When I was growing up, my Dad ran a very successful business and Mum worked at home; okay I would have said a stay-at-home Mum, but I have never been comfortable using that phrase to describe Mum because it somewhat has a way of conjuring a mental picture of a woman who is home all day doing nothing or watching TV – well just throw in a few chores. Okay back to Mum. The phrase just doesn’t suit her. She had nine kids to bring up, two or more extended family per time living with her, and several others dropping in to visit, or spend a few days or weeks (yeah weeks) unannounced.
Dad gave us money to buy lunch and if we needed anything else, we saved from our lunch money. My father got to know we saved and blew his top; “why are you saving?” he wanted to know, “is it to pay rent or pay your school fees?” He told us never to save, that if he gives us money for anything the money should be used for the purpose it was given. He told us we were his responsibility and if we needed anything, all we need to do is ask. He took care of our needs, but we had some needs we couldn’t ask – or maybe they were wants…
Fast forward to decades later. I found out I took what he said to heart over the years and I haven’t been able to recover. I can’t SAVE! except well, maybe if my life depended on it. I have worked for many years and still do not know how to put something aside for the rainy day. There will always be something to spend money on. Just so you know, I don’t buy clothes, jewelry, don’t shop till I drop, the issue is I don’t know how to say NO when someone in my life genuinely has a need I can meet. I have in some cases given money instrumentally over two months to people when I couldn’t meet the need at once.
Moreso , my child is quite a picky eater so I end up buying a lot of snacks, and medemede (as we call any form of sweets)
I am not a spendthrift. I take care of all my bills monthly and I don’t borrow, but I have tried (unsuccessfully) to save over the years. Unfortunately my household for some reasons for some years now has been a one income household which has worsened my state. If I seriously have something I need to save towards, I would usually look for someone to act as my bank. I have a friend who has a supermarket, so every month I give her the money which she puts into her business. When I need it, I tell her like two weeks before the time and she mops it all back for me. At one time, I saved 200,000 thousand naira with her! I was so pleased with myself.
In this new year. God helping me, this is my plan:
- I have three accounts, two savings and one current. I will use one of them only for the purpose of saving
- My monthly budget will look like this:
- God first: 10% tithe and other offerings
- Save: another 10% for starters hope to increase it as I get better at saving
- Investment: no matter how small the interest/profit is,
- Household groceries
- Pay all the bills
- Benevolence: I can put aside 5% or 7% for benevolence, and if any request comes in after I have exhausted it then the person will wait till the following month
- Capital project: I need so many things right now at home like a new freezer/refrigerator, a bigger generator, an automobile that will serve dual purpose of business/personal, maybe 25%/35%
- Me, myself and 1
- Miscellaneous (this covers anything else)
Over the years my budget had looked like this
- God has always been no 1
- Household groceries
- Pay all my bills
- Me, myself and 1
- Capital project is when the situation has become critical then I will hurriedly have to put some money aside to meet that need
- Investment is always till when I get that one that will be worth it whose interest will be like 50% least ROI
I’m trusting God for a better job, as I am presently in the process of getting my professional certification which would increase my market value in the Labour market.. I will also get two accountability partners who will help me as I take these baby steps in making my lot better.
Having more than one stream of income has been a long-time goal of mine, but this year am proud to say I have 3 sources of income to explore. I have started working on two of them, and the information I need for the third came in today. By the end of March , I will be earning from two of these streams. The third one will require some training which will take eight weeks or more, but I have committed to it and by June I should also be earning from there.
I have thought for so long that if I have more income, then savings will become easy. But time has proven me wrong – as my income increased, the expenditure went up as well. The trick is to manage ten thousand well and one million will be a breeze.
Watch out for this page because at the end of the year I will come to give an account of my stewardship. I have just added my readers as my accountability partner.