Money Lessons For 2022

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*Disclaimer – I am not a financial advisor or expert. This is purely based on experience and personal opinion*

Money can be a love/hate thing for different people for various reasons. Sometimes, we may feel financially secure and financially insecure in some ways, either due to having little, having enough, or having too much. Over the last 2-3 years, my perspective and views on money have changed and continue to evolve the older I get and the diversity of my interests at certain moments and times. In today’s article, I would like to share things I have learned about money based on my own experience managing my own money and finances and controlling my spending habits.

Budgeting Works If You Stick To It

Although budgeting can seem a bit daunting, it helps manage and keep track of what we have. Budgeting is beneficial because it makes you aware of how your money works based on your outgoings and incomings and possibly disposable sums you may have. You can also regulate your spending and saving according to your priorities and commitments within a budget. In my experience, creating a budget for myself enabled me to start saving money and feeling more confident and surer of myself financially. However, in my experience, budgeting does not work and is not as effective when you’re not consistent. I understand; sometimes, life happens. Unexpected expenses come our way and circumstances that alter our approach to our budget. In urgent situations, it is fair enough, but for the most part, you’re only going to get the most out of a budget if you stick to it.

Focus on Saving Before Investing

I don’t know about you, but one thing the pandemic brought was talks and conversations about investing. Whether in cryptocurrency, stocks/shares, property etc., everybody and their mother had something to say about investing. Here’s my perception on the subject; I honestly think the desire to start investing is a good thing, but if you don’t have much to invest, what will you get out of it in the short or long term? Many of us are just getting started or new to employment and earning money, let alone understanding how we feel about it. You have all sorts of wealthy individuals that get on platforms talking about how saving is useless, and you should invest. If you’re not in that position, don’t take their advice as gospel. They are above average and have been rich for a long time; they can talk and be about that, chances are you’re not there yet. And also, how are you going to invest when all you have is zero or not even 3-5 figures to invest? Also, investing does not always guarantee you’ll make a profit, especially if you’re short-term minded. I would honestly say try and build and get comfortable with saving for a while and maybe educate yourself about what you want to invest in. Why put your money into something you don’t understand? 

Nobody is Entitled to Your Money

Your money should work essentially for you and your needs and wants first. There is nothing wrong with helping or giving others, which we will come to later. But when you’re managing your finances, it is essential to be smart with who you involve in your finances and what you have going on with your finances. Nobody is entitled to your money aside from the taxman. You don’t have to always be overly generous with your money or feel guilty for having financial boundaries. Also, not everybody needs to know your financial goals, areas, savings, and income.

Be In Control Of Your Money

In all lessons learned, I think this is the most important one. Authority and independence over your finances is the most important thing you need to exercise. You’re not a little kid whose money should be babysat by mum and dad or that older sibling/person in your life. Unless that is your choice, go ahead, but I would still advise setting boundaries from the jump. Personally, control over finances makes it easier to manoeuvre and be flexible with your money. Since you worked for it, why should somebody else be in charge of your money or tell you what to do with it? Take control of your cash to ensure accounts, money, or savings are all in your name and accessed by you only.

Money Does Not Have To Make You Miserable

Money can work in your favour if you live within your means and plan for your finances accordingly. Don’t see money as this negative thing. Chances are if money makes you feel sad, you need to make changes into who you talk to money about what you’re doing with your money as far as needs vs wants. Also, I have found that often people are miserable about money because they don’t open their minds to looking at it differently. Yes, there are poor people and those that have less, but as far as you’re young and have a capable mind and body, you are essentially in charge of how money makes you feel and whether it blesses your life or destroys it.

Give & Be Generous…..but true to yourself

I am not for being stingy with money at all. I don’t think it does good for spiritual and mental reasons. However, if you are going to give and be generous, do it accordingly to what you can afford to give. Note I didn’t say borrow but give. Understand that giving money away means you now have less, and it is vital you suss that you can manage without what you have now given out. Don’t let people guilt trip you into giving them money based on family, culture, religion etc. As addressed above, nobody is entitled to your money, and you should be in control. It is okay to say to no somebody no matter how desperate they may be. It might sound harsh, but most of the time, their problems are not always your issue to solve, nor did you cause it. It’s their problem you can empathise with, but it’s not every time sympathy should be a reason; you’re now emptying your account for someone. Lastly, if you are going to give and be genuinely generous, don’t give to receive. Many people preach and teach of giving, and it will come back to you. Being brought up as a Christian, I’ve heard that all my life. It’s not the worst thing, but I’ve realised with age if you’re only giving so you can get back, then it is not generosity but somewhat transactional. It becomes an act of some level of control and dominance rather than kindness, grace, or compassion.

Thanks for Reading

Sincerely Yours

Owen

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