Welcome to another week of financial learning. I started the series on everyday financial excuses last week. I want to tackle the second part today. Before I do so, I want to recap what we learned last week. Everyday excuses, we learnt last week, were “I do not earn money enough”, “I do not have time for a side-hustle” and “You Only Live once”. We realised that these are just flimsy excuses at best.
The following are other excuses that we give when it comes to saving and investments.
- I will save for my retirement later: Another common excuse among the youth of today. Readers of retirement 101/102 will recall my teaching on retirement. For the benefit of new readers, I will repeat some of the things I said.
Everyone working today can be forced into early retirement by either illness or sudden accident.
Thus, you do not always have control over your retirement date. Planning for your retirement starts when you receive your first salary or income. It is however not too late or early to start a retirement scheme now. That step should be now, and not tomorrow or next month. There are very good pension and finance houses running effective retirement schemes in Ghana. Retirement planning, just like savings, is a conscious effort.
You cannot put your retirement planning on autopilot. It is good to spend on your kids’ education, buy or build a house, start a business. However, the retirement discussion is even more crucial.
When you retire without any proper package of survival, you can be forced to sell that house you built just to survive. The interesting fact is that when you ask them when that later is, chances are that you will not get a convincing answer.
Let me repeat the wise words of Mr. Eric Osei-Abankwa, a tax and pension expert. He said: “We, at every stage of life, navigate through a complex maze of competing for daily obligations and priorities; and the issue of retirement is almost always ignored because it is a long-term goal. However, retirement will be a priority at some point in your life; but when the time eventually comes, it will be too stressful to be adequately positioned because you would have run out of time”.
- I’m doing better financially that my friend: I hear this excuse a lot when I chat with friends. We think we are financially sound because we are doing better than a friend is!
First and foremost, we need to appreciate the fact that financial independence is not a competition game. Your financial freedom benefits you and your family.
We all have our destinies and focus in life. So, instead of focusing and comparing yourself with your friend, zoom-in on your life and fix the excesses and wastages. No friend should be a yardstick against which you measure your financial successes, because I have witnessed people who lived hand to mouth today and made it big time the next moment. Therefore, if you were comparing yourself with that person as doing better, what will you be your fate now? For me, this is just avoidable emotional pettiness!
The race is not for the swift. If you start focusing on yourself, things will begin to fall into place and exponential growth will follow you financially.
Money issues are personal, and should remain as such. Comparison is good only for progressive purposes.
Carry your own financial cross while you seek guidance from the expert. You were not born on the same day as your friend, and the likelihood of kicking the bucket the same day is equally low. So, why the comparison then?? A word to the wise is always enough.
- I have been cursed with money: Hello blessed one! Wake up! You have not been cursed with money. You overspend because of no budget. You are overspending because you have decided not to cut your coat according to your size.
You are bad with money because you think inflows will always come tomorrow.
We sometimes need mental emancipation from the bondage of spending. Take a day at a time. Plan financially day by day. Stand firm whenever you receive income and decide to use it judiciously.
Nobody can curse you with financial mismanagement without your permission. I want to encourage you that you can do it. You can start saving and investing today with the right mindset. Listen and watch financial literacy shows constantly.
Having money is like driving your own car. You decide where the car should go!
I want you to think about these three excuses and decide on the path you need to take today toward your financial freedom. I will be back, God-willing, next week with other financial freedom discussions.
I wish everyone a wonderful and memorable week!
Patrick Baah Abankwa is a chartered banker with over 5 years’ experience in mainstream banking, having worked in various capacities. He is currently at the Branch Manager Position of his institution.
Patrick has also been teaching on the Topics Savings, Investment and Financial Independence for over 2 years and a research fellow for ILAPI Ghana. He runs a financial channel on Youtube by name “Patrick TV Gh” and has appeared a couple of times on the business segment of TV3 News 360.
Patrick is into youth facilitation and counselling. He can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org
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