Most people can do better financially. Most of us if not all of us meet opportunities on a daily basis that are intended to change our financial fortunes for the better but are unable to recognize them in their camouflaged state. Opportunities of devious magnitudes happen to all men. We are programmed to see and hear only those things that we want to see and hear. What will happen if we can learn to freeze this approach to life and unfreeze the conscious expectation of everything we need to become what we should be, that is, if we fully comprehend and have visualized what we should be? Nothing happens by chance! You have to want it and want it very bad.
There is always a starting point to everything and a first time with which to experience things. If we do not start we’ll never get anywhere and the worst that can happen is retrogression. Our dreams which are linked to our desires differ in magnitude. Some people desire to be wealthy and others desire to be well to do, that is, to have their needs met. Some actions have to be initiated for these things to manifest. It is only when you are consciously conscious of who you want to become and what you want to achieve that you will begin to take appropriate and relevant actions to achieving your goals. We all have something to give to others which we can do in exchange for something. This is how battering came about and was highly effective. It was all about meeting the needs of others. Think about what you can do to meet the needs of others and receive compensation for doing that and you will have found an income generating system.
For those who are already earning an income, there are some things you can begin to consider to improve your financial status. Make sure that you cover the basic stuff first before considering moving to the next level of financial freedom. Personal financial management is the first hurdle to cross before attempting total financial freedom. If you acquire basic skills for personal financial literacy and manage your personal finances well, you’ll then find business finance management very interesting. The skills of saving, investing, and making your money grow for your future financial needs and of protecting your income are the basis for proper financial planning. Everyone can cure their financial lack.
The quest to be financially healthy requires that we be disciplined, responsible, knowledgeable and understanding. Financial literacy is the most important set of life skills that we all need to survive and be successful in the modern world. This is the set of skills that has been acquired by very few people hence there are only few financially successful people in the world today. The lack of this skill results in many people finding it extremely difficult to manage their financial affairs and to successfully plan their financial future.
If we spend all our money today we’ll have no provision for tomorrow and we’ll have to work extra hard just to survive. If we save some of our money today, we’ll have something for tomorrow. This is how serious saving and investing a portion of our monies today is. Put your money to good use and let it generate more money for you. If you spend all your money today, then you are giving away your future financial freedom. We cannot just hide our heads in the sand and hope that the future will take care of itself. We have to force ourselves to make hay while the sun is still shining, when age, time, health and resources still allow us to do so. Choosing not to take heed of the advice of the wise will be downright ignorant and foolish.
Personal financial management is the launching pad for personal financial freedom and paves a way to personal wealth. We have to start by acknowledging that we are not going to be young forever, that we are not going to be strong physically and mentally forever. We are not going to be able to work forever even though we may wish so. Working, as a business owner or employee, requires strength and energy and aging might be a limiting factor. You need to prepare for an event or time when you will be unable to work any longer. This calls for you to protect your personal income in case you die, become disabled or retire due to old age. You have to consider life and disability assurance while you are still working either as a business owner or employee to protect yourself and your income. Not considering this advice is purely being irresponsible. Consult your financial adviser and engage him or her on this issue. Do the right thing, plan your personal finances. There should be enough money available to pay off debts and in the case of disability, to make changes that will help you cope with your new situation.
You have to understand the negative effects of inflation on your savings so that you can craft strategies to counter it. For example, an inflation rate of say 5% a year will half the buying power or value of your money in 10 to 15 years’ time. In other words, if it costs you US$125 a month now to buy your groceries, you will need US$250 to buy those same groceries in 10 to 15 years’ time. Time is the most important factor when it comes to saving and making money grow. The longer time you save, the more interest you will receive out of your savings.
Money grows when it is used to make more money. However, investing money is not a sure bet, it involves huge risks. The objective of investing is to make more money. Your goal should be to maximize the returns on your investments with less risk on your capital. It starts from searching and researching companies, funds and business sectors you wish to invest in. There are many different ways of investing money in the economy and each of these different ways has its own levels of risk and return unless you open an investment account with a financial institution (bank). Work on your action plans for short-term, medium term and long-term investment strategies.
While it is extremely important to invest in reputable companies, the reputation and integrity of your financial adviser is extremely important. Do not take your adviser’s advice at face value. Go for a second and even a third opinion and do more research. You cannot afford to believe only what your adviser is telling you. Trust is not enough as it will not guarantee you your returns. Research and scrutinize documents before committing yourself. Never put all your eggs in one basket regardless of how tempting it might be.
It is extremely important to have a will. Will allows you to register your wishes in writing so that when you pass on, you may have this document speaking for you. Failure to do this will result in your possessions going to people you never wished to have them or going to the state (intestate). Any person of 16 years or older who is mentally capable of understanding what he or she is doing can make a will. Estate laws differ from country to country. Please check laws relevant to your country. Banks, lawyers and trust companies (most of them are insurance companies) can assist with the drawing up of a customer’s will. Ask your banker or financial adviser about the process of setting up a will.
Regardless of how prosperous your business and investments are today, you have to provide in advance for the needs of your growing age and the protection of your loved ones. A budget is a plan that deals with the future allocation and utilization of various resources with regard to different organizational activities over a given period. Budgeting is a disciplined way of spending your hard earned income. It is a tool used to translate future plans into quantitative terms.
Remember that the wealth you are trying to create is not only for you, it is for your second, third and fourth generations. Budget your expenses in such a way that you may have money available to pay for your necessities. You must also make provision to pay for your entertainment without spending more than ninety per cent of your earnings. Make provision for giving to deserving charities in the ninety per cent available for you to spend. It is important to get used to giving as it is a spiritual and universal law that binds all of us. Make sure that you invest the ten per cent of your income to give you excellent returns. Guard this ten per cent with all diligence for it is a seed that has to generate wealth for you.
About the Author: Basi Malatji is the founder and president of Dinatla Business Development Consultants, a strategic training, development and marketing services firm that specializes in helping entrepreneurs, individuals and managers to realize their potential. With more than 15 years of senior management level experience in banking, business development, consulting and training, Basi offers valuable tips on self- development. His experience through interacting with junior managers, entrepreneurs and business owners has lead him to write books on financial literacy and entrepreneurial development. He has also written articles which are available at some of the major Ezine platforms.