It all boils down to living within your means, saving and growing what you earn first and then spending the rest.
Many of us grew up in homes where money was a scarce commodity and to this day live in the ‘scarcity mentality’ where whatever amount of money that we have will never be enough. Others grew up in excesses where any money that was made was used as a status symbol, a means of achieving all the finer things in life with little or no saving done for the future, with little or no thought made to growing one’s investments or net worth. Both views toward money are unhealthy. Money can be used to achieve our dreams and improve our lifestyle and well being if used in the right way. There is a reason we are all alive to day; to enjoy God’s creation which entails money, but enjoyment with discipline is key. One should strive to strike the balance to avoid the extremities of living a miserly existence or a reckless spendthrift for that matter.
The route to financial independence may be achieved through employment, entrepreneurship orboth. Learn where your skills and opportunity lies and then go for it. However, the world’s wealthiest people truth be told are employers, those who create the opportunities, the entrepreneurs. Strive to have multiple sources of income working for you.
Live within your means. Do you have a budget that you adhere to? A point of clarification – do you have budgets that you adhere to? Long term budgets help you achieve long term, big ticket goals. Short term budgets are concerned with the day to day nuances of living. The good news is that there are several digital applications e.g. Wallet that one can use to help track income and expenses, the better news is that living within a budget is tenable to everyone. A good budget should be simple and to the point, simple as a point of reference, should have timelines for achieving goals, should make provision for emergency funds, should involve all stakeholders for example spouses and children, should be flexible enough to change with circumstances.
There are several ways in which to invest your moneyand several high performing sectors in Kenya for example that have been cited; land, real estate and property, information technology, catering and food, agriculture, cleaning services to cite but a few. Have you invested in mutual funds or shares which progressively grow over time? Avoid high risk investments whose authenticity are not well known. Do you invest time and money to gain knowledge on personal financial skills? Do you constantly sharpen your saw to arm yourself with skills that will increase your earning power or do you feel that you have ‘arrived’? Do you have money saved for a rainy day. Common sense which is not so common dictates that we have up to six months’ living expenses to cater for any eventuality in life that may cause financial constraint.
Do you have a kitty for your old age? Or are your children and your dependents your surety for financial health when you age. A wise man or woman or that matter ensures that he or she has enough money to sustain himself or herself in their old age. A wiser one will have an inheritance for his children and children’s children. Remember that you must ensure that your savings and investment will be able to cater for you when your earning ability has diminished. As fate would have it; old age presents a myriad of wellness problems including physical ailments, loneliness, let not financial insecurity add to this baggage. Debt just like fire can both be harmful and useful. Use debt to accumulate assets that appreciate in value or those that help one generate income. Do not be caught in the trap pf keeping up with the Joneses, Onyangos, Kamaus or Ondiekis for that matter in the rat race of accumulating status symbols at the detriment of improving your networth.
Take time from time to time to review your financial goals and restrategize if need be. Do you have a financial mentorthat you look up to and fashion your life along the same line? Realize like just like a baby achieves different milestones, we have different financial milestones in our life cycle. Typically early adulthood entails ploughing back into increasing earning or income generating power, middle adulthood comes with the three pronged responsibility of growing one’s investments, raising children and taking care of aging parents (if need be), old age ideally should be a time of relaxation and comfort, reaping the seeds of financial freedom that had been sown earlier on in life.
Give backto the community of what you have been blessed with. Remember that the hand that keeps on giving is an open palm to which more shall be added; those who are mean and tight fisted do not make provision for more. Isn’t it amazing that some of the world’s wealthiest people are also the world’s greatest givers? Give by the same if not greater measure by which you have been given.
Worth noting is that all forms of wellness are intricately connected. When you are physical unwell it dents your earning power and ‘eats’ into your reserves as you seek treatment. When you are with good emotional, mental and social health it almost follows that your perceptions towards money are healthy too. Financial stress or unwellness so to speak is a source of physical, emotional and social ill health which forms a vicious cycle of poor financial health. Reminds me of the case of the egg or the chicken, I wonder which came first.
Contrary to popular opinion financial wellness and prosperity is not just for a chosen few, but like all forms of wellness is open to all. It all begins on your mindset. Having financial hopes, dreams and aspirations and working diligently towards fulfilling them.
Take charge of your financial destiny, sit on the driver’s seat. Let it be said of you that your net worth is increasing year on year. True financial freedom is when you have your money working for you and not you working for money.