KEEPING UP WITH THE JONES’S
Whenever I see or hear about people trying to “keep up with the Jones’s”, the first question that comes to my mind is: Who are these Jones’s and why do we try to keep up with them? The habit or attitude of keeping up with the Jones’s is, in my opinion, the number one deterrent to moving up financially.
My friend takes her kids on vacation every summer, so I would seem like a wicked parent if I don’t not do same? Meanwhile you are forgetting that after the vacation comes the school fees, and if care is not taken, you will not have the resource to pay the kids’ school fees. What you do not realize is that Mr. & Mrs. Jones have been saving out of their salaries every month for the past 10 months. Again, Mr. & Mrs. Jones only have 2 children, you have 4. They also have other side gigs that bring in money, but you don’t.
Personal finance management is quite difficult, it takes a lot of will power and discipline to get it right. Let me share some keys or if you like call it principles I live by when it comes to personal finance management.
FOUR ESSENTIAL TIPS FOR PROPER FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT
- Cut your coat according to your cloth.
- Have an expenditure list per week; this list should only contain what you need versus what you want.
- At the end of the month, calculate your outflow against your inflow. If the latter is greater, then you are running in the negative. Go back to your list and cut excesses.
- Have a clear-cut plan on how you spend your income. For example, my salary is spent thus;
- 20% – Pay myself
- 20%- Invest
- 20%- Save in my children’s account
- 20%- Monthly expenditure for domestic needs
- 10%- Miscellaneous/Emergency funds
TITHE: This doesn’t need to be explained so much, it’s a Christian principle of giving 10% of your earnings to God.
PAY MYSELF: After working, it’s only fair to pay yourself something. It is from this that I buy maybe shoes, clothes and generally spoil myself/family. Out of this comes my personal saving for maybe vacation.
INVEST: Don’t spend all your money, invest something to secure your future. There are a number of investment opportunities to match your money. Small investments like money market funds to big ones like real estate.
CHILDREN’S SAVINGS: I opened accounts for my children, they are still pretty young. I put some money in each of their accounts and just leave it there as savings for them till they are old enough to start operating their accounts themselves.
DOMESTIC NEEDS: I buy foodstuff, toiletries and home essentials in bulk per month, so I almost never have to worry that we will be out of something during the course of the month. I also pay my rent on an annual basis.
MISCELLENEOUS: From this purse is where I give people that may be in need, help family members or attend to some unexpected expenses.
This is how I manage my personal finance and it has worked a great deal for me.
You can look up to the Jones’s but don’t try to keep up with them. Let the Jones’s be the Jones’s and you be you. Finally, always ensure that your outflow is less than your inflow, and with time, you will be able to accumulate wealth.