By – Jamylah Yusuf
Hello in Naira, Pounds, Euros and Dollars.
The subject of money can be both spirit lifting and spirit drowning at the same time depending on what angle of the discussion table one is seated.
Do you know that elation that comes with the message tone notifying you of receipt of some money into your bank account? Or that wide smile that accompanies the gesture of accepting cash from someone either as a gift, or a well deserved earning for product sold or services rendered.
If you know these feelings, i am sure you are also conversant with the sad feeling that comes when that money has to leave your account or your hands as payment for a service you received or a product you bought or even worse, a debt you have to pay. You start to say things along the line of ‘our money has no value’ ‘how can such amount of money be gone is such short time?’.
Instead of asking questions like, what did i do with all that money? Why did i have to spend so much. ‘I need to start saving’.
As tempting as so much money can be, we need to learn to spend like our wage permits.
Our wage permits here means, spending in a manner that your wage alone can cover and probably leave you spare change to save. This is not very difficult. It just takes a little bit of extra discipline.
If for instance, I earn 30,000 naira every month. I save up my salary of about 8 months to purchase the latest iPhone.
Bear in mind that i still have to sort out little expenses like transportation and miscellaneous for those 8 months since i still live with my parents and eat from them.
After the first year, i decide i need a car, for ease of transportation . This means that i would have to save my salary for about 2 whole years without touching up to as little as 5%. If by whatever miracle, i am able to do this it means i have spent, saved and spent as well in the course of this three years.
The question now is, how smart did i save and how smart did i spend.
The answers are quite obvious. Why should a person save for 8months only to blow such money off by purchasing such device. Now i am not saying anything is wrong with an iPhone, what i am saying is, ask yourself if you can truly maintain such device as it is obviously a luxury item.
You would need to recharge it with call card, if you’re in a place that doesn’t have wireless connection, you would have to purchase data to be able to make use of the internet on your device. It is also a high maintenance device so I have to prepare my mind and pocket for unforseen circumstances like the phone needing repair.
All these put together beside my #30,000 per month salary answers the obvious question of if i am spending smart or not. If i now have a car, that worsens it as a car is even more high maintenance. I need to fuel the car and service regularly so its still the same cycle of saving and spending stupidly.
Now, i am not saying people should go around acting miserly to people and even themselves. What I am saying is, there is a market for every class on the social strata so look out for what your wage can comfortably accommodate without leaving you in debt or pennyless.
Don’t spend money you do not have yet. As tempting as this can be, ensure that you avoid spending money that isn’t in your possession yet.
Build a saving ritual. Get a saving box or container, tax yourself to drop into the box or container an amount of money you know you can comfortably keep up with either daily or weekly. No matter how small the amount may seem, have it in mind that its the little drops of water that make a mighty ocean.
lastly, live your wage and work hard until you have a wage that can conveniently afford whatever lifestyle you choose. Until then, Spend smart and save smart.