Over the Easter holiday, somebody asked me how old I was, and I impulsively answered. It dawned on me that I am already in my ‘late 20s’ and the realization almost made me dizzy – time indeed waits for no one. I think the biggest reality check that I’ve had so far – that is a great indicator that I am getting older – is my increasing financial responsibilities. I am faced with having to pay rent, buy groceries, pay for transport, buy petrol, and live a little all at the same time. It always seems like I am fighting a losing battle because there never seems to be enough money! I have realized that your salary may never be enough, so one must begin to explore options beyond a monthly salary.
I have still not mastered the skill of money management; however, through various pools of information on financial literacy and entrepreneurship, I am fast learning how I can take control of my finances and ensure I am able to live a stable life that is far from the hand to mouth lifestyle. Here are a few tips for all of my twenty somethings:
1. Open a savings account: The first step to detoxifying your unhealthy spending habits is to open a savings account! The hard part is actually putting money in there and not taking it out. Opening one however will begin a shift in your mindset and is an action towards ensuring you have financial security.
2. Have a priority list in terms of expenses: In every aspect of a human being’s life, prioritizing is always the biggest internal war that has external effects; both good and bad! If you want to stop the constant and annoying complaints of your brokenness, you must learn to choose wisely what your money will be spent on. Unfortunately, we do not have a money tree in our gardens – although that would be amazing; hence, you have to learn how to avoid common money mistakes and prioritize what is important and what isn’t.
3. Find another stream of income– Recently, I have been reading up on simple ways to increase my income. Keep in mind that these ways may not bring you billions, but it will certainly increase your overall income; which will move you closer to financial freedom. There are several businesses you can engage in that require zero capital such as: taking online surveys, getting paid to write articles, selling products etc. Discover your areas of interest/skills and find how you can monetize them.
4. Educate yourself -Education does not stop when you leave school! If you have any hope of moving forward financially, you must get the information you need to do so. We are in the digital age and there’s an overload of information at your disposal. Read books, watch videos, attend workshops, visit websites such as smartmoneywitharese.com and learn how to be disciplined in your spending and increase your income simultaneously.
Remember that the foundation of all of these tips is discipline. If you are not strict in your spending, rigid with your saving, and ready to put in the work to ensure you rake in your earnings monthly, I’m afraid ‘I’m broke’ will be your endless melody.