Take Charge of Your Finances

Trouble Escaping Debt

John was excited to land his first job with a commercial bank less than six months after graduation. It was a dream come true. He had heard horror stories about people who would be jobless for years after graduation despite having sent their CVs to every potential employer they could think of. He was now working with a big commercial bank and he felt in every sense a successful banker. He could easily access loans from his employer so he never lacked. He was servicing a car loan and as well as a personal loan which he used to enable him settle down in his new apartment when he started working. If he found himself in a really tight corner, he would easily organize an overdraft from his employer.

Time flies so fast and John did not realize just how fast this was happening until the bank he worked for announced that they would be downsizing. John found himself among those who would lose their jobs. He was initially in denial that this was happening to him. He continued with life as if the downsizing had nothing to do with him until it was his last week at the office and he needed to clear with the employer. That was the time reality hit him like a thunderbolt! He was shocked to suddenly realize that he would not be taking home any cash as compensation for the premature termination of his job, because he had loans that needed to be deducted from his terminal dues.

John went from denial to anger. How could his employer repay his 12 years of dedicated work in such an inhumane manner? He had a wife with 2 young kids and he needed a source of income to take care of them. His wife was a teacher but her salary would be inadequate to keep the family afloat. John went from being a successful banker to hustling for money. He tried his hand at selling stuff to keep his family afloat. Sometimes friends and family members gave him small jobs to do for them for a small fee, such as doing book keeping for a few days a month or renewing documents such as driving licences for busy people in his circles. Within 5 years, he was forced to sell the house he had struggled so hard to buy for his family while he was working at the bank. They moved to a cheaper house in some less prestigious part of the city.

Take Care of Your Finances

1. Pay Yourself First

This is very hard for many people because most of us were taught that putting our needs first before others is being selfish. We believe that putting the needs of others first makes us good people. If you are going to achieve financial independence, you will need to save first before paying anything else; utility bills, school fees, buying groceries, helping your parents or anything else. By saving first before you pay any bills, you will learn discipline, learn to live on less. This is because you will be forced to live on what is left after saving. If you live in Kenya, you can train yourself to be saving on your phone. Facilities such as Mshwari and KCB Mpesa are great facilities to train you to save. Your saving track record helps your credit ratings so it is a win-win situation. Loans from mobile based banking are very easy to access since you apply for them using your phone and you do not have to go to any bank for authorization. The M-Shwari Lock Savings is a savings account that allows M-Shwari customers to save for a defined purpose and for a specified amount of time. This account will help you not only save for a rainy day, but also earn you interest on your savings. Saving just got easier.

2. Avoid Consumer Debt

Do not spend money you have not earned. Credit card debt, car loan, advance salary and other loans taken for consumable goods are the equivalent of robbing you to enrich the owners of banks. These facilities are marketed very attractively as a way to make your life easier but if you are not careful you will sink under the weight of debt and getting out will be an uphill task. To achieve financial independence, get rid of high interest debts and free your money to work for you instead of for the owners of banks. To learn more about how to grow your assets column, watch this free webinar: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/recording/1458000074890993164

3. Everyone’s Path is Unique so Don’t Try To Compete With Your Neighbors

The media is determined to completely distract us from our financial goals. There are advertisements all over the place telling us of all manner of offers that we cannot afford to miss. As if that is not enough, everyone in our circles seems to be our competitor. We attend an event such as a family gathering and everyone seems to be wearing the latest fashion, to be driving the latest model of a car, to be socializing in some classy joints and so much more. If you allow yourself to try and keep up with others, financial independence will remain elusive. 4. Build Your Assets Column. Do not leave your savings laying in a bank account for decades as that way you will be giving your bank a free loan to trade with and enrich themselves. Once you learn the culture of saving, you will need to invest your money in assets that generate income. Assets will grow your money. If you are an employee and want to learn how to grow your money, you may choose to partner with a good network marketing company where you will benefit from free training, coaching and mentorship that will prepare you for success. If you put in the work to learn the necessary skills, network marketing is a worthy venture to invest in, but be prepared to work hard and to be patient because success takes time to come.

4. Increase Your Value In The Market Place

This is one tip that you might never be taught by anyone yet it is very important for your financial independence. Improve your knowledge and expertise, learn new skills that improve your marketability, invest in your personal growth and development. This will help you to grow your income by opening the doors for growth. Do not fall into the trap that has blocked many from achieving financial independence, the trap of leaving your finances to chance. To be able to travel from Nairobi to Mombasa, you need to plan how to get there. And to be able to move from where you are financially to where you want to go, you have to make deliberate plan to get there. Take charge of your finances; it is 100% your responsibility.

This article is written by Susan Catherine Keter, a life coach, mentor, network marketing professional, freelancer and blogger.
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