Managing a domestic economy in times of economic distress is no rocket science. People of modest means are still building houses today, side by side with villas and mansions the rich are building everywhere. Even in times of war, people still get married in the areas that are not seriously affected. People have a survival instinct that enables them cope in difficult times.
The secret is sound fiscal management; couples need basic financial education in order to evolve coping strategies. Sadly, domestic money management or wealth creation is not taught in schools. That’s why most people are financial illiterates. That’s why families are facing financial crises everywhere. Financial education is now very important.
Mention shares, stock, bond, mutual funds, real estate to most people, and all you get is a blank stare. You don’t have to be a financial illiterate. If you want to have a rich family, you must learn the secrets of the rich. The rich invest, the poor consume. Buy books on financial management, read the biographies of rich people to see how they conquered poverty. You and your wife must learn how to manage money. Otherwise, you’d live constantly on the edge of survival.
Even if Jesus said, “There will always be the poor among you,” why must it be you? You have a right to reject that prophecy for yourself and your family because the same Jesus became poor so that you can be rich, if you accept him as Lord and Savior, according to the Bible.
Young couples must learn to save and not spend all their money on frivolities. Nobody knows tomorrow. If most people foresaw this recession, they would never have been profligate or embarked on reckless spending in the days of boom, when our celebrities did their weddings in Dubai. They’d have prepared for this bust. Earn all the money you can earn legitimately, save all you can save, and invest all you can. That’s financial wisdom. You should learn to rule over money: don’t allow money rule over you. Ignorance of how money works can be very devastating.
Don’t buy expensive phones or cars when you hit big money, as most poor folks do. As income increases, bills rise to meet it. Save your sudden surplus in high-yielding financial instruments. Get a good financial advisor to counsel and guide you. A young couple’s first need is not a flashy car, but their own home. Any modest, fairly used car is good enough to start life with. Don’t start life on the fast lane, otherwise you end on a slow lane.
I chuckle when I see young people with young families park luxury cars in their driveway in a rented apartment, when such costly vehicles could literally buy them a modest home in a decent suburb. Rather than spend your money on a false lifestyle, use it to enhance your future by investing it wisely. You can’t predict the future. How tomorrow would turn out is beyond any prophet. You could lose that top job in a bank or blue-chip company and go broke in a matter of months. It happens before our eyes everytime.
You have to insure yourself against such misfortune by consolidating your financial future with wise investment. It is better you cry now that you are still young and smile later, when you’d be too old to struggle. I weep when I see 60-plus old men working as security guards in the homes of rich folks. I shudder whenever I see old women hawking fruits or groundnuts at retirement age. That’s not a happy ending and I do not wish such outcomes for my worst enemy.
Run your home like a business unit. That doesn’t mean that home is a business. I am only suggesting that you apply some basic business principles to the running of your life, so that you don’t go bankrupt prematurely. Take good spending decisions. Be very, very realistic. Never try to keep up with the Joneses. Every bottle stands on its own bottom.
A woman’s basic instinct is to spend. They never get tired of buying new clothes, new accessories, the latest phones, washing machines, shoes, jewellery, etc. The expensive hairstyle is a woman’s pride; it is part of her fashion statement. Young woman, you should tame that instinct to buy, buy, buy. It is the enemy of wealth. It drives husbands crazy.
Every young man wants to acquire the latest and best of everything, even when they can’t afford it, they borrow to get the good things of life just to impress. Hey, you are not in this would to live up to anybody’s expectations. When the chips are down, when the going gets tough, those you’re trying to impress would desert you.
The point to note is that young couples should be wise in their financial management because life is full of ups and downs. You never see a road without bumps. That tells you that life’s journey is not smooth. Work hard, work smart, stay fit and strong. Take good care of your family; secure their future while doing all you can to live a comfortable, decent life at the moment. Financial discipline must be your watchword. God only blesses the prudent.
Weekend spice: Unbroken happiness is a bore; it should have ups and downs.
Take that nugget to heart, folks. Enjoy your day and remember to thank God for this Friday. Stay motivated! We’d do it again next week, God willing.
• Ladi Ayodeji is an Author, Rights Activist, Pastor and Life Coach. He can be reach at 09059243004 (SMS and Whatsapp only).
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