The habits of most financially independent people are quite similar. Their financial success is usually based on strong principles and ethics.
People do not blunder their way into sustainable wealth.
If long term financial success is, as much a goal for you, as it is for me, I would recommend that you spend some time studying those principles.
They are almost like patterns, found in the lives of many, who have sustainable wealth.
It is best to readjust your realities, to align more closely with some of these principles.
Lesson 1: Spend less than you earn
Particularly in Nigeria, this may seem not to be practical, however, consider that it is highly unlikely that, you will be able to satisfy all your wants at any single time.
The minute you think you are done, ten more things come up to take the place of the one you just dealt with.
Since you are not likely to catch all the falling bricks in one try anyway, why expend all your income trying?
If you spend all the money, you will still find one or two things left undone and if you do not spend all the money, it is still the same outcome – some needs left unattended.
Is it not wise to squirrel something away? This may not be a win-win, but it is definitely not a lose-lose situation.
Take care, to not gobble up all your income. Put something away. Some people describe it as paying yourself first. It is a sound principle.
Lesson 2: Save for eventualities
Do not be caught pants down. Emergencies are almost unavoidable, but proper planning can reduce their occurrence to the barest minimum. Still, prepare for them.
This might mean setting some money apart in an emergency fund, or, paying for insurance.
Many of us are just one bad occurrence away from total financial devastation.
One bad investment, or, one unexpected medical case and we just sink, because we have not provided for eventualities.
Save a certain percentage of your income, as an emergency fund. Be deliberate, so you are not caught unawares when there are emergencies.
Lesson 3: Delay gratification
You have probably heard this one, so many times and I would wager that you have equally gone ahead to ignore it, that many number of times.
Usually, what you want, so urgently, can actually wait, without any negative effect.
It can wait till you can fit it into your budget. The benefit of patience here is that the longer you wait, the more time you have to decide if you actually need it.
There is something I like to call, “your eye don clear?” It is that situation, when you think you want something so badly, only for you to buy it and find out that, it is not so cool after all.
Not because there is anything wrong with the product but simply that, your heart and mind lied to you.
You thought you wanted it, but you actually do not need it and you can do very well without it.
Another couple of thousands, thrown to the winds and I am certain that, many of us can relate.
Rather than splurge, delay that want for a period and identify, if you actually need it, before investing in it.
Lesson 4: Do not live on borrowed money
If your mum is like mine, then, I will bet you heard this a million times, while growing up.
This is the one reason many young people find it difficult to get out of an average existence. We spend our youth servicing debts.
We take loans to acquire virtually everything, then, spend all our productive years paying back loans and jumping from one loan scheme to another.
Loaning on its own is not a crime because, you might need to go on some payment plan type of loan, to cover major purchases like your first car, or, buying a home, however, in Nigeria, there is something called overdo.
Do not fall into the trap, by financing your basic lifestyle with loans.
lesson 5: Save! Save! Save!
The easiest way to afford something is to, simply save up for it. Just save and do not stop. Find something that works for you.
The esusu method helped many of our parents to achieve things, but their successors are learning to achieve things by getting into debts.
This is a huge shift in the wrong direction. Saving helps you become more financially disciplined.
You can take it a step further, by saving towards investments. You may not have the funds for large investments, so, it is advisable to set investments as the target of savings.
Save, but rather than let that money sit in the cold vaults of the bank, invest it. Idle money is cold money.
Build your money pot and then, find some warmth for that pot, something warmer than the vaults of a bank. Put that money to use and begin to generate returns.
Bonus lesson: Invest in self-development.
Your ability is your golden goose. Do not stop sharpening your skills and growing your capacity.
The better you become, the better the potential for increasing your income.
There are, so many ways this can be achieved, including online study and networking.
Ensure that you are strategic and deliberate, about the process of self-development.
About the Author
Mercy Faleyimu, is a creative writer, who enjoys discourses across several fields of engagement. She equally tries to remain an optimistic Nigerian.