This should be my last installation on the “Money Mistakes” series. As we have seen in the “episodes” before now, some money mistakes are avoidable, some grew out of ignorance and some practically jumped on you. Anyway, the mistake was engendered, one thing is definite — there are consequences. As you already know, terrible financial decisions make for an uneasy life. It has an impact on your entire life and wellbeing.
We will list a couple of more mistakes that are easily made. The aim is to recognize them and ensure you avoid them. Financial things are going to be happening around you for a lifetime. You are bound to make mistakes, but it is better to make a few mistakes and learn as you go on. As someone once said, “Progress beats perfection when it comes to making the right financial choices.”
The hope in our lives is to be able to have a secured financial future or a semblance of it. That, my friends, will take a lot of effort, grit, discipline and courage. My job is to list the mistakes. Your job is not to make those mistakes. Even if you have made a couple of them, ensure you don’t repeat them. Ok.
- Not Knowing What Is Going On: I know several people that took loans from companies and kept paying. Somehow, I was involved when they were about to take the loan. Then one day I casually ask, “How far with the repayment?” The person says he is still paying. I was surprised. I told him to visit the bank and get the balance so that I can help him sort it out. Guess what? The amount he was told he still owed was close to what he borrowed. I mean this was a couple of years after. He was surprised. He told me he trusted that the system will take care of him and I told him no one will care for his money more than him. He got the balance and refinanced the loan but this time, he watched over it like a mother-hen until he paid off the entire loan.
- Asking A Tailor, If You Need New Clothes — Everyone has his/her own cause and motives in this world and it is your fundamental human right to have one. However, you owe yourself the duty of care to know why you are dealing with any character. Know your strength and weakness; succinctly put, “know the state of thy flock.” If you have a weakness for clothes, do not ask a tailor if you need a new one. If I was the tailor, you think I will say “no”? More like, know who you are taking advise from on some matters. Keep in mind the rationale and intention of the person sitting across you.
- Buying Things That You Think You Will Need – We all get into this. We think it might come in handy at some point and we buy. It is kept in the drawer until one day as you clean up your closet, you run into it in immaculate condition. A little here and a little there and before you know, you have a lot of clutter. Unfortunately, you are wasting money as you have seen. If you don’t have any immediate need, kindly … don’t bother.
- Always On The Go — Go, Go, Go. If you are always on the go and do things without thinking, you are bound not to think, and you will lose money. Sounds like a tautology but it is the truth. Hurried decisions are not always the best because they are not properly weighed. It is not because you are a bad person, but it is because you have not had the time to sit down and plan. Spend time with thyself and think. You will be amazed what you can cut off.
- Making Money By All Means — This is a big money problem. Take care of your name because it will take care of you down the line. “A good name is better than gold.” NGN500,000 might sound like big money when you are in your 20s. And so, you trick people or mismanage relationships to get it. Unfortunately, a few years down the line, the mention of your name after such acts closes doors for deals worth billions of dollars. “Money and wealth are movables which keeps on rotating, but a black spot on one’s character and damage to one’s reputation is irreversible.” Please have some “no-no” in your rule book as per making money and how you want to live your life. It will help you take decisive actions when some “opportunities” show up.
- Saying “Yes” — Most people that spend their all keep saying yes to almost everything. I can tell you that saying “No” is a mark of genius. To be successful in life, you have to learn how to say “No.” The operative word is “NO.” It is tough, but you can learn. This is the secret of the most successful people, they know what to say “No” to. End of the story. No is no.
“Always borrow money from a pessimist, he doesn’t expect to be paid back.” — Unknown (This is a joke. Everyone expects their money to be paid back whether they are optimist or pessimist)
Believe me, we have come to the end of this. I have done my best to outline these issues. Basically, you have been briefed. Go make things happen with the information at your disposal.