them that when they’re no longer here some other people who didn’t do anything for the money will inherit it. The Big question is when does it cross from ‘ prudent spending’ to miserliness.
We should probably first look at what exactly is prudent spending. If for instance, i am a student of a tertiary institution and i receive 15, 000 naira as my standard monthly allowance. Now this doesn’t cover my feeding in essence because i already have foodstuffs i feed from. What this money covers is my transportation for that month, my stationery, and any other emergency expenses i have to make. With this amount as my allowance, i understand that i cannot spend money for no just cause, it would be unwise if i live outside the school campus as that will mean i spend all my money on transporting myself, it would also be unwise if i belong to a group of friends that spends 10,000 on the spot just to chill and drink. Why? The reason is i cant afford to considering my income. So do i just keep to myself and not make friends because i have an allowance of 15,000?
Of course not, I make friends that are not extravagant. Friends that understand that we cannot all be Dangotes and respect that. You know why your kind of friends are important for your prudent spending habit? , it is said that you are a build up of what your five closest friends are. So if i have 15,000 for a month of thirty days, i understand that to survive the month without being empty, i have a spending limit of 400 – 500 daily. I must also make provision for the emergency days when i would need to spend beyond 500 as a matter of emergency. That means, i set aside at least 3000 at the beginning of the month for emergencies. I also have it in mind that i may encounter bigger problems as emergencies that 3000 wont solve. This means, i will have to look elsewhere. Now you can see that 15,000 isn’t so much, but it is sufficient for me because i planned to, and i spent it prudently.
If i don’t encounter any emergency all through the month, it means i have an extra 3000 to save . Does this mean i can’t have fun or eat out or do anything of such? No, it means with my calculation, i know my spending limit per day so it is up to me if i want to crash my spendings meant for four days in one day. It is left to me to bear the consequence. I will become a miser when i decide to spend 5,000 every month and ‘save’ 10000. So come what may, i don’t spend beyond that 5,000. I ‘save’ the ten thousand and go hungry when the 5,000 is spent. No matter how much i need money, i do not touch the 10,000 i saved. Now this isn’t spending prudently, it is being miserly and it is more dangerous when it is to one’s self. In the end, in matters of finance and prudent spending, there isn’t a single absolute answer.
Whatever sails your boat, do it. Just dont drown. Stay safe. Don’t cut your coat according to your cloth but according to your size.