Of all her children, (and I of course the eldest out of 3) my mother believes I am the most Stingy.
She always says “ongame” which is a Sepedi phrase to describe my incessant need to understand where, why, and what my money is doing /going. And although I am now the butt of the family financial jokes; I have gone back to basics by unconsciously using the basics we all learn in elementary school (5W’s &H) to keep myself out of bad debt and start making better financial decisions.
The 5W’s & H is a concept predominately used in journalism to complete stories, I say “complete” simply because without an answer or understanding of all six questions – your story has a hole in it; and when it comes to money…holes lose you money.
“Beware of little expenses; a small leak will sink a great ship.” B. Franklin
M O N E Y!
- WHAT – are you spending your money on? In my second year of full employment I realized the need for a budget, and not a mental budget like I’ve always worked on but a full drawn up and maintained budget. I drew up this budget using a simple online budget template which allowed me to also review my expenses monthly and see how I tracked. I realized I spent a lot of money on takeaways and going out shenanigans – even after a full grocery trip.
2. WHERE – can I make the changes? It’s not enough to just know what you are spending your hard earned cash on, but to know where you spent it to help you consolidate. We’ve all bought into all kinds of marketing loyalty programmes profusely sold by businesses. Whether its “FNB: e-bucks” “PnP –smart shopper points” etc. our purses are shouting for mercy with the hordes of loyalty cards we have. The overabundance was not only frustrating my wallet, but it was also not lucrative. With too many cards and limited spending, you are building a little bit everywhere instead of having a carefully selected group of reward and loyalty memberships, consolidating and reaping the rewards they give you by consolidating your buying efforts.
3. WHO – should I give my money to?
“Average people live above their means. Rich people live below theirs.”-Steven Siebold.
The guy that gives you the most value out of your membership. I travel quite often and realized the importance of great flight prices. Having reviewed where I spent my money, I triangulated my rewards with my need for efficiency in banking, travel, with perks and great grocery options. This can be done all kinds of things you like to do, whether it’s reading, going out or sports.
4. WHY – I’ve come across many people who always say “ I don’t know why I shop so much” And to be honest, I also don’t know why… this probably where some self-introspection needs to come into the picture. A lot of ladies shop to make themselves feel better and find themselves in a cycle of debt as a result. Take a moment, be honest with yourself and understand WHY you spend (on the unnecessary stuff) the way you do. This will really help you understand your relationship with money.
5. WHEN – Can you say SPECIALS: ) Groceries are cheaper towards the end of the month (everyone is giving specials and coupons). And finally…Look out for all kinds of specials during their relevant time (travel ahead of time and off-peak, crazy days like BLACK FRIDAY, reading month specials etc.)The time of the month you buy your goodies makes a big difference to the price you pay.
6. HOW can I make the most of my budget, increase my assets and stretch my money?
“It’s not your salary that makes you rich, it’s your spending habits“Charles A. jaffe
There are many rich & wealthy people who are frugal and thrifty. Today’s millennial have the actions of millionaires ( fancy spending and social related purchases) , it is looked down upon to be “thrifty” but the truth is rich people stay rich by living like they are broke and broke people stay broke by living like rich people.
Recommended money read: Smart Money Woman by Arese Ugwu
By Nwamara Obiike:
“I am not an early bird, or a night owl. I am some form of permanently exhausted pigeon!”
African Crusader | Blogger | Foodie
I have just recently finished reading Smart Money Woman by Arese Ugwu as book 5 of my #30bookchallenge. Read Be a Smart Money Woman by Asake-Okin for more on the book. Nwamara fittingly ties in her views of money with those of Arese. The biggest callout is keeping an eye on our money. The things we do when we have little money will be magnified when we have millions and billions. Having more money does not wipe away our money problems. I personally, have developed a new definition of what being broke means to me through making small but deliberate changes in my spending. It is never too late!-Lerato