As the Jan-U-Worry financial hangover and the “compliments of the new year” pleasantries slowly draw to an end for many of us, I am excited to re-evaluate and reflect on some of the financial lessons learnt over the last year and hopefully start afresh.
If 2019 is anything to go by, the money lessons I learnt were incredibly life changing and challenging all at the same time. From changing careers in April 2019, taking unpaid leave in June 2019 and using ALL my personal savings to start a new business venture hoping to increase my sources of income; I can safely say that I began to appreciate the importance of financial planning.
Most times in the last year, I struggled to get to the next pay day with any money left and endured the embarrassment of my current account being overdrawn on a number of occasions. This did not sit well with me and I got tired of trying to make ends meet. I know that something really must change in #20Plenty and I am intentional about bringing this change.
The new year for me represents an opportunity to really develop a relationship with my money and take my personal finances seriously (because they really are serious). The challenge however, is that many of us confuse “taking my personal finances seriously” with “finances are boring, complicated and not fun”.
We’ve painted finance as this monster that we would much rather not deal with. It is easier to go by every month, spending without a plan i.e. budget and with no form of accountability as to what we did with the money. To ease the guilt, we occasionally tell ourselves stories, justifying how difficult it is to budget, arguing how little we earn and why we are not saving.
As if the lies we tell ourselves aren’t enough, we also justify why we cannot start anything- saving, paying off debt or starting that project, initiative or business idea. This must stop!
This year, I choose to approach my personal finances holistically by not only focusing on my personal finances, but also nurturing other aspects of my life (physical, spiritual, emotional, social, intellectual and environmental) too.
The theme I chose for 2020 and the new decade is “Intent. Collaborate. Impact”. I want to be intentional about living within my means, getting rid of bad debt and learning to say no to anything that deters me from this goal.
Secondly, I am determined to collaborate with game changes within Lesotho and across the continent to do meaningful work that helps empower the youth to value money and inspire them to pursue their ambitions, despite the many challenges our countries face.
Lastly, I wish to make a positive impact in the lives and communities I am fortunate to engage with, by giving them practical tools and strategies to help manage their money better.