Your money and you!


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Hello you! It’s me again! I heard a saying recently that I just had to share with you, it goes “a fool and his money are soon parted”. It’s from a poem written in 1573 by Thomas Tusser and since I heard it, it’s been playing itself in my head over and over and over again! It reminds me of another saying “it’s not how much you make that makes you rich, it’s how much you keep”. So this morning I wanted to just unpack that thought with you.

So, if you earn N1Million and you have a big car that guzzles fuel, your fuel bill is let’s say N60,000 a month. You are contributing to the monthly mortgage payments on your big house and that comes to about N250,000 a month. Your expenses, food & groceries are about N150,000 for your house of 4, the gateman gets paid N30,000, your two nannies, N50,000. DSTV, N20,000 for the premium package… Because of the type of weddings you attend, the aso-ebi’s (same attire worn by invitees to a wedding to show their affinity either to the bride or groom’s family) you wear cost about N50,000 each, at 2 weddings a month, that’s N100,000. For each of those weddings you get your make up done and geles tied at N10,000 per occasion (N20,000), then there’s the jewellery and clothes that you bought and said you’ll pay for later, because when they were brought to you at N75,000 each, compared to your N1Million income, they seemed cheap and really affordable, and so you bought 1 here, 2 there and before you know it, you were N300,000 in debt… These come to N980,000, so from your income of N1Million, you have N20,000 left and you haven’t fixed your weave, fixed your nails, bought that handbag or planned for your vacation! (“Oh, well, I can always take a loan on that” you think, “my salary allows me access those soft loans anyway”).

And so you find that you are earning so much but you are always broke. You and your money are parting very quickly and the money is not even saying a proper goodbye… It just seems to evaporate!

Then there’s this other person, she earns N450,000. As soon as she gets her income, there’s a direct debit instruction where she pays herself 10% of her income by diverting it into a separate savings account. She pays her nanny, driver, DSTV, does not get into debt because she plans her expenses, saves for trips and her yearly holidays by planning and putting aside N25,000 every month into a holiday account. Assuming that she spends all her money as well, except for her savings… At the end of the year, she has N540,000 in savings and you are in debt.

She is cash rich and with that discipline can only get better… So while you have the appearance of being rich, the trappings and seeming assets, because you keep parting with your money, because you are in debt, because you don’t put anything away, you get a lot, but keep too little and so you are not really rich. 3 months without a pay cheque and you may be unable to put food on the table…

I don’t say this to make you feel bad, if I’m hitting a nerve, it’s because that saying really got to me as well, “a fool and his money are soon parted”, I am not against the most beautiful luxuries when you are buying them from an overflow of passive income  but because I am not yet there, I now find myself thinking more about the spending decisions I make, it’s no longer about “do I like it?” “Does it fit? “Oh it flatters you so well”, it’s now about “is this wise”, “do I need it now?” “Will the cost of this handbag be a good down payment on a small investment property?” “What do I actually give up for the pleasure of having xxx?”

“A fool and his money are soon parted”, “it’s not how much you make but how much you keep, that makes you rich”, “cash is king”… I just wanted to share these thoughts with you today and to ask you, how are you doing with your money? When you look at your cheque stubs what do they tell you? Have you been wise? Unwise? What one step will you take today towards securing the future you want to have?

A fool and  his money are soon parted, since money is usually earned in exchange for time & work, it means you essentially exchange “life” (most of your waking hours) for money. Ask yourself, if life were the currency, would you exchange life to buy what you buying today? What will you do differently? And what items will you exchange life for? The ones that improve and add to you? Or the ones you buy to impress the Joneses? Think about it…

2 replies to “Your money and you!

  1. Hajara, thank you for this wake up call. I totally agree with your analysis. The only aspect you did not mention was the spending done for extended family members and in-laws that sometime over shadow the ones you spent for yourself. Regards.

    1. Mr. A, that’s true as well. One thing we must all learn to do is to prioritize saving, creating an emergency fund and budgetting properly so that you know part of your budget is N150,000 for family needs. That way. The month that you give less that’s fine but it also sets a cap you know that your cumulative giving cannot exceed N150,000

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