Happy New Year folks!
How did you ring in the new year? Under a mistletoe, exchanging DNA? In church, a mosque, or some other place of worship? Turning up at some party? Whatever way, may the year be good to all of us. May it be better than last year, a whole lot better.
What are you doing with your money this year? Apart from making it of course. All over social media, there's talk about making money (tons of it), and generally exploding our treasure chests. Which is great till you realise that you probably had all these speeches this time last year, and your room isn't littered with shards of your 'exploded-from-too-much-money' treasure chest.
Obviously, we expect better this year (and hopefully we will match the wishes with the commensurate grit and hard work). But on the way to that, I decided to domesticate this piece I read on CNNMoney, infused with a few personal touches.
1. Stop saving your leftovers
One thing I learned in 2017 (I know, better late than never) was to pay myself from every money I received (salary, gift, side hustle, whatever). I put the money into an account which I called an investment account and then did most of my investments from there. Also encouraged Bobo to join me in putting aside some money every month into an account which only I have access to (*cue evil laugh*)
Seriously though, put money aside, first. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I had around the end of 2017 when I needed to get some things done, almost at the same time.
The lesson here: Pay yourself first, no matter how little. It adds up and gives you bulk money which will be more meaningful for projects.
2. Stop using painless payments
Brethren, thank God for technology. Notice how easy it is to shop online these days? The major companies are outdoing themselves with making payments faster and easier, all the way to fingerprint payments.
How many things have you bought just because you could click through? For me, the most recent purchase was a mug. Yes, it was for a good cause (Sanitary Aid NG and you totally should check them out and support them), but it was click, click, click, money spent.
Dan Ariely, a behavioural economist and co-author of "Dollars and Sense", said, "If it is an automatic deduction you don't experience the annoyance in the same way and you're less aware of the costs."
The lesson here: Be intentional about payments you make, resist the urge to save your card details on too many sites, especially retailers. Oh, and stay away from one-click payment options! Take the time to type in your details.
3. Stop being silent about money
We don't talk about money enough. Most of the time we talk about making it the wrong way or we don't talk about it at all, we talk about spending it and showing it off, but there are not enough conversations about what exactly to do with it when we finally get as much as we want to have.
Did you know that the more we talk about (our) money - with the right people and in the right contexts - the more confident we become about making better decisions with it?
Yes. In engaging with Subomi Plumptre's posts on Facebook, and subsequent conversations with her, I learned a lot of ways to put my money to work, and I'm definitely better for it. Much better.
In engaging with her and a few others, I learned new ways of saving and investing I didn't know of before. I’ve also learned about tracking my spend.
The lesson here: If your inner circle is all about spending, and holidays, and turning up, and not about legitimate ways to make and save more, maybe you need to re-evaluate that circle. Talk about apps that track your daily spend, which I've learned are even more draining than the periodic big spends.
4. Stop your wholesale club shopping (online or offline)
I will discuss this a little differently than CNNMoney did and relate this to deals. There are a million and one of them, especially online. The temptation to buy the skirt and blouse instead of only the blouse which you need (or you've convinced yourself you that you need from the minute you scrolled through the retailer's Instagram page). Yep, you know what I'm talking about.
In buying one and getting one free, you’re still spending money to get the one; in saving 25% off an item, you’ve still spent the 75%. So, do you really need it? Yes? Great. Go for it. Can it wait? Yes? Wait.
The lesson here: Intentionally practise delayed gratification, or self-denial. See how long you can hold off on getting something, just because you can. See how you can say no to yourself, and mean it.
5. Stop allowing your credit to be available to anyone
Again, domesticating this one to say, go easy on giving loans. A lot of us have tales of woe, debts that have gone from bad to disasters even for the friendships upon which trust and the loans were predicated, and so this should sit easily with you.
There's a saying that the voice people use in lending money is different from the voice they use in returning it. It might be great to consider giving a gift instead of loaning the money out.
Of course this doesn’t apply to giving to dependants, religious endeavours, charity, or like causes.
The lesson here: What is the friendship worth? What is the money worth? Can you afford to lose both? Think about that before you click the transfer button, or part with money in any other way.
A. Invest - What’s better than earning? Putting that money to work for you, and reproduce by itself.
B. Pay - The borrower is slave to the lender. Keep faith and pay your debts, or renegotiate payment terms that you can keep. Don’t make it difficult for the next person in need. Do not be a Pharisee.
C. Reward yourself - Give yourself a gift, you’re worth it.
Happy New Year!