[dropcap]F[/dropcap]inancial freedom is much sought after but less talked about. Many people rarely think of their future financial freedom. We live in the now and mostly let tomorrow worry about itself.
God helps those who first help themselves. In the world today, we ought to treat money with some care and respect. You will always want things to buy, but you don’t have to. One must have a plan of where they want to go, more so a discipline to execute the plan.
With money, comes responsibility, which many people lack. There are things that could be keeping you from being money savvy. It is time you jumped off that bandwagon of mistakes and correct them.
Dr Manyara Kirago, who is a well-known personal finance coach and trainer in Kenya, currently running online training on financial management, gives a ten-point guide mistakes that people often make.
Not having a plan for your finances: As individuals, we ought to have financial goals in life and a plan of how to achieve them using the only money we earn, not what we yearn to have. This is the only way you will live a debt-free life, translating into a stress-free life. Always plan what to save or spend and how. “First analyze your financial position then set goals according to you cash flow. Most importantly, have regular review of your progress,” advises Dr Kirago.
Focusing on lifestyle instead of financial security: “Financial security equates to ownership of invested assets,” says Dr Kirago. Lifestyle includes things such as buying clothes for show-off or going with current fashion rather than investing, as well as eating in the finest restaurants in town.
Not having a budget: This could lead to living from day to day without saving, or spending all your money and ending up borrowing to continue spending. A wise man would put in his budget what he or she plans to spend. This will have your money in order.
Not having an emergency fund: We are advised to always expect the unexpected. A good example of this is a job loss due to retrenchment. You are not ensured against job loss for the rest of your life, there is always someone coming up and taking over. “In case anything happens, you ought to have money that will keep you going a good 3 to 6 months,” he says.
Getting in trouble with loans: Most people lose their hard earned properties to loan recovery agencies, who auction them to recover defaulted loans. Dr Kiragu advises that you should service your loan promptly, and if you can’t don’t take one.
Guaranteeing other people’s loans without regarding the repercussion: This will see the loaners come after you if the debt is not settled because your name is on the paper. Unless you are prepared to pay for it, don’t be a loan guarantee.
Not saving for retirement: It is said that one should start saving for retirement immediately they get a job. By doing so, you are securing yourself financially in the future when you are at a much older age.
Not having health insurance: In most cases, people start seeking fund raisings in order to seek medical help. If you paid for health insurance, it becomes an easy ride.
Not having life insurance: This money will provide cover for daily living expenses and any outstanding debts such as credit cards and car loans, in case you die or not in a position to work.
Not having a will, especially if you have minor children: This is your final will and testimony. You have the power to distribute your life-earned money and assets to your family ensuring they continue living comfortably after you are long gone.