Financial Management

“We don’t share much except for our desire for the nice things in life that money can offer.”

Money matters are not casual conversations that we get to anytime we feel like. Growing up I realized that whenever we asked either of my parents about anything that would have a financial implication on it, the individual would say they will have to discuss with the other partner. I could never comprehend why a grown up would have to consult another to decide when and how to spend money. I later got to realize that most financial decisions about the family were a joint decision which meant that even when it come to fees, they would have to deliberate and see how to go about it. (Ps. Not that to decide who would pay but to distribute the available funds to ensure everyone had something among the many dependents they had.)

It’s commonplace that as human beings we have a common desire for the nice things that life has to offer. On the positive side of it, money happens to be the conduit to enjoying all these which means we’ve got to have the ability to afford these niceties before we can have them. That’s not to say it falls on you squarely but either way there will be someone to foot the bill. In order to be able to afford these and sustain them, there is need for some proper planning and management of your finances.

In terms of our needs, we have different tiers where we organize them i.e. immediate needs, intermediate and long term needs. In the immediate context you want to be able to afford your basic necessities i.e. food, housing, clothing and entertainment (modest). In the intermediate category you’d definitely want to have a good house, be able to take care of your people and afford their necessities i.e. school fees, home, car etc. For long term, you envision yourself retired and having the moment of your life as you await to bid the world farewell. These categories are fluid depending on your age, current circumstances and aspirations but in general they map our developmental stages.

To be able to accomplish all that we wish for, our financial management skills should be aligned with that vision or aspiration of ours factoring the immediate, intermediate and long-term aspirations. Once you have these in place, you must move to factor your revenue sources and see how they can be brought to reality. Ultimately it’s about working as per your established plan.

My Saturdays serve as days for self-care and introspection. Having gone through eight (8) months of this terrible year, I had a moment to look into my finances, financial plan and spending habits over this time. I have always thought of myself as a disciplined person. Unfortunately, I proved myself wrong when I did a review realizing that I have a great weakness to meet people at their point of need which in some ways derail me from my established plans. It’s understandable to veer off but not to maintain that unhealthy trend. In most cases it starts with little amounts which don’t seem to have an impact on your plan but with time these accumulate to substantial amounts. In the end you are not able to do execute on your plans as you fall short and may not even account for some of the monies.

Accountability is key. To account for your finances; have a moment to reflect on your revenue streams, establish consistent cost factors i.e. standard bills (rent, water, electricity, shopping, fare etc.) with an allowance for any miscellaneous (shouldn’t be more than 10% of your average monthly costs), and draw your plan which will guide you in handling your finances.

We can fall short, miss our target but we have a responsibility to be accountable to ourselves and our partners where they exist. In the process have in place controls against your unhealthy habits that get you off track on your mission to achieving your targets. One step at a time we can all get to that. Fallen but not defeated. We soldier on. I previously wrote about remembering to close the tap, it’s an important lesson here.

“Sometimes it’s not about the money, but rather the process of managing the money.”

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