For you to reach some level of financial security, you must allow the money that flows into your life to remain in your life. You must learn how to control expenditure. Financial independence has nothing much to do with how much you make. But it has everything to do with how much you do not spend. We all know from experience that no matter how high your income, expenditure can always equal it. The day you make a N100,000 you will find enough reasons to spend the N100,000 plus a borrowed N10,000 or plus another N20,000 on credit.
LOOK AT THE PAINFULL CONSEQUENCES OF NOT DOING IT
I like climbing those keke (commercial tricycles) driven by elderly persons. I call them old-school okada men. One day I was sitting in a tricycle piloted by one of those ‘old-school okada men. As we rode along we passed by a brand new black coloured Range Rover Jeep with tinted glasses and windscreen. I was super-excited about it. At one side I admired the car and even coveted it. At the other hand, I baffled at the kind of money people spend to buy just a car. Seeing my excitement, the okada man told me a story that was worth more to me more than twenty times the N100 I paid him at the end of the ride. He said:
That car is really nice to have. Fifteen years ago I was administrator of contracts in Mobil Producing Nigeria. I was in charge of evaluating proposals for contracts, negotiating the quotation and administering the contracts for all forms of small supplies, repairs and maintenance. Every month, I used to have at least N5 million left as of that time after settling contractors to spend as I liked. People used to come and try to talk me into saving and investing. That car that you are excited about, I had something like that three in number. Life was okay until the merger with Exxon came and I lost my job. I was given a fat severance pay – some good millions. Life was still okay. I kept the lifestyle I had at Mobil and after a few months, the cash was gone. I couldn’t tell anybody. I tried to behave but I started getting worried. I sold off the cars, then sold off the power generator and used the money to open a cement store. I couldn’t avoid the people who knew me as a rich man when I was at Mobil so I kept one of the cars and still tried to dress well, look fine and go out. Sales was dull but I still had to survive. I borrowed some money from people promising to pay back when the cements were sold. Sales was still dull until my debt was far higher than the value of the cement in the store. I started avoiding those my creditors. Some came and angrily accepted to take some bags of cement in exchange for their money. I had no option.
But even after they packed out everything, it was still not enough. I had to park the car when I could no longer fuel it and a few months later sold it off at a price I still feel bad about until today. Then my health began to wane. I was actually looking much older than my elderly sister who teaches in a private nursery school. One way or the other I couldn’t keep it to myself again. I was really hungry. I was looking for what to eat and I mean anything. I worried and my health went down. My children became so ashamed of me. They couldn’t come home again. My wife went out sleeping with other men and could not respect me again. Instead of helping me, my friends were just avoiding me. They would talk about me in ways that made me ashamed of appearing in the public. What later saved me was that there was one man who owed me N360,000 while I was in Mobil. He borrowed the money to repair the leaking roof in his house. He couldn’t come up with the money to pay the debt and was ready to forfeit his tricycle. That is how I got this tricycle in the first place to get out of the house. I couldn’t take the shame so I left my hometown and came into Lagos to be a tricycle taxidriver.
WHY DO FORMER STAFF OF MULTINATIONAL COMPANIES STILL GO BROKE?
OK! BEING BROKE IS TEMPORARY AND EVEN THE RICHEST MAN IN YOUR TOWN CAN GO BROKE ONCE IN A WHILE. WHY DO FORMER COMMISSIONERS, FORMER BANK STAFF AND FORMER HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY MEMBERS BECOME POOR? A LOT OF THEM HAVE SOLD THEIR HOUSES. A LOT OF THEM HAVE NO DEPENDABLE SOURCE OF INCOME. A LOT OF THEM ARE NOT EVEN SURE OF THEIR NEXT MEAL. WHY IS IT THAT MONEY STAYS IN THE HANDS OF ASIANS NINE TIMES LONGER THAN IT STAYS IN THE HANDS OF AFRICANS? WHAT KIND OF LIFESTYLE DO THE ASIANS KEEP?
WE HAVE SAID IT AND WE WOULD LIKE TO REPEAT IT. FOR YOU TO REACH SOME LEVEL OF FINANCIAL SECURITY, YOU MUST ALLOW THE MONEY THAT FLOWS INTO YOUR LIFE TO REMAIN IN YOUR LIFE. YOU MUST LEARN HOW TO CONTROL EXPENDITURE. FINANCIAL INDEPENDENCE HAS NOTHING MUCH TO DO WITH HOW MUCH YOU MAKE. BUT IT HAS EVERYTHING TO DO WITH HOW MUCH YOU DO NOT SPEND.
KEEP READING AND LISTENING TO SPEND LESS, EARN MORE. THE COMMITMENT TO FIND ANSWERS!