• Thursday, June 13, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Expensive habits that dips hole in your pocket

dips-pocket

We all like to indulge ourselves occasionally. After all you work hard enough to make big or medium bucks, so why not sit, relax and give yourself a treat once in a while. There is absolutely nothing wrong with going a little extra in making yourself happy. At least that is not what this piece is about.

This piece is about you becoming your own worst enemy through making poor money choices and sabotaging your financial goals.

There are a couple of decisions that we need to make when it comes to achieving our goals and building wealth. One of them is wasting groceries. Many of us are “guilty” of this “sin” – and understandably so, if you reside in the nerve-racking city of Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital where you wake up at 4am to go to work and come back home by 10pm. You have to keep from the overpowering temptation to pick up sausage rolls and Coke and snack rather than make food with the groceries on Sunday evening.

To avoid this, you plan meals ahead of the week. Include take-outs on days you know you will not be able to prepare a meal. Buy groceries that are well packed.

Second is taking more than you can eat. Again, this is ubiquitous with most of us. Some people fall victim whenever they see food, particularly if they have not had a good meal in a long while as a result of the “impossible” work habits they have nurtured. Sometimes we delude ourselves by thinking “I can finish it later.” But we need do. So why not take as much as you can eat. It is better to take a little and finish and go for another than load the plate and leave it eventually for the waste bin.

So we said from the beginning, you have a right to treat yourself once in a while, but a treat you can’t afford? That’s a dip in your pocket. A better way to do this is to build the expense in your budget or save for it over time.

Procrastination, says Charles Dickens, is the thief of time. The importance of saving cannot be overemphasized. Many of us like to push it forward, “I will start to save next week,” and you never start. What needs to be put at the back of the mind, is that saving isn’t necessarily for the immediate needs, the future is often loaded with unexpected expenses whether you are a single person or married with a family. The good news is, you don’t need millions to start saving, you start small and increase your contributions over the years.

Keep your receipts. Many people just throw receipts away or keep them in random spots around their home or office. Your receipts can help your substantiate your expenses in a month and help you track price differences.

Rather than throw away things you no longer need, you can trade them for a fee. Today’s tech landscape offers you platforms where you can see buyers of the products you want to throw away. Examples include OLX, jiji.com, mykustoma.com and so on.

Finally pay attention to your bank statement. Study the statement, there may be sneaky recurring charges for items that no longer legal or charges that are incorrect and need to be addressed with your bank.

FRANK ELEANYA