It is salary time again and most people are happy but the joy is often short-lived after they realize that the state of their finances is nothing to smile about at all. This realization usually comes by 5th for some people while for those paid on 5th these depressing feelings come on 10th when they realize that there is more month in the money than money in the month.
While all of us will agree that times are hard, there are some habits on our part that sabotage our pursuit for a healthier pocket.
If you want to have better finances, you should get rid of these habits,
1. Paying expensive rent
Some people opt for living in posh estates for various reasons among them to meet certain societal expectations or they could be looking out for their safety and those of their family members. Whether the reasons for living in a posh estate are legitimate or just petty, financial experts agree that no one should live in a house where they have to pay more than 30 percent of their salary. So when you go house hunting ensure that you have made the necessary calculations that will ensure you do not make a big mistake.
2. Not tracking your spending
In the absence of a budget, it is very difficult to track how you spend your money. Some people do not have budgets but are also good at tracking their money and hence it does not get lost or misused in any way. You should have a way of tracking your money to avoid losing it on things that are not important to you or sinking into heavy debt. Personal finance apps can help you in this regard.
3. Impulse Buying
I suffer from this particular condition and the many hawkers in town are not helping my situation any. They have everything from clothes, books, household utensils to vegetables among other goodies. I can’t help it when I see so many good things every day and sometimes I overindulge. I am one of those people who have mixed feelings about hawkers being sent out of the town center because we want to buy their stuff but there are also other factors being considered by stakeholders.
If you are like me and can’t pass by any hawker, supermarket, market without buying things you had not planned for you should stop before you seriously affect your finances. Carrying just enough money for your fare and lunch can help in this regard.
4. Living beyond your means
This is usually to keep up with the Joneses whose financial abilities you have no inkling about and will never know. It is ok to desire the good things in life and to aspire to live like other people. What is however, not right is adopting a lifestyle that your salary cannot cover just to please the masses who do not care about you or in some instances know that you exist. You will get there in time, but in the meantime, please live within your means so that you do not find yourself in a deep financial quagmire.
5. Loans to buy things you don’t need
Believe it or not people do take loans to buy things they do not need. Most people are of the opinion that you should not take a loan if you do not expect it to bring returns to you or for long-term projects that will benefit you in the long run. Such projects include buying a plot somewhere to build rental houses or a house to live in; land to engage in farming, starting a business and so on. Taking a loan to buy things that you can easily save for will have you subtracting from your salary while nothing else is coming in, and your family might end up in a precarious financial position.
6. Frequently Eating Out
Please do not get me wrong, it is not bad to treat yourself or your family to some nights out or to some lunches where you get to enjoy some of the best food this city has to offer. However, if you keep this up every other night, you will be begging for fare to work by fifth after receiving your salary. Cooking and having some leftovers in the house can help prevent you from having a big dent in your pocket that you will regret every savory taste you had that month.
7. Too much Partying
Work without play makes Jill a dull girl but much playing without moderation will make her a begging pauper until the next paycheck. The latter will also not help her because he will have to return the money he borrowed from other people. Partying is allowed but you can always choose affordable places or plan to have your music and drinks in the house.
8. Buying the Cheapest Items Available
Most mums are guilty of this, we are always on the hunt of the best bargains regardless of whether you have money or not. While we sometimes end up with the best things on offer, there are instances where we end up with just cheap things that do not serve us for long and soon enough we are back spending money on something we only bought last month. It is a vicious cycle that you should stop at all costs. Avoid cheap things of low quality and instead, go for quality things. This is especially if you use the items on a regular basis.
Betting has taken Kenyans by storm and some people bet their entire salaries hoping to be the next winner of the jackpot. This often ends up in tears and endless pleas with the landlord not to lock the house. Forget about the little amounts that betting companies throw your way just to hook you; they rake in billions that you will never touch with a ten-meter pole. The odds of you ever winning the jackpot are so slim that you are better off starting a side hustle which might demand extra work, but will have you smile all the way to the bank or Mpesa agent every other day.